Sawadee Krab, hello guys!

Today we are going to take you guys traveling to Phrae and Nan for 3 days and 2 nights in a very detailed journey.

Phrae-Nan are small attractive slow life cities which still welcome less tourists and Chinese tourists yet know about these places. Still, lots of beautiful places to travel to as well as old sacred temples. It takes only an hour to go between these two provinces. It's a perfect destination for two backpackers, let's go together!

Where to?

I divided the destinations into 5 groups as below:

1) Downtown Nan
2) Na Noi District, Nan Province
3) Downtown Phrae
4) Cho Hae Sub-District, Phrae Province
5) Den Chai District, Phrae Province

For more details, you can look at each photo and you can travel to these places as categorized above.

How to get there?

Private car: It's fairly easy to drive there. From Bangkok, we just need to follow the Asia Road and there's probably a bit hill road at Uttaradit Province. Anyhow, only a half day drive and we will already reach Phrae, easy.

Flight: Both Phrae and Nan has airport and it takes only an hour. Nan has more frequent flight while Phrae only has 2 flight per day operating by Nok Air. I recommend you to get down at Nan airport and rent the car as it could be more convenient.

Bus: There're plenty of buses leaving from Mo Chit Bus terminal which takes about 8 hours to reach or simply a one night bus ride.

Where to stay?

If you are staying in downtown Nan, I recommend "Nan Boutique Hotel". It's beautiful, clean, and very nice. The bicycle rental service is provided for us to cycle around.

If you wish to see the stars or the sunrise at Doi Samer Dao, you could tent up there. But if you want more comfortable life, I recommend "Huean Wad Kien" which is located at Na Noi District, along the way up to the Doi Samer Dao. You could sleep here and go up to see the sunrise at the mountain in the morning.

If staying in downtown Phrae and you'd like some luxury, I recommend "Huean Nana Hotel" and for the economic price, I recommend "the Indigo House".

Ok now, let's travel to Phrae and Nan together with us!

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Wat Phumin, Nan Province

Location: Downtown Nan

'Wat Phumin' is the temple of Nan. It's the same way as Bangkok has Wat Phra Kaew as the center, Nan also has Wat Phumin as their center.

Highlight of this temple is that it has the minimal and symmetry arhcitecture. The usual temple would have the Ubosot, Viharn, Chedi, etc. But Wat Phumin only has Ubosot, it's beautiful in minimal style, I just love it.

Another beauty of Wat Phumin lies at its symmetry. The Ubosot has 4 gates and 4 Buddha images inside which are facing 4 different directions, it's just so amazingly beautiful and I've never seen anything like this before.

I've heard that when paying the homage to the Buddha image inside, we need to find the one with the most smiley face and start from that Buddha image. Please make a careful observation, haha.
Also, there's beautiful mural with the unique mural of "Krasib Rak Banlue Lok" of Pu Man Ya Man which is very famous. You can walk around to find it.

The story of Krasib Rak Banlue Lok is my most impressive story of this trip. It is the work of Nan artist called "nan Buapan". It now has become the symbol of Nan Province. People take this painting and make lots of souvenir.

What is cuter is the continuing story of this painting with the question of "so, what are Pu Man and Ya Man whispering?"

Ajarn Somjate Wimolkasem, the Nan artist has composed beautiful poem in Northern language and here is the word that Pu Man whispers to Ya Man:

"Gum huk nong gu pee juk aow wai nai nam gor gua now,

Juk aow wai poen arkat klang hao, Gor gua mok mei son dao long ma khalum,

Juk aow pai sai nai wang kuang kum, Gor gua jao pa sai laew lu ao pai,

Gor lei aow wai nai oak nai jai tua jai pee nee, Juk hue man wai ahi ahee,

Yam pee non saduk tuen wewa....."

