"Hey you know... Nan has a promotional flight..."
..And this is the first thing I talked with my friends so that I could find one or two people to go traveling together. But...it's quite difficult that the promotion will be out during the holidays and most of them come out during working days. And taking leaves during working days is difficult for many people. But since this promotional price is so tempting for people who love promotional price like me and also I've never been to Nan Airport yet, so I decided to book the flight to "Nan" for a day despite I need to go there on the working days. Well, this promotional price on the working days is ...really available a lot.
This trip... I decide to go only for one day. At first I thought I could go there in the morning and return in the evening but when I looked at the web, I found that.....the flight to Nan is almost at noon and the returning flight is only available in the evening...It seems I have more limited time (only about 6 hours). But since I really want to go......then, I just book it right away. Let's just think that we change the place to Nan for a day!
What I planned initially is to roam around downtown, visit temples and find delicious food. To not waste anymore time,
let's backpacking to Nan (in a high speed...) together for a while..!!
6 Hours is the time I actually spend in Nan due to there's only 2 flights per day so I can only spend around 6 hours here.
600 THB is the budget used in this trip. We actually just spend as what we wanted and didn't put any pressure on it but after the trip, it happened that we each spend about 600 THB.
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This is my second time traveling to Nan. My first time was about 2-3 years ago.
"Nan" is one of the provinces that is great for tourism. It has a cultural beauty and natural abundance. It is such a perfect place to relax during the winter or at the end of the year......I think!
This trip I feel easier as I've been here before and feel used to with it. Traveling around Nan is also easy as each attraction is not so far from one another. We just need a map in our hand .....and everything else is easy!
Like I mentioned earlier, this trip we travel with Air Asia promotional flight. So we got a really cheap ticket for the round trip. Basically, we just need to pay for the airport tax. Let's say for this round trip ticket, we each pay only 150 THB!
P.S. For this review, I traveled in September 2015 which the flight to Nan was only available at 10.25 a.m. and the returning flight at 18.20 p.m. Altogether, we only had 6 hours there.
P.S. 2 Now (March 2016), there's morning flight from Don Mueang to Nan at 07.30 a.m. and the returning flight at 16.45 p.m. so that we have more time with this city for a one day trip.
10.25 AM - "Start the Journey "
I really like going to the airport in the late morning as I feel I have enough sleep. That the flight leaves at 10.25 a.m., we have plenty of time to get ready and need not to hurry too much.
Don Mueang Airport on the working days is also as busy as on the weekends or holidays.
Since we already checked in online, we just need to print the ticket from the bar-code at the self check-in machine and no need to queue in line.
Soon, the rain starts. I start to worry... whether our destination also rains.....
It's time for boarding now and the rain continues.
Before reaching to our destination, we already have to prepare for this kind of weather.
This flight looks full.
It only takes an hour flying from Don Mueang to Nan!
3Sixty THAILAND MAGAZINE for this month (the month I'm traveling)....the cover page is also happened to be Nan story.
Soon, we arrive at Nan Airport.
It's time to get down!
When getting off the plane, we are so happy....
because it's not raining, Yay!
11.30 AM - "Nan"
It takes about one hour flight to reach "Nan Nakhon Airport". The sky is clear with no rain like I was worried earlier. The weather is so great but what also comes along is the heat!! This small airport now has been renovated to look modern. From the map, Nan Airport is also close to downtown area.
"Nan Nakhon Airport" is a small airport that has been renovated to look modern now.
The Taxi-Meter service is available for taking us to different places. The fare depends on the distance.
What interested me more.....is the Song Taew service which should be cheaper.
When walking out of the airport, we try to find cheap Song Taew to go downtown. We follow groups of passengers as we think there must be someone who also would like to go downtown. But this doesn't seem to be the case....Anyhow, it's not a big deal since Song Taew to downtown is available there.
Map of Nan The distance from the Nan Nakhon Airport to downtown is only 2-3 km.
After walking out of the building, we turn left and walk a bit to see the Song Taew stand. It is 50 THB each to go downtown (if more people, the price will be less too but since it's only two of us now). The driver gives us a name card too in which we could call to ask him taking us back to the airport.
