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Discovering the Hidden Gems of Nan, Thailand
A Comprehensive Travel Guide

Discover the charming town of Nan in northern Thailand with our comprehensive travel guide. From historical sites like the Nan National Museum and ancient city walls to stunning natural attractions like Doi Phu Kha National Park, we've got you covered. Plus, find recommendations for delicious Northern Thai cuisine and top-rated accommodations like Baan Nan Nan Library and Guest House. Book your trip to Nan today and experience the beauty and culture of this hidden gem in Thailand


Nan Thailand

Nan is undoubtedly one of the most charming places in Thailand, if not the most captivating one! Its picturesque scenery and rich history give off a fairy-tale-like vibe.

It is often said that Nan represents what Chiang Mai used to look like a couple of decades ago before it became overcrowded with tourists in Chiang Mai. For this reason, I wholeheartedly recommend visiting the historic town of Nan, located in the northern region of Thailand. Its ancient buildings and temples are brimming with fascinating stories and legends that are sure to capture your imagination.

Interestingly, Nan used to be an independent country until the 1930s when it was annexed by Siam (Thailand) following the death of the last Nan King, who had no heir to succeed him. So, if you're looking for a destination rich in history and cultural heritage, Nan should definitely be on your list!

Due to its lower tourism rates compared to other parts of Thailand, Nan has been able to retain its unspoiled charm and allure. This hidden gem is a must-visit for anyone seeking an authentic and tranquil Thai experience.

To fully appreciate the town, I highly encourage you to watch my YouTube video. It will give you an immersive and comprehensive view of the place and guide you through the top attractions you should not miss. So, be sure to check it out and plan your visit to Nan.

One of the big things you should check out in Nan is the temples.​​​​​​​

Wat Phaya Phu is a golden temple that radiates grandeur and luxury, it is extremely extravagant.

As you explore the temple's stunning interior, you will be treated to an impressive display of artwork that tells the captivating story of Nan's rich history. The intricate details and masterful craftsmanship of the artwork are truly breathtaking and speak volumes about the town's cultural heritage.

From depictions of the invasion of Nan to the devastating floods and the subsequent rebuilding of the town, each element of the artwork is beautifully executed, transporting you back in time and immersing you in the town's fascinating past. So, if you're looking for a unique and enriching cultural experience, be sure to add Wat Phaya Phu to your itinerary!

Wat Phaya Phu Golden temple Nan Thailand

Wat Phumin is a renowned temple in Thailand, famous for its captivating painting that exudes a sense of romance and love that is not often seen in temples. This painting is a must-see for all visitors, especially couples.

The painting depicts a man whispering into the ear of a lady standing beside him, and it has become a popular legend that he is uttering the words "Pom Rak Khun," meaning "I love you." However, there are varying interpretations of what the man is saying, with some suggesting that he is reciting a poem or expressing a love for the world.

Regardless of the meaning behind the painting, it is a beautiful and evocative work of art that is sure to leave a lasting impression. Don't forget to snap a photo and pick up a souvenir - my partner and I even have matching shirts featuring this enchanting painting! So, come and experience the love and beauty of Wat Phumin for yourself.

Wat Phumin painting Nan

The White Temple, or Wat Rong Khun, is an absolutely stunning masterpiece that is sure to leave you in awe.

With its pure white exterior, the temple radiates a sense of pure and untainted beauty that is simply mesmerizing. And once you step inside, you'll be treated to a spectacular display of colors that is both enchanting and breathtaking.

The intricate details and intricate designs of the temple's interior are truly remarkable and reflect a deep level of artistic and spiritual significance. So, if you're looking for a place that is as visually stunning as it is spiritually uplifting, be sure to visit the White Temple and witness its ethereal beauty for yourself.

Wat Rong Khun Nan Thailand

One of the things that make Nan so special is its traditional architecture, with many of the buildings in the town center made entirely of wood.

Even modern convenience stores like 7-11 have adapted their design to fit in with the town's aesthetic, eschewing their usual brightly colored facades for more subtle, wooden designs.

This commitment to preserving traditional architecture is what makes Nan so authentically beautiful, and I really hope that the town continues to maintain this character for years to come.


For those interested in the captivating history of Nan, a visit to the national museum is an absolute must.

Located in a striking yellow building, the museum boasts an impressive collection of historic artefacts that are sure to capture your interest. One particularly noteworthy exhibit is the black elephant tusk, which was only allowed to be owned by the King of Nan, much like the Stone of Scone in Scotland or the Crown Jewels of Britain.

