Most of the people has been talking about the campaign "12-must visit cities in Thailand" by Tourism Authority of Thailand lately. Therefore, these 12 cities have been better known accordingly.
This is how my journey get started. I am going to visit 2 of those 12 cities in the northern part of Thailand, "Nan, and Lampang".
This trip will be in "Green Season", low season in other words. People tend not to travel in rainy season due to the convenience. However, you will find another angle of natural beauty and experience if you travel during this time. You will enjoy the luscious mountain view, greenery rice field, and cheap accommodations.
You can stay tuned for my upcoming travel reviews at https://www.facebook.com/saphipae
I am going to take a flight to get to Nan. I have reserved the ticket at 639 THB and paid directly at a convenient store. Actually, you can get a better deal if you book a promotional ticket.
My flight to Nan is at 10.25 AM.
The beautiful mountain scenery can be seen before landing at Nan Nakhon Airport.
We have arrived safely in Nan and have decided to rent a car for this trip. We are here at Avis Car Rental Service counter to get a car. The car rental fee starts from 399 THB per day.
Moreover, one main reason that we rent a car is that we will travel outside Downtown Nan mostly. Renting a car is also the best choice to travel during rainy season.
For more information and promotion please click
This is our car for this trip that will take us up into the mountain, pass by the rice field, and many more. If you are ready, let's go and explore Nan!
It is already noon and we have settled down well with all car arrangement. We are ready for lunch and we are here at Baan Khao Soi Restaurant which is not far from the airport. Baan Khao Soi is famous for its Khao Soi (Northern Thai Noodle Curry Soup). The restaurant is located on the opposite site of Wat Suan Tarn. To get there, you need to turn left from the airport then turn right at the traffic light. Not long after, you will find the restaurant on your left-hand side.
We are full and feel kind of sleepy. We think it is a good idea to look for some refreshing drinks before going to the hotel.
There are plenty of cafe in Nan. All of them are designed and decorated nicely but differently. Therefore, it is not hard at all to find one of them. Well, after we left our lunch place we have found this nice cafe named MIX.
Since I am not a coffee lover so I have ordered iced green tea, some fruit punch, and one piece of cake. It is very relaxing here. I enjoy it very much while spending sometimes working on my computer.
The drinks are all good and not expensive.
There is even a book corner where you can enjoy reading while waiting for your order.
Or you can choose a private area with trendy designed table set as you prefer.
We haven't booked a hotel so we need to drive around and look for it. We have ended up staying at a clean white boutique hotel called "Nan Lanna Hotel". It is located behind Wat Hua Khuang and it costs 500 THB per night. Well, staying here is pretty easy to get to the main tourist attractions in Downtown Nan. You can get to those places by bicycle. So this is a good choice for those who love to travel around by bike. I don't miss to do that as well.
Most of the hotels in Nan offer bicycle either as complementary or for rent.
We have settled well and are ready to enjoy the slow pace life in Nan by using the bicycle instead of the car.
Let's go and explore Downtown Nan by bike!
The temple right in front of me is Wat Hua Khuang.
It is very nice to go through the city by the bike.
Nan is perfect for a bike-riding lover because the city offers the bike lanes.
This is one of the most popular spots to take photos when in Nan. I wish I were here with my loved one.
From Wat Hua Khuang which is located on the opposite side of the street on the left, we have reached Nan National Museum or also called "Hor Kham". It is near the famous Wat Phumin. The museum with well laid out displays exhibits items relating to the history and arts of Nan province and the various peoples that live there.
In addition, this museum is a house of Nan's sacred object; "Black Elephant Tusk".
Unfortunately, the museum is closed for some restoration. What a pity! So I can only come to see this beautiful tree tunnels.
You are also able to visit Wat Noi, the smallest temple in Thailand here in Nan National Museum. This temple was built according to the wrong number of temples in Nan that had been reported to King Rama V. In other words, this temple was built up in order to have accurate numbers of temples as what had been reported to the King.
Please don't misunderstand that this is a spirit house. ^^
Our next stop is Wat Phumin which is just across the street. This is another reason why car is not a good choice when traveling in the downtown. Most of the main tourist spots are located close to each other. So traveling by bike or by feet is highly recommended.