I ask Song Taew to take us to Scooter rental shop. This is our first destination for today. We plan to roam around Nan by scooter. In fact, tourists like to cycling for downtown sightseeing as each attraction is quite close to one another. But since the weather during this time is quite hot and the sun is quite strong. I think we can't cycling under this weather and also we have a limited time so renting a scooter seems to be more convenient.
After about 10 minutes ride, the Song Taew takes us to the Oversea Shop which sells and rents out scooters and bicycles.
Filling out the Scooter Rental Contract
The scooter rental price is 250 THB per day and it comes with a helmet (when filled up the patrol, it is 50 additional THB).
Places in Downtown Nan
1 = Oversea Rental Shop
2 = Wat Phumin
3 = Tourist Information Center
4 = Nan National Museum
5 = Wat Phrathat Chang Kham
6 = Wat Sri Panton
7 = Wat Phaya Wat
8 = Wat Phrathat Khao Noi
For traveling around downtown Nan, the first thing to do is going to Nan Municipality Information Tourism Center (3) which is located at the opposite side to Wat Phumin(2). We can go ask for a map that can lead us to other tourist attractions.
Let's stop at the Nan Municipality Information Tourism Center for more information and map.
At this tourism center, there's also a coffee shop and souvenir shop.
We can take a break here. The atmosphere is quite relax and shady.
Love Nan for a Long time! (translation for the sign below).
00.15 PM - "Hueanhom Restaurant"
It's time for lunch. Let's have our first meal here at "Hueanhom" restaurant which is located next to Wat Phumin(2). And the famous menu here is Khao Soi (A Norther Style Egg Noodles in a Curry Soup).
Hueanhom... is an authentic Northern style restaurant. It is very easy to find as it's located near the heart of tourist attractions. This restaurant is adapted from old wooden house into a chill Northern style shop with wooden furniture and original Khan Tok dinning area.
Here is Chicken Khao Soi. It is 40 THB and the taste is great.
Hueanhom... also has other types of menus available. Yet, the famous menu here is Khao Soi and Khanom Chin (rice noodle) Nam Ngeo and other types of fish curry soups like Nam Ya Kati and Nam Ya Pa in which it will be served with a set of fresh vegetables.
Opposite to Hueanhom is a 7-11 convenient store which looks different than other ordinary 7-11 stores.
Nearby the 7-11 is another Khao Soi restaurant called "Khao Soi Ton Num". At first, I was thinking to try one dish at each shop, but this shop is closed for today....so sad!
7-Eleven is opposite to Hueanhom restaurant.
After the energy is charged by Khao Soi, it's time to explore Nan. We start our trip by going to Wat Phrathat Khao Noi (8) first. This, we need to go out of downtown for about 2 km. and along the way, we will also see Wat Phaya Wat (7) where we will stop on the way back. Now, let's go...!!
00.45 PM - "Wat Phrathat Khao Noi "
Soon, we arrive here at " Wat Phrathat Khao Noi".
Wat Phrathat Khao Noi is situated on Khao Noi hill. It is 240 m. above the sea level. It is one of the sacred and old places of Nan. There's 303 Naga staircase for walking up towards the temple.
There's two entrances towards Wat Phrathat Khao Noi. We can either driving up from the back or walking up via this 303 Naga steps from the front.
Of course, I choose to walk up. It's such an easy task, haha.
On the way up is quite chill and shady as there's a lot of trees and the weather is great. The more we walk up, the more difficult we can step up and this also depends on the physical conditions of each person.
In fact, we can slowly walk up and it won't take long before we reach the top.
Let's go pay respect to the Buddha images inside the Viharn first.
We can also see the comprehensive view of Nan from Wat Phrathat Khao Noi.
Let's enjoy the scene to ease our exhaustion!
At the viewpoint spot, it enshrines Phra Phuttha Maha Udom Mongkhon Nanthaburi Si Nan which is a 9-meter Buddha image in the giving blessing posture on a lotus base. The head is made from 27 THB weigh gold. It was cast on the auspicious occasion of His Majesty the King's Cycle Birthday 6th Anniversary on 5th December 1999.
Many people might be familiar with these photos as we probably have seen it from many reviews. And when we can actually get up here, it just feel so good.
Up here, the weather is so fresh and good. Probably this is because we visit here during the working days so it's quite peaceful. Apart from us, there's no other tourists around.
"Phrathat Khao Noi" with a blue clear sky. The Phrathat is aged over 500 years and contains Buddha's hair inside.