The meaning is " my love for you, young woman, if I were to keep it inside the water, I'm afraid that it would be cold. If I were to keep it with the sky, I would be afraid that the cloud would cover all of my love. If I were to place it at the palace or the ruler's house, when the ruler found it, he would take my love away. So I would keep it in my heart, letting it always cries out for you both in my sleeping and awaking time". It is written and translated by Ajarn Somjate Wimolkasem.

It's such a cute love story and I can't help but smiling when learning about this story. I think it'd be a good idea to whisper "ahi ahi" to a Nan girl when you are asking for her love.

Wat Phumin is a must not miss tourist destination located in downtown Nan. Even if you don't like to travel to temple, but you must visit here!


Wat Phrathat Chang Kham Woraviharn, Nan Province

Location: Downtown Nan

This temple is located opposite to Wat Phumin, we could go across to pay respect while waiting for the tram.


Wat Sri Panton, Nan Province

Location: Downtown Nan

'Wat Sri Panton' is one of the old temples in Nan. It's a golden red temple and very beautiful.


Wat Phra That Chae Haeng, Nan Province

Location: Downtown Nan

'Wat Phra That Chae Haeng' is another must not miss tourist destination when visiting Nan. Other temples are ok not to go but you must not miss visiting Wat Phumin, Wat Phra Tht Chase Haeng, and Wat Phra That Khao Noi.

Wat Phra That Chae Haeng stays side by side as a symbol of Nan Province. It is believed to represent the year of Rabbit. If you were born in the Rabbit year or know someone who born in that year, don't forget to come paying respect and ask for blessings.

Although this temple is not located in the exact downtown area, it's only 2-3 km away. Since Nan is such a small city, it's not considered far even located on the other side of the city.

Wat Phra That Chae Haeng really has the charm and the feeling of Northern city, it's definitely a must not miss place!


Wat Phra That Khao Noi, Nan Province

Location: Downtown Nan

'Wat Phra That Khao Noi' is located on a small hill not far from downtown Nan. We could see beautiful high angle view of Nan from here.

In addition to Phra That Khao Noi, there's a Buddha Image looking down towards below Nan as if to take care and protect Nan people. This corner is a popular angle, do not forget to take some photos home.


Auntie Nim's Dessert Shop, Nan Province

Location: Downtown Nan

In the evening after dinner, we could drive out to find the Bua Loy Ice cream here. The Bua Loy (rice balls) is soft, delicious, and smell good. There're also many other delicious desserts.


Nan Boutique Hotel

Location: Downtown Nan

Nan Boutique Hotel is environmental friendly hotel with clean room and affordable price. We can also rent a bicycle to roam around.

If you are staying in downtown Nan, Nan Boutique Hotel is recommended.


Doi Samer Dao, Nan Province

Location: Na Noi District, Nan Province

'Doi Samer Dao' is one of the mountains that has such a beautiful name. It is located in Si Nan National Park, Na Noi District, Nan Province. The all year round cool weather is the highlight here. We could tent here and look at stars at night. In the morning, we could also closely enjoy the fog. It's such a romantic place.

Nearby locates "Pha Hua Singh" which looks like a crouching lion head. It has the nature trail with beautiful scenery.

If you are an adventurous person, I recommend you go tent up there. Otherwise, you could spend a night at Na Noi District which is located on the way up there. Then, you could go up to enjoy the fog early morning. There're several accommodations available, I recommend "Huan Wad Kien". It's a nice and clean hotel. The owner is very friendly. The price is cheap. It's definitely a worth staying hotel.

For how to get here: We could drive towards Rong Kwang District before turning right at Wiang Sa Intersection. After that, we just need to drive straight and we will arrive at Na Noi District.

If you have yet any plan for this winter, I recommend Doi Samer Doi, the so romantic place!


Huen Wad Kien, Nan Province

Location: Na Noi District, Nan Province

If you wish to see the sunrise at Doi Samer Dao but feel uncomfortable tenting up there, it's recommend to stay at 'Huen Wad Kien' Na Noi District which is on the way up to Doi Samer Dao. The place is clean and the price is cheap when comparing to the size of the room. The food is delicious. Behind is a rice field, indeed a very good atmosphere.