Wat Phumin is a-must visit place in Nan. The temple is not only the house of its one and only main hall with four-sided archway in Thailand but also the well-known "Poo Marn Yar Marn" or Whispering of Love mural painting.
At the center of the hall is where 4 huge Buddha images in the attitude of subduing Mara situated facing to all 4 archways.
Poo Marn Yar Marn mural painting has influenced greatly on the notion of our generation.
The painting is in life-size.
It is an outstanding paint on the left side wall of the west gate of Wat Phumin.
The mural painting "Whispering of Love" or "Poo Marn Yar Marn".
After having a look closely to the painting, I wish I could do the same thing to my love.
(This photo below is from my secret corner so if you want to know, let me whisper it to you)
One has said “If you are in Nan but don't go to Wat Phra That Chae Haeng, it is like you are not in Nan at all".
We have decided to continue riding the bike to Wat Phra That Chae Haeng.
It is about 2 kilometers from the downtown. After crossing Nan River, you just need to ride along Highway Number 1168.
Wat Phra That Chae Haeng is located on the east of Downtown Nan. The temple is one of the most important sanctums of the town that has been here all along with the town for over 600 years. The pagoda used to be in Lanka style. After it was collapsed, it has been rebuilt in local style architecture. There are some changes done to the pagoda from time to time since it has been restored once in awhile. The changes are done by the local artists according to the tradition of each era.
The day is almost ended so we are biking back to the downtown. Well, there is one famous dessert's place located on the opposite side of Wat Sri Panton named "Kong Wan Pa Nim". We think it is a good idea to go there now. Kong Wan Pa Nim is very famous in Nan and once you are here you shouldn't miss it.
While we are waiting for the famous Bua Loy Kai Waan (Sticky Rice Balls in Sweet Coconut Cream) to be ready at 5 PM, we have come to visit Wat Sri Panton for awhile.
There are variety desserts available including ice cream in case you don't want to wait for Bua Loy Kai Waan.
The desserts here can be divided into 2 types, hot desserts and cold ones. Hot dessert selections are Bua Loy with Young Coconut, Tao Suan - Sweet Mung Bean Porridge with Coconut Cream, and Thai Sweet Job's Tears Pudding with Young Coconut. Cold dessert selections are Shave Ice, Lod Chong (Cendol), Ruam Mit (Iced Dessert), Coconut Milk Ice Cream, and Fresh Egg Yolk Ice Cream.
We end today with some soy milk here. This soy milk's place is located next to 7-Eleven near Wat Phumin in front of OTOP (One Tambon One Product) Distribution Center. It is so good, I recommend.
This place is so good that is why you need to queue up by taking the queue card.
It has been a long day. We finally get back to the hotel.
It is time to get some good rest before tomorrow's trip. We need to wake up at 5.00 AM to go to Doi Samur Dao and Khun Sathan National Park.
Let's see if we will be lucky to be able to see the beautiful sea of mist or unlucky to get the rain instead!
It is 5 o'clock in the morning that we have started our journey to Doi Samur Dao. To get there, we have to drive through Wiang Sa District then go up into the mountain in Na Noi District before turning left to Sri Nan National Park for another 18 kilometers.
If you come in winter, there will be numbers of tourists camping up here. They are here to enjoy the stargazing and beautiful lighting from Downtown Na Noi at night and stunning scenery of the sea of mist in the morning.
This place has been ranked as one of the most popular tourist attractions in Nan.
There is a group of young people coming up here with the motorbikes. I have asked them where did they drive from, I am super surprised when they answer "Nakhon Sawan". Driving a car through Nan is already exhausting but they all have ridden motorbikes from Nakhon Sawan. This is incredible. They are also risky to encounter the rain.
It seems like we are not gonna see the sun today nor through the rest of the day. Well, this is normal in rainy season I guess!!
We have decided to come down to Downtown Na Noi for breakfast instead.
Most of the major restaurants are still not opened because it is too early. So we have ended up at a simple local rice and curry restaurant. However, the taste of the food is not simple. They are all very delicious and not expensive. I have three of them. After we have fulled up our stomach, we are ready to move onto our next destination, Khun Sathan National Park.