The Beautiful White Phrathat (or Chedi)
01.45 PM - "Wat Phaya Wat "
After walking up and down from Wat Phrathat Khao Noi, we now ride a scooter again to Wat Phaya Wat (7) on the way back.
This temple enshrines Chedi Jamadevi or Phrathat Wat Phaya Wat, another ancient and important place of Nan Province. This main Chedi was built by laterite brick during Queen Jamadevi in a 5 layers rectangular stacks. Each layer enshrines standing Buddha images which got the influence by Sukhothai style.
In the main Ubosot (Buddhist Chapel) enshrines "Phrachao Fon Saen Ha" or the Buddha of Rain which Nan people used to bring out for a possession to ask for rain.
Let's walk inside to pay respect to the Buddha images.
Now we are inside the main Ubosot.
Here, there's an engraved pulpit carved by Nan native craftsmen which is very old. It is assumed to be carved in the reign of King Atthawara Panyo, around the first half of the 24th century (A.D.).
In front of the main Ubosot sit Phaya Naga stucco relief.
On the back side of the main Ubosot sit Mom stucco relief (a mythical character which looks similar to a cross between a cat and a lion).
Places in Downtown Nan
1 = Wat Phumin
2 = Tourist Information Center
3 = National Museum of Nan
4 = Wat Phratat Chang Kham
5 = Hueanhom Restaurant
6 = Khao Soi Ton Num Restaurant
7 = Wat Sri Panton
8 = Kongwan Pa Nim
02.45 PM - "Kongwan Pa Nim"
After paying respect at Wat Phaya Wat, we are now back to downtown. Then, we stop to take a rest at a cold and sweet dessert at Kongwan Pa Nim (8). The shop is a 2 story Thai style wooden house which offers both indoor and outdoor seats.
This is a famous shop of Nan Province that whoever comes here must stop by. Here, a variety of dessert menus is available.
The opening hours is 11.00 a.m. - 22.30 p.m. and closes every Wednesdays (open on holidays).
Recommended Menu... a must not miss dish is "Bua Loy Kai Wan" (Rice Balls with Quails Eggs in Coconut Milk). But I missed it as it starts to sell at 6 p.m. and other recommended menus are Black Beans Sticky Rice with Ice Cream, Tao Suan Ice Cream, etc. It all depends on what do you want to mix with what....it's a free style mix!
That it is so hot, let's have this, Salim Ice Cream (45 THB) and Mix Sweet with Ice (30 THB).
03.00 PM - "Wat Sri Panton"
Opposite to Khanom Wan Pa Nim (8) is Wat Sri Panton (7). Just simply by walking across the street, we will reach here already. After enjoying the sweet, let's take a stop at this temple.
"Wat Sri Panton" is another temple in Nan Province that has a very beautiful and majestic Viharn. Its golden yellow can be clearly seen from afar. Today, it is especially outstanding during the strong sun like this. We can clearly see the sunshine reflecting on its golden roof from afar.
Let's go pray to the Buddha images inside the Ubosot. The beauty inside is also compatible to the outside.
At front, there's stucco relief of a giant Seven-Headed Phaya Naga. It is so golden and beautiful. The Phaya Naga stands at the stairs as to watch over the temple. (You can imagine of how huge it is when compared with me who's already 184 c.m. height, so huge!)
Downtown Map of Nan
1 = Wat Phumin
2 = Wat Phrathat Chae Haeng
After that, it's time to scooter out of town again. We go pass Wat Phumin and across about 3-4 km. water in order to visit "Wat Phrathat Chae Haeng".
03.15 PM - "Wat Phrathat Chae Haeng"
“Wat Phrathat Chae Haeng" is a must not miss temple when visiting Nan Province.
Prathat Chae Haeng is considered to be the sacred place for Nan local people and people from neighboring provinces. It has the arts and architecture of Prathat Chedi, Viharn Luang, Sleeping Buddha Viharn and Naga stairs which showcases invaluable arts and architectures that harmoniously demonstrates the beliefs and Buddhism philosophy.
“Phratat Chae Haeng" represents the year of the Rabbit in the Lunar Year and people born in this year should come here to pay respect to this Phrathat for great prosperity in life at least once in their lives.
