Resting in the river valleys of Northern Thailand, Nan is an off-the-beaten-path destination with distinct culture and people from its southern neighbors.
Boarding Laos, Nan’s populace is one of the most ethnically diverse with Hmong, Mien, Thai Lu, Mrabri, and Khamu hill tribes calling the mountains and valleys around the area home. The Nan National Museum displays relics from various cultures ranging from utensils and jewelry to styles of dress.
Wat Phumin is the city’s most remarkable temple, and the structure was built to appear as if it were riding on the backs of twin Naga. Inside, a sprawling mural painted on the temple’s interior walls depicts what maybe the only illustration an obscure story of one of Buddha’s lives as an orphan.
Doi Phukha National Park is not far from town, and the diversity of wildlife and plants draws guests on luxury tours of Thailand to the reserve’s boarders.
Travelers looking to cross from Thailand into Laos can cross the border at nearby Ban Huay Kon.
Best Time to Visit Nan:
The forests and rivers are at their best during the June through October rains. The highest temperatures fall between March and May. The months with the best weather are between November and January.
How to get to Nan:
Nan Town is the capital of Nan Province in Northern Thailand, which boarders Laos and offers international crossings between the two countries. The province and town can be reached by private vehicle from Chiang Mai.
Culture enthusiasts and hikers hoping to experience the unspoiled secrets of the Isan region come here on their Thailand tours.
Western wear is fine in town. Dress appropriately if you’re planning to hike through the national park. If you should visit any of the temples in the area, remember to choose clothing that covers shoulders to knees while on holy ground.