Explore Nan Province
4 Days / 3 Nights
Explore Nan Province located in Northeast Thailand. The Northeast is often referred to the nation's heartland by Thai people. Generally poorer than the rest of the country, this is where much of the nation's rice and other staple crops are grown. The region has a specific regional cuisine which is quite distinct from the central Thai food you will find in most western Thai restaurants. The region is near the heart of the old Khmer kingdom and many ruins can be found all around the region.
Our itineraries are suggestions and are fully customisable according to your needs, interests and budget.
Treat these itineraries as inspiration and one of our experts will create your uniquely tailored holiday with your requests in mind so that you can truly experience Thailand with Seven Senses.
Day 1. Bangkok - Nan (-/-/-)
On arrival at Nan Airport meet our driver and guide and transfer to your hotel with the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 2. Nan (B/-/-)
Before breakfast this morning we will head to the highest point of the town, Wat Phrathat Khao Noi. It is believed that relics of the Lord Buddha are enshrined in the main pagoda, making it the heart of the Nan community’s faith. From there, enjoy a spectacular view over the whole valley, covered by a thick morning mist. Return to your hotel for breakfast.
Later, depart for a full day exploring Nan and its surroundings. First stop at Wat Phumin, home to Thailand’s famous ancient wall murals called Pu Man in Tai Lue style. They are considered highly valuable by international archeologists. It depicts legends of Lord Buddha as well as local legends and the local way of life including native attires, weaving and commerce with foreign countries. It is believed that these beautiful wall murals date back from 1867.
Next to Wat Phumin lays Wat Ming Muang – the City Pillar. The outstanding features of the new ubosot include fine carved relieves and sculptures by Chiang Saen artists, depicting Nan people’s everyday life. Don’t miss the 3-meter-high city pillar, decorated with gold leaves and standing in front the main pavilion.
Across the river we reach Wat Phra That Chae Haeng, the town’s most important temple. The 14th century compound is located on a small hill east of Nan, a great viewpoint over the charming town. The temple derives its name from the Phra That Chae Haeng, the gilded chedi that contains a relic of the Buddha. The structures of the temple complex show a mix of several architectural styles, including Lanna and Thai Lue. There you will get the chance to get a blessing from a local monk (upon availability).
In the afternoon we head North to Wat Nong Bua village, built in 1862 by Thai Lue craftsmen who had migrated from southern China. Apart from the Vihara (Buddhist monastery) which is adorned with elaborate carvings, there are also wall murals painted by Thai Lue artists some one hundred years ago. Their artistic value and degree of perfection equal those at Wat Phumin.
Our last stop of the day will be at Nan Riverside Art Gallery which exhibits art works from local artists. It includes various reinterpretation of the famous Whisperer mural that can be seen inside Wat Phumin.
Transfer back to your hotel with the evening at leisure.
Day 3. Nan – Phrae (B/L/-)
After breakfast we will start our journey through the unspoiled countryside of Northern Thailand (total distance for today is about 200kms, or 3.5h drive). We head to the National Park of Lam Nam Nan while the surrounding landscape gradually becomes more and more mountainous and human settlements are only sporadically spotted along the road. We will drive through a breathtaking landscape for about 2h before reaching the top of Doi Samer Dao mountain, a famous star gazing location among locals. The most adventurous will appreciate an overnight up there camping below the stars. The 360 degree view over the region is just amazing!
Next stop will be at Phae Muang Phi Forest Park, located about 15kms out of Phrae Town. The park exhibits many natural wonders, noted for its fantastic soil formations. It is the result of subsidence and erosion of the soil where the harder elements remain and are formed into shapes of exotic-looking mushrooms and cliffs. A perfect place for a picnic!
We then reach Phrae town and visit Wat Chom Sawan, a Burmese-style temple. The teak building features multi-tiered roof adorned with fine frameworks. Next is Wat Luang, an ancient temple as old as the town itself.
We then make an interesting stop at Khum Wongburi Museum, the former residence of the Governor. The builders were Chinese from Canton while the carpenters were locals. The outstanding feature of Khum Wangburi is its elaborate woodcarvings, which can be found on all its gables, eaves, verandahs, doors and windows.
Often bypassed by tourists who tend to head to Chiang Mai directly, Phrae has many wonders to offer making it one of the hidden gems of Northern Thailand. Hundred years ago, Phrae used to dominate the entire region, being a center of the teak logging industry and home to the Mo Hom – an ancestral indigo diving technique. Merchants came from all around the world to trade their valuable goods and there was a great deal of Western influence. This is clearly seen in the colonial-style buildings and gingerbread houses which are scattered around the city.
Transfer to your hotel with the evening at leisure.
Day 4. Phrae – Chiang Mai (B/-/-)
After breakfast, we will make an interesting stop at an authentic “Mo Hom” handmade production center, run by a family for 3 generations. There you will learn how the indigo color is extracted from a local plant and dyed on cotton fabric. You will even get an opportunity to practice with the local experts!
We then continue to the interesting Thai Seri Museum. Built in 2007 by a local, the museum tells the forgotten story of the Free Thai Movement, an underground resistance movement against Japan during WWII.
We then take the road west to our next destination: Lampang (115kms, about 2h drive), a charming little town that features horse drawn carriages, relaxing riverside bars and restaurants, a number of spectacular Buddhist temples, and a friendly, laid-back local population. We will arrive just in time for a well deserved lunch (not included).
In the afternoon, visit the impressive Wat Phra That Lampang Luang as well as Wat Phra Kaeo Don Tao which once housed the sacred Emerald Buddha. While in Lampang enjoy a special visit to the Elephant Conservation Center. The center houses the country's only dedicated hospital and recovery center for elephants. Currently there are two elephant hospitals at the Thai Elephant Conservation Center, both funded by the Foundation "Friends of the Asian Elephant." You'll have a chance to learn about the project and the hospital.
Continue driving to Chiang Mai (100kms, about 1.5h drive). On arrival, check-in at your resort and evening at leisure.
4 DAYS / 3 NIGHTS FROM £ request a quote
based on 2 people travelling together
The price includes:
Transfers and tours with local English-speaking driver guide in private air-conditioned vehicle
All entrance fees as mentioned in the program
Meals as mentioned in the program without drinks (B/L/D) = (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
The price does not include:
Return flights from the UK to Thailand. Request a quote from us.
Anything not specifically mentioned above.
Optional tours, camera fees.
Tips to the guide and driver, porters and waiters.
Personal costs such as drinks, laundry, etc.
Peak season surcharges
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