Travel like a Local in Nan on This 3-Day Journey

Heading 2: Exploring the Natural Attractions in Northern Thailand

The northern part of Thailand is known for its stunning natural attractions and breathtaking landscapes. It is a region that offers a unique travel experience, with its “slow life” philosophy and distinct character. Unlike the bustling cities in other parts of the country, the north provides a tranquil and peaceful environment for travelers to unwind and connect with nature.

One of the reasons why the northern part of Thailand, including Nan province, is a popular destination is its abundance of natural beauty. The region is filled with lush forests, majestic mountains, and picturesque valleys. Travelers can explore these natural wonders and take in the fresh air that fills the atmosphere. The cool and pleasant climate in the north adds to the overall experience, making it even more enjoyable to explore the outdoors.

Day 1: Exploring Nan’s Culinary Delights

On the first day of our 3-day journey in Nan, we start early in the morning by taking a flight from Bangkok to Nan. Our plan for the day is to venture outside of Nan’s city center and slowly make our way back, stopping at various local eateries and shops along the way.

Before leaving the town, we decide to satisfy our appetite with a local hot dish. We visit a restaurant called Wunda, which has been serving Thai curries and sticky white rice noodles with a local curry for over 40 years. This restaurant is beloved by both locals and tourists for its delicious dishes that showcase the original flavors of the northern region. With its reasonable prices and authentic taste, Wunda has become a staple in Nan’s culinary scene.

After a satisfying meal, we continue our journey to a hidden gem: a peaceful green field of grass that is off the beaten path. To reach this hidden spot, we drive along the “Floating Road,” which is known for its stunning views and curves that follow the hills. The road gives the illusion of floating along the horizon of the sky, providing a unique and mesmerizing experience.

After a two-hour drive, we finally arrive at Baan Sapan, a small village surrounded by beautiful landscapes. The green fields of Baan Sapan are not only visually stunning but also offer a serene atmosphere. The fields are dotted with small rivers and hills, making the scenery even more captivating. Whether it’s the vibrant green of the rainy season or the golden hues of the harvest season, the area is always alluring to the eyes.

To satisfy our craving for coffee, we make a stop at Lam Duan Pah Toh’s Ban Thai Lue café. This café is situated in the middle of a field and offers not only a delicious cup of coffee but also traditional hand-woven cloth unique to Nan province. While waiting for our friends to choose the right fabric, we relax on charming bamboo bridges that overlook the vast fields and green hills. The café provides the perfect ambiance to enjoy our coffee and soak in the beauty of the surrounding nature.

As the day comes to an end, we check-in at Pua De View Boutique Resort, a hotel located in Pua with a picturesque view of the mountains. The resort provides a tranquil and serene atmosphere, allowing us to unwind and rejuvenate after a long day of exploration. The sunset view from the resort is simply breathtaking, with the sky turning shades of orange and purple as the sun sets behind the mountains. The clean and comfortable rooms, along with the friendly staff, make our stay at the resort truly enjoyable.

Day 2: Immersing in Nan’s Culture and Art

Waking up to the fresh air and scenic views, we feel energized and ready for another day of exploration in Nan. Our plan for the day is to immerse ourselves in Nan’s rich culture and art scene.

Our first stop is Baan Hua Nam Mushroom Farm, a creative restaurant located amidst nature and fields. The restaurant offers a variety of delicious dishes made with healthy ingredients and without the use of MSG. As we indulge in the food, we also fill our lungs with the fresh air that surrounds us. One of the standout dishes at this restaurant is the legendary mushroom pizza, which combines aromatic melted cheese with fresh mushrooms for a satisfying and flavorful experience.

Luckily, our visit to Nan coincides with the Traditional Long Boat Racing event in Ampur Tah Wang Pah. This event showcases the unique long boats of Nan, which are carved out of an entire Thingan tree and shaped like a naga, a mythical serpent creature. The long boats hold great significance for the local people, as they believe that nagas control the rain, essential for a successful crop-growing season. The long boat competition involves various traditions, including offering sacrifices to the gods and wrist-binding ceremonies, adding to the cultural richness of the event.