We could spend a night here and go up to see the sunrise at Doi Samer Dao early morning, it's also another nice choice.


Sao Din Na Noi, Nan Province

Location: Na Noi District, Nan Province

In addition to Doi Samer Dao, Si Nan National Park also has another interesting tourist destination, which is 'Sao Din Na Noi'.

Sao Din Na Noi is located in Na Noi District. It is near the way up to Doi Samer Dao so we could either stop before or after visiting Doi Samer Dao. The highlight is the strange looking soil pillars in a large area like those of "Phae Muang Phee Canyan". I was stunned when I first saw it. It's indeed another beautiful natural architecture.

Nearby is 'Kok Sua'Sua where the soil is collapsed. Let's go travel together!


Khun Sathan Watershed Research Unit, Khun Sathan National Park, Nan Province

Location: Between Na Noi District and Phrae Province

'Khun Sathan Watershed Research Unit' is located in Khun Sathan National Park. We can come up here either by Na Noi District or turning right from Phrae-Nan main road.

Highlight is the cool weather and Dok Phaya Suekrong which is blossoming in pink from January to February. At that time, I came a week early so the flower has yet blossomed, such a pity. Also, there's cheap accommodation, home stay, or tenting area. Nearby also has sweet strawberry farm and fresh cabbage as well as Hmong village.

Well, actually, I feel a bit ashamed to talk about this place.Personally, I like it here as the mountains are beautiful and eye comforting. I really like to help promote. But I went back to Khun Sathan again this past Song Krang and I'm shocked to see that tress on the mountains are all gone. From some green and brown last time, now everything is completely gone. It now becomes bold mountains. I feel so sad seeing this.

It is said that this is due to land invasion. But since I'm not a local people, I'm not sure what the facts is. Well, from the tourists perspective, it's such a great pity to see this. Even the bold mountains are already very beautiful, imagine what the green mountains would give us?

I pray for Khun Satan to soon be back to lush green and recovery from its boldness.


Wat Phra Bat Ming Muang Worawiharn, Phrae Province

Location: Downtown Phrae

'Wat Phra Bat Ming Muang Worawiharn' is located at the center of Phrae, we can start our trip from here.

Wat Phra Bat Ming Muang Worawiharn is the combination of Wat Phra Bat and Wat Ming Muang. Originally there were two temples and were later combined. It enshrines Kosai Sirichai Maha Sakaya Muni Buddha which is the Buddha image of Phrae.

In addition, we can also visit to the Buddha's footprint and antique museum, enjoy!


Phrae City Pillar

Location: Downtown Phrae

It is not so far from Wat Phra Bat Ming Muang Worawiharn. After leaving the temple, we walk pass Nareerat School and we will find "Phrae City Pillar".

Others might feel so so but I like Phrae City Pillar. It looks like a contemporary arts with two Giants safeguarding the gate where one is diligently guarded while the other is asleep. It's a small city pillar that we can easily go in to pay our homage.

Oh, if you happen to go pass here at night, you can stop for some photography as the lights are turned on and they are looking very beautiful.


Khum Chao Luang

Location: Downtown Phrae

From Phrae City Pillar, just walking across the street and we will find "Khum Chao Luang".

Khum Chao Luang is one of the main attractions of the city. External is the beautiful architecture of the early Rama V reign. Inside is filled with horrific and mysterious stories. It used to be the house of Phrae's ruler and the basement is the prison. Accordingly, many causalities were there. So do not be surprised to find many horrific and mysterious stories. If you wish to know some of them, you can ask the tour guide and there'll be more than enough stories for you to enjoy.

If you wish to go to the basement prison, do not walk straight in but backwards, otherwise, you might encounter some mysterious events.


Wat Pong Sunan, Phrae Province

Location: Downtown Phrae

'Wat Pong Sunan' is a temple located in downtown Phrae. It's close to Ban Wongburi (or the pink house). Originally this temple named Pong Sanook, it was the temple of Wongburi family. Later it changed the name into Wat Pong Sunan.