From Na Noi District, we take the Highway Number 1216 to Khun Sathan National Park (Doi Mae Chok). The road along the way is pretty steep. Some parts of the road are also rough but it is not that hard to get up there.
To get there:
1. Take Highway Number 101 (Yantrakit Koson Road) from Phrae Province to Nan for about 66 kilometers, turn right at Ban Huay Kat to Highway Number 1216 for another 24 kilometers to The National Park Office.
2. Take Highway Number 1026 from Nan Province (Wiang Sa - Na Noi), turn right at Na Noi District for another 33 kilometers to The National Park Office.
For more information please contact Khun Sathan Homestay call: 0823844672 or 0810248989
There are numbers of viewpoints along the way.
To get to Khun Sathan Homestay, you have to drive pass the entrance of the National Park for a bit before turning left.
Not only the accommodation that is available at Khun Sathan Homestay but also seedless grape farm. Tourists can come and visit the farm as well as buy some of them back home. There will also be strawberry farm in the winter time.
The accommodation here is high up on the hill so you are able to enjoy the view from the top as well as the stunning sunrise view.
The view of cabbage farm from the homestay.
Then we have left for Khun Sathan National Park (Doi Mae Chok) which is closed by.
Khun Sathan National Park (Doi Mae Chok) is 1,424-meter high from the sea level. Therefore, it offers such a spectacular view. It also offers the enormous sea of mist view in rainy season.
It is cold up here all year round.
The view is very enjoyable but we can't help but feel sad with the deforestation in front of us.
The accommodation is also available here which is operated by the National Park. It can be divided into 3 types according to its identity. Tourists can even do camping here.
3 types of accommodation available.
1. Mae Chok 1 that can accommodate up to 10 people
2. Mae Chok 2 that can accommodate up to 4 people
3. Mae Chok 3 that can accommodate up to 6 people
The restaurant is available upon reservation and reserved for in-house guests only.
The reservation can be done through the telephone call or email only.
For more information about the accommodation please visit http://www.khunsathan.com/touring/doimaechok/doimaechok.html
Khun Sathan National Park
P.O. Box 5 Na Noi District, Nan 55150
For reservation please call 087-173-9549 or email [email protected], [email protected]
With the view like this, I wish I could stop the time.
We have spent quite sometimes here. We will have a quick stop for lunch back in Downtown Nan before continuing our trip to Pua District.
Lunch is done. We are ready to go to Pua District. To get there, you need to head north from Downtown Nan through Tha Wang Pha District for 18 kilometers. Then you will approach Pua District. Pua is a small district surrounded by mountains with greenery surroundings and unique traditional culture. So this place is perfect for those who want to enjoy a slow pace way of living.
We will stay here for a night.
We have arrived in Pua District. We do not hesitate to go to Homestay Tanong, our accommodation for tonight directly. Homestay Tanong is a small homestay located right in the middle of the green rice field surrounded by mountains with calm and peaceful atmosphere.
It is not difficult to get here only 2 kilometers from Downtown Pua. Once you see Doi Silver Factory on the right then start to drive slowly and take the right turn at the intersection. You need to continue driving and passing Ban Sarn Kururatch Rangsan School. Once you see the temple then you need to get ready to turn left before taking another left turn at the bridgehead. From there you just need to drive along the rice field and you will be able to spot the homestay easily.
You can also get here by the free shuttle from Pua Bus Station, for more information please visit
This is our room for tonight. Will you believe if I tell you that it is 500 THB per night?
I guess you need to believe me because it is the truth.
There are 3 types of rooms available, Ban Mai, Chaika Home, and Country.
It is late in the afternoon so I guess it is a good time to riding a bike around since the bike is available here.
It is nice to have a chance to see the farmer life through the lens.
If I have proper clothes I would have join them already.
The surroundings around the area.
We are back to the homestay. Well, you can cook yourself a dinner in case that you would like to because the kitchen is available. Or you can call in advance for Northern Style Khantok Dinner.
Unfortunately, we did not call and we have nothing to cook. So we just skip our dinner.
We are not that hungry anyway, the natural beauty has faded away all the hunger!!
The kitchen and dining tables.
The new morning has come and I don't forget to get more photos in front of the homestay before leaving.