For the Phratat itself, it is paved by brick to the hill with Naga staircases on both side. The Chedi is built in Lanna style. For the base, it's a square stacking up high with brass sheets and glided over. When reflecting with the sun, it looks so beautiful.
An Atmosphere around Wat Phrathat Chae Haeng
This is indeed another temple that we must visit and pay respect to when visiting Nan Province.
There's also a replica of Shwedagon Pagoda inside the temple where the temple has built for people who were born in the Horse Year of the Lunar Year to pay respect for their great prosperity in life.
For me, this is my second time visiting Wat Phrathat Chae Haeng. Phrathat is extremely beautiful. Especially on the clear blue sky day where the golden Prathat contrasts with the blue sky, it's just incredibly beautiful.
04.00 PM - "Wat Hua Wiang Tai"
At 4 p.m., I come back to downtown Nan and start it again with "Wat Hua Wiang Tai".
Wat Hua Wiang Tai ...is an old temple in the city. It was built by brick and Malila mortar roof and looking so beautiful.
That we are already here, let's go inside to pay respect to the Buddha images.
Map of Nan
1 = Wat Phumin
2 = Tiew Rai Tiem Tan Restaurant
3 = Naem Suni Shop
04.15 PM - "Tiew Rai Tiem Tan"
We start to get hungry again, so we go for delicious food at
Tiew Rai Tiem Tan (2). It is located not so far from Wat Wieng Tai. This noodle shop is another famous restaurant of Nan Province that many people would stop by when they visit Nan. A must not miss one!
Pork soup is the highlight of this shop. Also, a big piece of pork bone with a big chuck of meat is there in the noodle too. This is so delicious. The pork bone is so big that we almost cannot see noodle below... hehe!
While I traveled here, there's a 10% discount for the passengers showing Boarding Pass of Air Asia.So I also get some discount too!
A must not miss menu here is Bami Duk Yum (Tom Yum Noodle Soup with Pork Bone) (50 THB each bowl). The Tom Yum soup is so great, spicy and sour like it supposed to be.
Beverages are also cool and refreshing...
In addition, there's also menu like Pork Ball Noodle Tom Yum (30 THB), Pork Noodle Tom Yum (40 THB) and bigger bowl with additional 10 THB. The shop is clean and have a good service .. Coming to Nan, you must try it out!
04.30 PM - "Naem Suni"
We scooter to this shop for some souvenir. If you were thinking of what to bring home as a souvenir, I highly recommend you to check this "Naem" or preserved pork out at Naew Suni (3). It is a popular thing that many people buy home.
In addition to Naem, they also offer local food like, Khanom Chin Nam Ngeo, Khao Soi and other food.
But the highlight is the Fried Rice with Naem that many people said... it is so delicious that we must try. But I just ate the noodle earlier and cannot eat any more as I'm still feeling very full. For Naem, it is available both in big size and small size for your convenient.
04.40 PM - "Wat Phumin"
And now we come to the highlight of this trip, which is
"Wat Phumin". It is a place that whoever traveling to Nan must visit!
This area is called "Kuang Muang Nan". It is a big yard located at the heart of the city and at the entrance to Wat Phumin. In the past, it was a place for royal ceremonies, public ceremonies and traditional ceremonies as well as places for exchanging goods of local people. Nowadays, it is a place to hold activities organized by the province.
Wat Phumin has a different construction than other temples, that is, both Buddhist Chapel and Viharn is built in the same building. Four directions of wooden doors are beautifully craved by local Nan craftsmen.
The beauty and the uniqueness of Wat Phumin is where both Ubosot (Buddhist Chapel) and Viharn is in the same building in Chaturamuk style.
At the center of the Ubosot enshrines a cluster of four Buddha images in Marnvichai gesture sitting back to back to one another, each facing one of the entrances. It is so beautiful.
Inside, there's also "junior tour guides" who would give out information and history of this temple to the tourists. They would tell the history and meaning of the mural paintings. It is very enjoyable and informative....
The mural paintings at Wat Phumin is so beautiful and made this place a must visit destination. The murals depict scenes from the jataka tales (the past lives of the Buddha) along with numerous scenes of daily life in Lanna era. There's several interesting painting but the most notable one is Pu Man Ya Man....