This temple is another beautiful arts temples. I'm impressed since my first step. This temple features a large reclining Buddha in front of the temple. It has beautiful Ubosot which enshrines the Buddha image called Phra Chao Saen Suk of which we could pray for happiness.

Oh, if you have a problem of slow internet, this temple offers a free WiFi for you to check in. The username is the mobile phone number and I don't remember, the password is watpongsunan.

It's another must visit temple.


Ban Wongburi, Phrae Province

Location: Downtown Phrae

'Ban Wongburi' or 'Khum Wongburi' is a large cute pink house situated near Wat Pong Sunan.

This house belongs to Wongburi family which is the descendants of the ruler of Phrae. It was built 120 years ago. It is a two-storey house with a touch of European and Lanna style. The second floor is a museum exhibiting antiqued things, Lanan costumes, wooden furniture, etc. Many of them are looking quite interesting and unique. The entrance fee is 30 THB.

In front has a restaurant called 'Wongburi Homestaurant'. I heard that Khao Soi is quite delicious and compatible to the one in downtown.

Ban Wongburi might not be a tourist destination that can 'wow' you as it might not have so exciting thing. But I think simply taking photo with this cute pink house is already worth a visit.


Kad Kong Kao

Location: Downtown Phrae

If you visit Phrae on Saturday, do not miss to pay a visit to 'Kad Kong Kao'.

Kad Kong Kao is a walking street of Phrae. It's there every Saturday. It's a short cute walking street. The important part is it maintains Phrae style where we still see grandpa and granny sell vegetables. There's local food, delicious snack, small artistic gifts, small performance, Mo Hom clothes and many more. It truly has a touch of Phrae that we must come to experience.

Nearby Kad Kong Kao is Kad Phra Non. Actually, the are the same road. I enjoy my walk so much.

I like it here the most. I like it so much that I walk back and forth twice.


Kanom Saen Auntie Da shop, Phrae Province

Location: Downtown Phrae

Kanom Saen (Rice noodle) is a kind of local food of Phrae Province. It's unlike Kanom Jeen Nam ya, Kanom Jeen Nam Ngeo, and Kanom Jeen Green Curry that we normally see in Bangkok because it is a clear soup of Kanom Jeen. It's like the noddle soup but with Kanom Jeen. It's my first time having it.

There're several delicious Kanom Saen here but today I'd like to recommend "Kanom Saen Auntie Da'. It's located at Kamlue Road behind the Health Park and Khum Chao Luang. It's easy to travel here as it's near famous tourist destinations. Apart from being so super delicious, it's also super cheap. It's only 10 THB each.

And the great thing about this shop is it located near Nareerat School where it houses lots of beautiful girls of Phrae. While enjoying the rice noodle, we could also see lots of cute girls coming in for Auntie Da's food. Thus, it makes our food much more delicious, haha.

Oh, now just by talking about it, I'm so mouth watering already. If I ever go back to Phrae again, I definitely will eat it again, at least 3-4 bowls.


Khao Soi Jae Lek Shop

Location: Downtown Phrae

If you like Kanom Jeen, you must go to Auntie Da. But if you like Khao Soi, you must come to Jae Lek.

Khao Soi Jae Lek is a famous restaurant of Phrae in the same level with Kanom Jeen Auntie Da. These two restaurants are the frequent visited shops when tourists visiting Phrae.

You might have to queue in noon time, but I can guarantee that it's worth the wait!


Yentafo Pratuchai

Location: Downtown Phrae

If you wish to enjoy the street food and see way of people's lives of Phrae in the simple atmosphere, I recommend you to come to Pratuchai area.

The highlight menu is Yentafo noodle where 95% of Phrae people used to have it.

I personally don't like Yentafo so I order Tomyum noodle instead. I find it very delicious and now I understand why everyone said that it's a must try shop.


Taeo Ruam Mit Restaurant

Location: Downtown Phrae

We are still at Pratuchai. After Yentafo, I recommend us to end our meal with desserts at Taeo Ruam Mit restaurant.