So, if you're eager to learn more about the fascinating history of this region, be sure to make a stop at the National Museum in Nan. You won't be disappointed!

Nan national museum Thailand

Another captivating piece of history to explore in Nan is the city's old defensive walls, which still stand today and make for a delightful stroll or jog. These walls once encircled the city, serving as a protective barrier against potential invaders.

Taking a walk along the walls allows you to immerse yourself in the city's rich history while enjoying stunning views of the surrounding scenery. So, if you're looking to combine a bit of exercise with some historical sightseeing, be sure to check out Nan's old city walls.


Exploring the local cuisine is a must-do when visiting Nan. Northern Thai food has its own unique flavour and is simply divine! If you think Thai food is just about Pad Thai and green curry, you are in for a treat. Northern Thai cuisine offers a vast range of mouth-watering dishes, and one of my personal favourites is Khao Soi Curry. It's a delicious blend of turmeric, garlic, pickle, and spices that will tantalize your taste buds. And for those who prefer a milder flavour, just say "Mi Si Prick," and the dish will be served without chilli.

Or as often as it is the case in Thailand, they will ignore you and out chilli in it anyway.

Another dish that is a must-try is Northern Thai sausage. Made with a combination of pork, chiles, ginger, and lemongrass, it's bursting with flavour and will leave you wanting more. Northern Thai cuisine is influenced by neighbouring countries such as Laos and Myanmar, so you can experience a fusion of cultures through the food. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you for trying out the local delicacies in Nan!

In terms of gastronomy and beverages, I strongly suggest visiting Pha Sing at night. There, you'll find a pub restaurant with a laid-back British vibe called Come on Bar, located on Pha Sing Street. It's definitely worth a visit, as the food is fantastic and the hospitality is top-notch. Personally, I absolutely adored my time there!

Where to stay in Nan? Look no further than Baan Baan Nan Nan Library and Guest House! This place stole my heart - it's easily the best accommodation I've ever had. I typically avoid recommending specific lodging since everyone has different preferences, but when I come across a gem like this, I just have to share it.

The guest house is housed in a charming old-style building that includes a café and library on the ground floor, serving delicious coffee and offering a great selection of books. I was struck by the picturesque setting reminiscent of a fairy tale, with stunning views and a tranquil atmosphere. I felt like I was in the film "Aladdin".


If you want a glimpse of what awaits you at Baan Baan Nan Nan Library and Guest House, check out my YouTube video.

Baan Baan Nan Nan Library Guest House Nan Thailand
Baan Baan Nan Nan Library Guest House Nan Thailand
Guest House Nan Thailand
Baan Baan Nan Nan Library Guest House Nan Thailand

Even more to do!


Wat Phumin - This temple is famous for its beautiful murals that depict the daily life of the locals in Nan.

Bo Kluea - A small village located in the mountains of Nan province, famous for its salt wells, which have been in operation for hundreds of years.

Doi Phu Kha National Park - A beautiful national park in Nan province that features lush forests, waterfalls, and scenic views.

Nan Riverside Art Gallery - A gallery showcasing the works of local artists, including paintings, sculptures, and other forms of art.

Ban Nong Bua Cultural Village - A village that offers visitors a glimpse into the traditional way of life of the locals in Nan, with demonstrations of weaving, cooking, and other crafts.


You can get to Nan via bus, plane or car rental.

By Air: The quickest and most convenient way to get to Nan is by air. There are daily flights from Bangkok to Nan's airport, Nan airport is located about 3 km outside of the city centre..

Scroll down to the Asia Public Transport form below to see availability.

By Bus: Nan is also accessible by bus from Bangkok and other major cities in Thailand. Buses depart from Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit) and take approximately 9-10 hours to reach Nan. There are also buses available from Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and other nearby cities.

See the Asian Public Transportation form below to check availability and change the departure of Bangkok, if you're not coming from there of course.

By Car: If you prefer to drive, you can rent a car and drive from Bangkok to Nan. The journey takes about 9-10 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.

There are no trains to Nan.

Once you arrive in Nan, you can get around by renting a motorbike, taking a tuk-tuk, or hiring a car with a driver. Taxis are not widely available in Nan, so it's best to plan your transportation in advance.


Nan Old City: This is the historic centre of Nan, where you can find many ancient temples, city walls, and traditional wooden houses. Staying in this area will give you a feel for the local culture and history.

Pua: This is a small town located about 40 kilometres north of Nan, surrounded by mountains and forests. It's a good area to stay if you want to get away from the city and enjoy nature, Doi Pua National Park is nearby.


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