Pu Man Ya Man is the word calling a Thai Lue male and female in the ancient time....whom are whispering. The man is having ink tattoo while the woman is fully dressed in Thai Lue costume. This mural painting is very delicate and recognized as the great painting of Wat Phumin or as we familiar in the name of "Krasib Rak Banlueloak" or whispering love through the world. It also has become the symbol of Nan appearing in several things like t-shirt, postcards and several items of souvenir.
Inside the Viharn depicts numerous scenes of daily life in Lanna era that is worth for studying and preserving.
“Monalisa of Nan" is a mural painting of a beautiful Nan woman in the past. She is pulling her hair up in the bun with beautiful flower. She wears golden sheet as earrings. She is topless with only a scarf releasing its end to the back.
"Ying Sung Suk" (a noble woman) and "Chai Sung Suk" (a noble man) is located on the the two opposite door. "Ying Sung Suk" has a bun hair and is topless with her scarf releasing the end backwards. This is the ordinary dress while staying at home. She is sitting on the chair with one hand putting on the chair and the other holding a cigarette.
For "Chai Sung Suk" mural painting is a young man wearing a long sleeve with a cloth over his shoulder. He tucks in a knife at his waist and a cigarette at his ear. His leg is shown with tattoos which is a Lanna popular style. This tattoo represents the manhood as they need to endure the pain. It is believed that if a guy has no tattoo, no girl would marry him because he is a man without endurance.
This painting showcases how a young couple were flirting in the ancient time. This is when a young man and a woman meeting in the evening while a woman is spinning cotton.
This mural clearly depicts way of life and how Nan people dressed in the past.
05.10 PM - "Wat Chang Kham"
On the opposite to "Wat Phumin" is "Wat Chang Kham". Let's continue to pay respect to Buddha images at this temple. In front of the Ubosot stands a couple of Lion, one in each side. There's three entrances to the temple. The middle door is the main entrance with smaller doors on the left and the right.
Inside the temple enshrines Chedi Chang Kham which is a Sukhothai style arts. The Chedi is supported by half elephants statue all around as a base.
Today, the entire Phrathat Chedi Chang Kham has been renovated and covered by brass sheet. It is so beautiful.
Inside the Ubosot is spacious with large round concrete poles, looking very beautiful.
05.20 PM - " Nan National Museum "
After paying respect to the Buddha images, now I will go to our last destination of this trip at “Nan National Museum". Just walking across the street, we will reach here as it's located on the opposite of Wat Chang Kham.
After entering the temple, we will see the Tunnel of Plumeria which is considered a signature here. This tunnel of Plumeria (Leelawadee flowers) are spreading its branches to one another and making a beautiful tunnel. This is indeed a corner that worth for photography.
It is indeed another must stop spot for people traveling to Nan. We must stop here for photography time!
Since while I travel here, “Nan National Museum" is temporarily undergoing the renovation so I didn't get to visit inside the building.
Besides, my time is quite limited. So I just come and enjoy photography here at the Tunnel of Plumeria ...I think it's quite beautiful!
05.40 PM - "Going Back to Nan Airport"
It's about time to say farewell with Nan Province. 6 hours.......goes so fast. I then called the Song Taew to pick us up at the scooter rental shop. I was thinking.....to return my scooter and take the Song Taew to the airport right away.
Soon, the Song Taew comes pick us up to the airport (in the same price of 50 THB). I already did the online check in, so I can go to the gate and get ready to fly home once I reach the airport.
Get ready to fly back to Bangkok...
... Farewell, Nan Province ...
Expenses Summary (Per Each Person)
A round trip flight ticket = 150 THB
A round trip airport pick up and drop off by a Song Taew = 100 THB
A scooter rental (+patrol) 300/2 = 150 THB
“Hueanhom" restaurant food = 60 THB
“Khanom Wan Pa Nim" desserts = 45 THB
“Tiew Rai Tiem Tan" noodle = 70 THB
Drinking water in a convenient store = 20 THB
Overall expenses = 595 THB
(For making a merit by donating money depends on each person's wills.)
Finally... I would like to end our short trip to Nan Province (6 hours) here. I might not be able to cover everything due to limited time, but is' such a fun trip. I get to travel on the working day with fewer people and see beautiful temples and beautiful arts as well as get to feel the charm of Nan that I definitely will return again.....I hope this information will be beneficial for those who are planing to Nan.....Thank you very much ^^
.... See you again soon^^ ....
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