The highlight menu is Salim ice cream which is soft, sticky, and delicious. I have two of them.

Other desserts are also looking delicious. We might have to skip a day of losing weight program now!


Buai Nom Sod (Buai Fresh Milk)

Location: Downtown Phrae

I'd like to end this delicious menu at Pratuchai with bread and milk drinks at Buai Nom Sod.

The highlight of this food shop is its chill atmosphere near the road where lots of youngsters hangout here.

Just by imaging sitting and enjoying milk drinks in the cold weather, I'm already very happy.


Kru Mai Muang

Location: Downtown Phrae

If you'd like to enjoy the authentic Northern food, I'd like to recommend Krua Mai Muang, a restaurant near Nam Thong.

This restaurant is located at one of the commercial buildings. From the external decoration, it looks just like a karaoke shop and simple Yasothon Laap shop. It doesn't look good very much but once we get to try the food here, everything changes. This northern food is so delicious, each menu looks very appetizing. Well, I usually am quite picky, I don't eat vegetable nor strange food. But I have to exclaim 'wow' once I try each of the food here.

However, Krua Mai Muang is a small restaurant and run by a family. So you might have to wait a bit for the food and it can't really accommodate a big group of customers yet. Please be patient and enjoy this delicious Northern food.


Rom Mai Yai Restaurant

Location: Downtown Phrae

Rom Mai Yai is a quite large scale restaurant when comparing to a small size city like Phrae. It has a great atmosphere with a variety of menus like Northern food and central food. It also offers a private karaoke room and rooftop seats. It has spacious parking place with live music and presents to be the most Bangkok style in the 7 restaurants I've been to. It's suitable for a family gathering, dating and a meeting for group of friends.

Highlight menu is Salmon. It is a diffusion menu of Phrae and Tokyo and harmoniously mixed. It's very delicious!

More importantly, the price is considered inexpensive considering this scale of restaurant.

That day I went with my girlfriend's friends. It is the meeting of about 10 Phrae girls and each ordered the food like this is the last dinner in their lives like the signature menu, alcoholic drink, desserts, fruits. It is only about 300 THB each, OMG! I'm so sure if we eat the same menu in Bangkok, it'd have been at least 600 THB each.

If you like to chill and enjoy the great atmosphere with a melodious music, I recommend this restaurant, you'd definitely love it.


Slope Coffee at Ban Beao, Phrae Province

Location: Downtown Phrae

From all the coffee shops in Phrae, I like Slope Coffee the most.

The first feeling once stepping in is like we are in the Inception movie, feeling like the house is in slope and that's also why it's called Slope Coffee.

Well, I think just by the idea of giving this name to the shop is already very creative. Thinking about if it were us to have the sloped house, we might rebuild it and open it as a coffee shop later. But they develop this point to be the selling point. I'm very impressed with their innovative idea.

Though trying to pronounce the shop name many times, my accent today is still unsuccessful.

The coffee is highly concentrated with several cute corners. You must come to visit.


The Owl School: Drip Coffee, Phrae Province

Location: Downtown Phrae

This is a very artistic coffee shop and very tender in making their coffee.

Highlight of this shop lies at making coffee by dripping. The owner would place a filter paper and carefully pour in hot water to extract the best taste and smell possible. While waiting, we could talk to the owner. It seems like the owner really enjoy making coffee and I find the owner very cute and funny.

If you like drip coffee, this coffee shop is recommended.


Hug & Mug Cafe and Studio, Phrae Province

Location: Tesaban 2 Road, next to Phrae Prisoner and about 3 blocks away from Pratuchai

'Hug & Mug' is another cute coffee shop in Phrae. The shop is cutely decorated with many corners for photography. It offers both indoor and outdoor seats with nice coffee and snacks as well as cold beverages.

Apart from being a coffee shop, it is also a photo shooting studio.

If you are looking for chill coffee shop, Hug & Mug is recommended.