Let's continue our journey to Bo Kluea District!
To get to Bo Kluea District, we need to drive back to Pua Downtown before taking the left turn to Bo Kluea.
But let's stop by at "Raan Fae Ban Thai Lue" for some refreshing drinks first!
Raan Fae Ban Thai Lue is beautifully designed in wood located in the middle of the rice field surrounded by mountains.
If you drive pass by do not forget to stop here and have some drinks while enjoying this relaxing atmosphere. I am pretty sure you will love it.
The coffee has woken me up and make me ready to drive to Bo Kluea.
We take Highway Number 1256 (Pua - Bo Kluea) which is about 48 kilometers in total to get to Bo Kluea.
We drive pass Doi Phu Kha National Park and there are plenty of beautiful scenery along the road.
The road is well-developed but it has many curves.
Sky Road (Pua - Bo Kluea) before Doi Phu Kha National Park.
The view along the way.
We have stopped our car once in awhile to take photos of amazing natural beauty.
It is at the 18th kilometer of our trip where Doi Phu Kha National Park is located. It is one of the most famous National Parks in Nan.
Doi Phu Kha National Park is famous for its Champoo Phuka flowers in rainy season, beautiful viewpoint for the sea of mist, and camping facilities.
Finally we have arrived at Bo Kluea District.
Before going to our accommodation for tonight, we have decided to drive further along Highway Number 1081 (Bo Kluea - Chaloem Phra Kiat) for the view and the rice terrace.
There is also Khun Nan National Park along the way. The rice terrace is just right by it on the right-hand side by the road.
We drive slowly and stop wherever we want.
A small village located before Ban Khun Nan.
We have stopped at "Ban Khun Nan" where there is a huge rice terrace.
It is getting late so we will go back to Bo Kluea now. We don't want to drive when it is dark.
You will find a lot of mountains with no forest like this when in Nan. That's sad.
Let's go to our accommodation for tonight!
Tonight we are staying at a boutique hotel by Mang River in Bo Kluea called "Plai Man Thang Ruk".
They offer variety of accommodations such as Private Villa by the river for 2 people, Adventure Villa for 4-5 people, Main Villa for 10 people, and Smurf House with shared bathroom. The price per night starts from 500 THB per villa.
For more information please visit
It is almost dark now but we are still able to go around the resort and take some photos.
This resort is very unique as you can see. If you like the resort with the atmosphere like this don't forget to stay here when you are in Bo Kluea.
Don't forget to call and make a reservation in advance especially during rainy season.
It is beautifully designed. It is a pity that it is quiet since there is no any other guests staying here tonight.
I am sorry that I did not take any photos of the room to show you because we have arrived pretty late.
Anyway, I have got this photo of another room type for you.
We woke up pretty early the next morning. The weather is very nice and refreshing by Mang River which is just behind our room.
The breakfast is nicely set served with some coffee. We enjoy spending slow pace quality time with this relaxing ambiance very much.
We have checked out from the resort in the late morning before going to visit the salt production as a famous local product of Bo Kluea District.
This is the reason why the district is name "Bo Kluea (Salt Wells)".
The salt produced here is the rock salt. They produce it by using the ancient procedure in completely closed salt factory. Huge open-pans are placed on top of huge oven made of clay. Locals have been working on producing this rock salt for many hundred years.
According to geological evidence, this area used to be the ocean over one hundred thousand years ago.
Don't forget to come and see it yourself! You shouldn't miss to visit this place for any reasons when you are in Bo Kluea.
Exploring Nan City's mission is successfully completed. The journey continues. Now it is time to visit another must-visit city in Thailand, "Lampang".
We have decided to go through Santi Suk District because it is pretty beautiful along the way. We turned left to see the rice terrace yesterday so we will turn right this time.
We have come back to Downtown Nan to return the car.
And now we are going to take the bus Nan - Den Chai to Lampang.
I would like to end the first episode of this journey in Nan with this photo.
Lastly, I would like to thanks all of you who have read through this review and for all your kind support.
If you like it, don't forget to vote for me or share it.
You can also stay updated through my page "Saphipae Taetuathai" at https://www.facebook.com/saphipae
Tuesday, September 15, 2015 5:58 PM