There are a ton of things to do in Nan, all spread out across the province, and to see them all, you will need a car or motorbike.
You can reach Nan from Chiang Mai in about 5 hour drive, or you can fly directly to Nan from Bangkok. Bring different layers of clothes with you it can be cold during winter in the Mountains.
Nan centuries used to be an independent kingdom called Nanthaburi and it was left isolated for most of its existence until it was incorporated into the surrounding kingdoms (Lanna and the Burmese).
After being deserted for many years during the Burmese reign, it gained sovereignty in the 18th Century and became a semi-autonomous kingdom to Siam (Thailand). It was not until 1931 that Nan became fully incorporated into Thailand, recovering its rich culture, and diverse traditions, and reviving its economy.
Nan and its history are somewhat a metaphor for what is currently happening right now in Nan as it became more and more popular among travelers who are looking to go beyond Chiang Mai and explore the deeper north of Thailand.
With its rich history, Nan still preserves many beautiful remnants of its ancient past, from the distinct Lanna/Burmese-style temples to the Thai Lue traditions that originated from China, not to mention all the undiscovered natural wonders waiting for you to explore.
Nan is a province worth visiting on its own with a slew of amazing things to do. With this guide, you will discover all the cool things you can do in Nan and all the information you need to plan a great trip to Nan.
Accommodations in the middle of the rice fields, the slowest life, near the city of Nan. There is the beauty of nature, mountains, morning mist, and green trees. There are many types of houses to choose from, with 2 people. or family The staff are very friendly. We choose "Ambsila", a beautiful room, a chic design, comfortable, the bed was very good, and sleep well. There is a bathtub made of whole stones looking out over the rice paddies.
In the cafe section, there are cakes, teas, coffees, and various menus, suitable for people who like to take pictures of the beautiful setting. There are many angles to choose from. Anywhere is beautiful. Woke up in the morning with beautiful fog, soft sunlight, and cool air, very satisfying.
In the evening, the sunset is beautiful and eye-catching. and there is a new point, bbq in the evening It is "Baan Na glamping" in a very cozy setting. The resort is just 10 minutes from Nan town to see the way of life in Nan.
Visit the many temples along the way or the night market near the temples.
The city center is not that big and all highlights are near the white temple so just walk around you will not get lost here.
Arpo de Marng, Bo Kluea District, Nan ( Not go there )
The village next to the river we came to in December, was very cold. Secretly the resort was disappointed, not worth the price, the blanket is very thin and the rooms were dirty and stinking at pis. They sell the rooms with breakfast and dinner. The breakfast was a cold egg and rice soup, the dinner was bbq which they push you to buy more because it is not enough. It's a scam and not worth the price. The worst I saw in Thailand, so do not go there better look for a place in Sapan valley there are many good homestays.
In the village of Bo Kluea, there is an ancient salt well to visit. After a short drive, you will arrive at the beautiful village of Sapan this is a better option to stay there are many homestays and the surroundings are pretty nice looking over the valley with rice paddies.
To make you a big picture of Sapan Village, I describe the place as a small village surrounded by mountains. You can take a leisurely walk while enjoying the natural landscape of mountains, and rice paddies and experience the way of village life. The best time to visit Baan Sapan is the rainy season which is during the green rice fields in August – October. For those who want to see the fog scenery, it’d be better if you plan a visit in Winter. But I think the green paddy fields are more aesthetic.
A must-see viewpoint of Baan Sapan, I’d recommend you to go up to ‘Wat Sapan’ (Sapan Temple) which is another spot you can take a walk and see a panoramic view of Sapan Village and its beautiful rice fields.
There is a beautiful cafe on the hill with a panoramic view over the Sapan valley. I can tell you that you shouldn't miss it. The view is really good.
There are many angles to choose from to take photos. There is also a temple next to the cafe. If you go in the afternoon, it will be very crowded. Driving up and down is quite difficult because the way is very small. Go early in the morning, the fog is pretty thick layering over the valley.
Another great viewpoint from Apo De Mang to "Doi Phu Kha" or "1715" drive about half an hour, I can tell you that it's very brutal, and curves a lot, but when you arrive, it's beautiful and impressive. Go before the sun rises or in the afternoon to take beautiful photos. In the morning, the sun is too strong.
Road no.3 on the Loi Fah Santisuk – Bo Kluea Road is another point that Thai tourists like to take a picture of. With the zigzag road up to the mountain right before your eyes, I promise it looks stunning. And if you decide to stop and snap a photo shot, please be careful with the car. Because cars on this road tend to drive fast since it’s a way up and down the hill, take good care of yourself.
