Nan Old Town
“The serene beauty in the valley” – No other definition could be more fitting for Nanthaburi Si Nakhon Nan, now known simply as Nan, particularly the “Chai Mueang Nan” (Nan City Center) area. Here you will find the intriguing Lanna culture everywhere you look and there are several-hundred-year-old historic sites and ancient communities to check out while spending some peaceful downtime among the verdant fields and lofty mountains. Situated in the easternmost area of the northern region and not used as a thoroughfare by those en route to other provinces, Nan is a city that truly rewards those who make the effort to seek it out.
When in Nan, don’t pass up on the opportunity to admire “Hup Taem” or the legendary mural painting, “The Whisper of Love” at Wat Phu Min by Nanbuaphan, a local artist. This painting of “Pu Man-Ya Man” welcomes visitors into the realm of Thai-Lue culture. This endearing picture of an elderly couple playfully teasing each other has charmed so many that it has become something of a symbol for the city of Nan. In the surrounding area, there are numerous historically significant ancient remains and invaluable architectural sites to admire such as the residences of princes, temples, trade districts and residential communities. After dusk at weekends, visitors can leisurely explore the vibrant Nan walking street, enjoy folk performances and contribute to the income of the community by purchasing local food and products.
Art enthusiasts will be especially delighted with Nan Riverside Art Gallery as its art exhibitions highlight the way in which the people of Nan exist in harmony with the environment in terms of nature, local culture and art. From September to October of every year, Nan organizes an ancient tradition was has existed since the Buddha’s time, “Tan Kuai Salak” or Salak Phat Lanna alms-giving ritual. Tourists can visit and participate in this cultural ceremony. To help preserve both objects of art and the natural environment during the trip, start by disposing of your litter in the right place and support environmentally friendly community businesses so future visitors so Nan can have a memorable time there, just as you did.
- Bike leisurely around Nan following the cultural-based tourism and preservation routes.
- Pay homage and admire Buddhist temples around Nan including Wat Phu Min, Wat Phra That Chae Haeng, Wat Phra That Chang Kham, Wat Ming Mueang, Wat Phra That Khao Noi.
- Experience Khan Tok dining culture and taste Nan’s trademark dishes such as Kai Thot Ma Khwaen (Crispy Fried Chicken with Prickly Ashes), Kaeng Khae (Mixed Vegetables Curry with optional meat), Khao Soi (Northern Curry Noodles), and Khanom Chin Nam Ngiao (Fermented Rice Vermicelli with Spicy Tomato Soup).
- Learn and support community handicraft conservation, especially silverware and woven fabrics.
- Join Tan Kuai Salak tradition (during September-October) and enjoy the colourful local customs.
Best Time to Visit
- All seasons.
- Kad Kuang Mueang Nan Walking Street Market Open Friday-Sunday all year long 5 p.m.-10 p.m.
- Wat Visiting Hours 6 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Winter (October-December) is highly recommended.
The Noble House (Local History Museum) (Map)
9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Nan Riverside Art Gallery (Map)
9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Nan Christian Sueksa School, Rangsri Kasem Building (Map)
Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-3.30 p.m., Weekends and National Holidays 8.30 a.m.-3.30 p.m.
Doi Phu Kha National Park (Map)
7.30 a.m.-6.30 p.m.
Wang Sila Lang (The Grand Canyon of Pua) (Map)