Nan region is situated on the upper northern Thailand, from 688 kilometers of Bangkok. It is one of the least visited regions by tourists. There are many things to explore there, local food and activities. To have a first experience in this region, we propose a meaningful homestay experience for our travelers.
NAN, ONE OF THE 12 HIDDEN GEMS OF THAILAND
With a distance of 688 kilometers from Bangkok, only two transportations options are available. The first one is to take a plane from Bangkok to Nan airport. This journey is around three hours and is proposed on both Dong Muang airport and Suvarnabhumi airport. The second option is the bus with a ten-hour ride. This option is cheaper and offers night bus which is perfect for not losing a day trip.
The region shares borders with Laos and Myanmar. Its situation is perfect of those little adventurous who would like to explore Thailand, Laos and Myanmar in an extended journey. Nan region is composed of forests and cultivated lands. Local people are mostly farmers from diverse ethnics’ groups and culture. As we are in a fragile region (biodiversity is essential here, also there is a deforestation issue), be aware of your waste and travel impacts. Our advice would be to try to apply slow tourism rather than standard tourism. This way you will reduce your impacts while getting deeper into the culture.
MAIN SUSTAINABLE TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
- Doi Phu Kha National Parks
Next to Luang Prabang Range, a natural mountain barrier frontier with Laos, the park is full of viewpoints, campsites, naturals trails and caves. You will find Doi Dong Ya Wai Mountain which is the highest mountain in the park.The activity will be mostly wildlife watching with 240 bird species in the park as well as rare species like lesser cuckoos for example. Snakes species (green rat snake, Laotian bearded snakes, …) and reptiles species (Himalayan mountain pit vipers, Burmese glass lizards,…) are also diverse. About the accommodation, you have campsite inside the park (some have hot water while the other doesn’t) but also hotels near the park.
They open everyday from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm.
- Khun Nan National Parks
This park is famous for its waterfalls and is composed of multiple mountain range. When you translate its Thai name “Khun Nan” in English, it says “Mountains and Rivers” which the best description of this park. We recommend you go there during a hot day, as waterfalls are a good way to refresh yourself. Spend a night or two there as there is many accommodations options such as homestay, farmstay and restaurant. For those wanting to upgrade their experience, you can hire a local guide that will show you all the park secret spot.
They open everyday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
- Nan National Museum
This museum will get you into Nan history and arts. Collection is presented inside a beautiful a renovated wooden house. The little plus is their English labels on each displayed item. About the museum itself, it is composed of two floors with section on province’s ethnic groups, royal regalia, archeology, Nan history, collection of Buddha statues in the Lana style, and so on.This museum is perfect for families who would like to teach some Thai culture to their kids, couples looking for a dip into Thai culture or anyone who want to get a glimpse of it.
They open every Wednesday to Sunday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
- Mae Charim National Park
We are calling adventurous lover ! Situated in Mae Charim Dusitrict, it became a national park thanks to its geographical features : high mountains, rivers, different type of forest (pine forest, evergreen forest, rain forest,..) and wildlife (birds, but also tigers and bears).The activity we recommend you here is the Rafting in Wa stream . There are several routes from 15 kilometers to 19 kilometers with boat paddling, a guide and life jacket. For the other who doesn’t like to get wet, there is the hiking option for you. There is Yod Pha Nho which is a mountain exploration with some caves on it. The hiking is around height kilometers for six hours. Then, you have starting from Wa River which takes one hour for two kilometers. To finish, there is a third routes, which is from Ban Nam Pang to Ban Rom Klao for eight kilometers.
They open everyday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
- Sri Nan National Park
Situated in three districts at the same time (Waengsa District, Nanoi District and Namuen District), they are covered of mountains, rivers and different type of forests (pine forest, evergreen forests, ...). This national park is home to rare animals such as black panthers, bears and forests elephants. Two spots are known for watching sunset and sunrise which is Samur Dao Mountain and Hua Sing Cliff Samur. Then, you have numerous trails to discover the park and its gems.
- Sa Koen Cave National Park
Situated between Nan and Phayao province, the entrance is in Nan province. Its principal features are forest, caves waterfalls and plenty of viewpoints. This park is more “rustic” compared to the other, but it doesn’t give it less charm. Inside caves, you will find stalagtites and stalagmites for example.
There are no restaurants, so you will have to prepare your own food (or buy it in the city just before coming as well). About the accommodation, you will have a choice between campsites and rooms.
- The Royal Project Phu Phayak
Situated in Chaloem Phra Kiat, a Nan Districit, it was developed as a tourist attraction by the Department of Public relation. The idea was reviving forests and biodiversity that was a battlefield between Thai soldiers and communists many years ago. They implemented a sustainable vision where sustainable agriculture was going to revive forest, local people, ecotourism, and economy.
Phu Phayak products are famous for its coffee and mulberries.
We recommend you go there as a one-day trip as you will be able to learn more about the history, their agriculture techniques and taste some products of the region.
- Annual event : Traditional boat racing
It happens during Nan’s Thot Kathin ceremony which is a traditional Buddhist ceremony. It happens once a year where communities go back to their local temple to give donations and food to the monks. The long boat race on the Nan river generally held around November. The boats are called “nagas” which make reference to a mythical water serpent. The competition is about speed and the boat decoration. This event is famous all over Thailand, so you will surely be part of a huge representations. Be aware that if you want to spend a night there, during the representation time, you will have to make reservation in advance.
Because food is a special connection to a culture, here we are giving you the top 3 of must-try in Nan Province :
- bua loi kai wan, sweet sticky rice with taro and coconut.
- Tao suan, a sweet yellow mung bean pudding topped with salty coconut milk.
- Khao Soi with Chicken, a curry noodle soup with salty coconut milk and chicken drumstick.
NAN’S WHISPER OF LOVE
Nan is known for one thing among Thai people : whisper of love (Pu man ya man). It is a murals painting named “Whisper of love” which is situated inside the Wat Phumin. The painting is representing a man and a woman whispering to each other their love and showing affection. It is said that if you pray in front of the picture, you will be blessed by love, stability, and long life. Wat Phumin is a must for all couples in Thailand !