Before we checked in at Srinaman we stop to eat noodles at "Doi Kwang", it's not expensive and very delicious. Let me tell you, you have to visit the good atmosphere and there is a coffee shop as well with great views.
Ban Tai Lue Coffee is considered a popular café that draws tourists to stop by when visiting Pua District. The coffee shop has a unique feature that is located in the middle of a rice field and offers pleasant scenery. There’s also the bamboo bridge you can walk further to see more views. Not just only that, but another top-hit photo spot is the long walkway decorated with colorful woven fabrics which of course, you can get a good image from that point.
Srinaman is a great place to stay for 2 nights, everything will be taken care of, you can have breakfast in-room or in the restaurant, there is afternoon tea and in the evening dinner, all included in the price.
For Baan Kew Muang – Srinaman, two blockbusting accommodations for guests who want to spend recreational time; Kew Muang Mountain High Camp and Srinaman, both of these are owned by the same person. Aside from the two most famous housing, also incorporated the marvelous restaurant, Nan Native Kew Muang, created by Chef First, the winner of Master Chef Thailand Season 2. These distinctions make Santisuk District sound extraordinary, we really loved the slow living here looking out over the rice paddies when awake in the morning during sunrise.
Baan Kew Muang launches a new top-chef restaurant, ‘Nan Native Kew Muang’, that I highly recommend you try out. What makes the café and restaurant here a bomb? I have to say, Chef First, Thanaphat, the champion of Master Chef Thailand Season 2, invented this restaurant’s menu. If you’re a big fan or want to taste the grand master chef's food, don’t hesitate to come!
And the prices are really good to eat in a restaurant whit great food and a great view. The menu is small but good enough for a visit, and with a small menu, you know everything is fresh.
We stay in room "Srinaman 3" in the afternoon. There is a tea set to be served in the room. At dusk, eat Shabu in the middle of the rice field with an outdoor cinema movie in the middle of the plot. The best romantic atmosphere. Late at night, the weather is getting cold the staff walks to distribute warm blankets, very impressed. Go back to the room and take a warm bath and look at the stars at night. The staff provided the most romantic time.
On the first day, we choose to eat on the second floor of the Misty Restaurant. In thin, cold weather, eating hot food is fine. On the second day, we ate outside on the balcony of our room. get another feeling, the light is very beautiful. Every morning, we wake up to find a good atmosphere every day with good coffee. Chilling. You have to experience it yourselves to understand.
In the late afternoon, we drive up to "Mon Kew Muang", and stop for coffee, there are many photo angles. The surrounding mountains are beautiful.
Not far away, we went to eat at "Nan Native Kew Muang"
Beautiful view, delicious food, not as expensive as you think for a chef restaurant.
We continue our road trip, we travel from "Nan" to "Phu Langka". The way up the mountain has many curves and beautiful views along the way. If people are not used to it, I recommend you to take "car sickness" pills. After driving for about 2 hours, we arrived at "Magic mountain Cafe", the atmosphere, any time, is beautiful, it is impressive.
The shop is open from 6:20 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. People who enter the shop must buy one item per person. Because the shop is quite small before sitting and reading the sign too because there are some zones arranged for taking photos only Don't forget to enjoy the atmosphere in front of you too. The mist in the morning is very beautiful, and the soft sunlight reflects in, very beautifully.
The best time to visit Nan is from November to January when the weather is cold allowing you to enjoy the outdoors more with cooler temperatures and a beautiful blue sky. But also the rainy season will be good, the rice paddies are green and the resort prices are cheaper.
Important: Use Low Gear in the mountains when you go down, otherwise your breaks will burn and not work anymore, if something like that happens use a hand brake and try to stop somewhere to let the breaks cool of, they will work after they cool down if there is no damage.
Here are some resources to help you get your trip going:
Travel Essentials what's in my bag: To help you get started on packing, here are my essential travel and photography gear
Flights: WayAway to start looking for cheap flights and great deals from your home country.
Car Rental: DiscoverCars.com is a great and reliable platform to find rental cars all over the world.
Internet: Airalo is the best way to get a sim card and has reliable internet access for your trip. All you need is an Esim-compatible smartphone, install it on your phone prior to your trip, and you are all set.
Tickets & Deals: Tiqets is always my go-to website when I want to find cheaper deals for entrance tickets to tourist attractions
Klook to find the best deals for trips in Asia, somehow they are 30% cheaper than when you buy them at a local agency
Train, buses, and ferries 12Go to find your travel route for local buses, and ferries, we use them all the time as you can easily see the reviews, and the vouchers are everywhere accepted. tickets are sold for more than 5,000 destinations in 100+ countries worldwide.