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All you need to know to visit Nan

Northern Thailand
668 km from Bangkok
Province of Nan
Thai prononciation : Naane


Recomm. stay
2 jours minimum


Practical guide to go and visit Nan

Nan is a city that we hear little talk yet its history goes back centuries and is fascinating even if it would be a bit long to explain here. Nan has very recently joined Siam (1931) and has long been an independent kingdom. This story is partly evident in the murals of temples, the most famous and complete being at Wat Phumin.

The temples are also cultural and tourist richness of Nan with Lanna and Thai Lue influences. Legend has it that the inhabitants of Nan born naga egg, so we found a lot. Nan is also famous for its boat races, a tradition that dates back more than six centuries. They are held in the summer at the Buddhist retreat (dates vary according to the lunar calendar). If the local tourism is growing increasingly in Nan, few foreigners still come here. Yet culturally and historically, this is an interesting step. Not necessarily for a first trip to Thailand but for who already knows the attractions of Thailand and who loves the history of the area, Nan is an interesting destination.

Accommodations in Nan

There are more and more guesthouses and hotels in Nan. All guesthouses are not run by people who can speak English but you can manage to get a room. Prices are very reasonable and do not vary a lot vary from one accommodation to another. The value is a little more disparate. There are not a lot of luxury hotels in Nan. Guesthouses are often in family traditional wooden houses and there a few small hotels. If you can, the best location is not too far from Wat Phumin and its neighbors. There, you will be in a central position and everything will be just a short walk away.

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My recommandations

People often ask me what accommodations I recommend in Thailand, here are my recommandations in Nan.

Hotel in Nan

Hotel in Nan

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Practical information about Nan

There is a tourist information center in Nan. It is located on the sidewalk opposite to Wat Phumin. They don't see many foreign tourists and seem to only have one person who speaks English well enough to inquire in detail but you still can get a map of the city.

Nan is very easy to visit by bike. There are bike lanes. Most guesthouses in Nan rent bicycles (50-80 baht per day). Otherwise, the café between the gas station and Wat Hua Kuang also rent bicycles. If Nan can easily be visited by walking, to see the two outer temples including Nan standing Buddha at Prathat Khao Noi, bike or car is mandatory because taxis or tuk-tuk are quite rare in the city.
If you can, try to come to Nan a for the week end. Every Saturday and Sunday evening a small very friendly night market is held in the street along Wat Phumin. Otherwise, every night, street stalls are installed near Sukkasem Hotel on Phakong Road between Wat Suan Tan and the traffic light.

Please note that if you plan to go to Nan for New Year's Eve, book your accommadation weeks in advance because it is a popular destination for Thais on this occasion. Room prices are also significantly rising at this time.

How to go to Nan ?

To come to Nan, you have the choice between the bus and the plane. There is no train station in Nan. From Bangkok, Nok Air and Air Asia are both serving the city by plane. By bus from Bangkok, it takes approximmatly 10 hours. From Chiang Mai, 6 hoours, 5 hours from Chiang Rai and 2 hours from Phrae. Buses to Nan are not very numerous. Local tourists come by car.

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How to get around in Nan ?

It is easy to get around by feet or bicycle in Nan. The city has bike lanes and even created a small bicycle tour in the city to visit the most interesting monuments. Tuk-tuks circulating in Nan are not numerous. A private taxi service connect Nan airport to the city for 100THB.

Festivals in Nan ?

Here is a list of the main festivals taking place every year in Nan. I mention their dates as soon as they are official on Thai Festivals page.
nan boat-racing festival

Nan Boat-Racing Festival

This festival generally takes place in the month of September

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Other places to see in Nan

Wat Phra That Chang Kham Worawiharn Nan
Wat Phra That Chang Kham Worawiharn
Temple located just before Wat Phumin, it may be interesting to pay it a visit. It is one of the oldest temples in Nan. It houses the largest Buddhist manuscripts library in Thailand.
Nan National Museum  Nan
Nan National Museum
Housed in a former palace, the museum will especially interest those who love history and archeology. It helps to know the rich history of the region.
Wat Suan Tan Nan
Wat Suan Tan
This temple is one of the oldest in the city. It houses qhat is probably the most beautiful Buddha in Nan, a 4 meters high bronze statue. Behind the main building, there is also an intreresting chedi.
Wat Phrathat Chae Hang Nan
Wat Phrathat Chae Hang
Located 4 km outside the city, it is the most sacred temple in Nan provincebecause of its golden chedi built in the 14th century.
Ban Bo Suak Community Nan
Ban Bo Suak Community
Located 10 kilometers from Nan city, this small village is known for its ancient pottery kilns. You can see them, visit a small museum and see a potter working but the visit may be a little frustrating because no one speaks English there. So add it to a trip to other places but do not come here just for that.

Weather & climate in Nan

Nan province has a tropical savanna climate. The winters (November to March) are quite dry and very hot. Temperatures rise until April which is the hottest month of the year. The monsoon season extends from late April to October, with heavy showers and cooler temperatures during the day, even if the nights remain warm.

The best time of year to come to Nan is from November to the end of March. August is the rainiest month so maybe avoid this period but during the rest of the monsoon season if the rainfall will often be torrential, they are also brief in general, allowing you to enjoy your stay the rest of the time.

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When to go to Nan ?

quand partir à Nan

How to ask in Thai to go to Nan ?

I want to go to Nan / Yak paï ti Naane.
Where is Nan ? / Naane you ti naï ?
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