After being captivated by the long boat races, we seek a more peaceful setting at Rim Nan Art Gallery. This art gallery is a place for art lovers to rest and appreciate the beauty of art. The gallery is surrounded by nature and features rotating exhibitions that showcase fine art. The permanent exhibition, Huan Nahn Bua Pun, displays artwork from local monasteries. The tranquil surroundings and the presence of a café make it the perfect place to relax and appreciate art in a serene environment.

To further immerse ourselves in Nan’s culture, we visit Wat Phra Barom That Chae Haeng, a temple that holds Buddha relics. This temple is not only a sacred place for the local people but also a remarkable example of northern architecture. The golden chedi, or stupa, is enormous in size and features intricate carvings of nagas, a symbol unique to Nan province. The local belief is that paying respects at this temple brings happiness, success, and good health. The serene atmosphere and stunning architecture make it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Nan.

As the day progresses, our stomachs start to growl, and we decide to indulge in Nan’s local cuisine once again. Huan Pu Ka Restaurant, a classic wooden restaurant with Lanna vibes, is our first stop. The restaurant offers a wide range of dishes that highlight the local spices and herbs, such as fried pork ribs with mullilam, a favorite herb in Nan province. The flavors are bold and authentic, leaving us craving for more. The cozy ambiance of the restaurant, coupled with the friendly service, adds to the overall dining experience.

After satisfying our taste buds, we head to Kuang Muang Nan Walking Street, a vibrant market where we can indulge in local handicrafts and tasty street food. The market offers a wide variety of products, from handmade crafts to traditional performances, providing a glimpse into Nan’s rich cultural heritage. The lively atmosphere and the opportunity to interact with local vendors make it a lively and enjoyable experience.

To end the day on a sweet note, we visit Kanom Wan Pah Nim, a popular dessert shop located near the airport. This dessert shop is a must-visit for anyone visiting Nan, as it offers a variety of mouthwatering sweets. Pah Nim, the owner, has been selling her desserts for several decades, and her black sticky rice and tao suan are the highlights. The combination of hot, sticky rice with coconut milk ice cream creates a delightful contrast of flavors. The shop’s commitment to using high-quality ingredients and traditional recipes has made it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

Day 3: Shopping for Souvenirs and Departure

On the final day of our journey, we begin with a visit to Pink Phu Kah Silverware Centre, a renowned establishment known for its high-quality craftsmanship. This center specializes in silverware and uses a higher percentage of raw silver than international standards, ensuring the exceptional quality of their products. The designs are both contemporary and classic, making them perfect souvenirs for loved ones back home. The center’s dedication to preserving traditional craftsmanship and its commitment to quality make it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Nan’s cultural heritage.

To satisfy our appetites one last time, we head to Huan Hom Restaurant, a traditional Lanna-style restaurant located in the heart of Nan. The restaurant offers a variety of dishes that showcase the unique flavors of northern Thailand. From nam ngiew rice noodles to stir-fried pork larb, each dish is packed with a mix of spices and fresh herbs that tantalize the taste buds. The traditional setting of the restaurant, with its regular tables and khantok tables, adds to the overall dining experience.

As we conclude our 3-day journey in Nan, we reflect on the charm and beauty of this province. Nan’s natural attractions, rich culture, and delectable cuisine have left a lasting impression on us. The slow life philosophy that pervades the region allows travelers to appreciate the small moments and experience a sense of tranquility that is often missing in our daily lives. The warmth and hospitality of the local people have made our stay in Nan truly memorable.

Nan is indeed a hidden gem in northern Thailand, offering a unique and authentic travel experience. Whether it’s exploring the breathtaking landscapes, indulging in delicious local cuisine, or immersing in the rich cultural heritage, Nan has something to offer for every traveler. We highly recommend visiting this province and experiencing the magic of Nan for yourself.

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