Jebar Coffee & Cake, Phrae Province

Location: Next to Wat Pong Sunan, Phrae Province

Do not get it wrong, Jeber is not a bar but a cute coffee shop in downtown Phrae. The outstanding thing about this place is the location. It is situated near the famous tourist destinations like Wat Pong Sunan and Ban Wonguri. We just need to walk across the street and it's there.

Jebar is a two-storey wooden small cute coffee shop. The coffee tastes good. The shop offers several snack. It has the high technology of ordering so we won't have to stand in queue but enjoy the atmosphere once we are here.


Charlotte Hut Coffee & Tea Bar, Phrae Province

Location: Soi Kulab, next to Phrae Christian Hospital

'Charlotte Hut Coffee & Tea Bar' is a cute coffee shop in Phrae. I got a chance to visit Phrae during the Songkran festival with Namfon.

That day, she had a meeting with high school friends and here is the coffee shop that they want.

1) Big: 6 girls from Nareerat School are meeting so the coffee shop must be big enough to house them.

2) Cool: That time the outdoor temperature is about 40 degree Celsius so her friends call to check if they have the cool room.

3) Seats: There must be enough seats as coffee shops are quite popular during this time so we must make sure that there's enough seats and we won't have to queue.

4) Delicious: More importantly, the coffee must be delicious.

The only coffee shop that meet above criterion is the Charlotte Hut Coffee & Tea Bar.

Highlight of this shop is it is cutely decorated with a touch of Korean and beautiful lights. The signature coffee here is highly concentrated. More importantly, the place is very spacious and we could take photos anywhere and they all look beautiful.

You guys could also stop by to chill, it's recommended.


Wat Phra That Cho Hae, Phrae Province

Location: Cho Hae Sub-district, Phrae Province

'Wat Phra That Cho Hae' is a highlight of Phrae Province that you must not miss given any reasons. If you are yet coming to pay the homage to this temple, it's considered you are yet here in Phrae.

This temple is considered to be a large scale temple comparing to the small town like Cho Hae. Wat Phra That Cho Hae is a temple of people born in Tiger year. It's quite commercial temple where you can buy the sacred thing by using credit card or donating money via mobile banking.


Wat Phra That Doi Leng, Phrae Province

Location: Cho Hae Sub-district, Phrae Province

'Wat Phra That Doi Leng' is located on a small hill, not so far from Wat Phra That Cho Hae. You could travel here the same time when you go to Wat Phra That Cho Hae. Highlight of this temple lies at you could see Wat Phra That Cho Hae from high angle. According to the history, they use this temple as the location to plan and build at Phra That Cho Hae.

We could park up here or you could also walk along the Naga stairs, it's all up to you.

Also, the road towards Phra That Doi Leng situated famous restaurants of Phrae province like Mon Mae Sai or Mon Nok Yoong restaurant.


Wat Phra That In Kuaen, Phrae Province

Location: In between downtown Phrae and Cho Hae Sub-district

In addition to Wat Phra That Cho Hae, Phrae also has another yet famous temple called "Wat Phra That In Kuaen'.

Wat Phra That In Kuaen is located at Phuttha Uttayan Doi Pha Sawan which is the meditation center in the midst of mountain. This Kyaikhtiyo is a replica of Myanmar's. It is quiet with beautiful scenery and lush green. The weather is refreshing, especially during the winter. It's one of the temples that I'm very impressed in Phrae.

For how to get here. We follow the road that run towards Phra That Cho Hae. Right before reaching there, there's a left turn towards Tung Hong, we turn left here and follow the sign afterwards.

This temple is really great, I confirm!


Suan Sai Thong Restaurant, Phrae Province

Location: Denchai District, Phrae Province

'Suan Sai Thong' is a famous restaurant, located at Denchai Intersection where we must go pass if driving from Bangkok when going downtown Phrae.

The highlight menu is the authentic Sai Krok Pao Tao Din (a clay oven baked sausage). It also offers Northern food like northern sausage, fermented pork sausage, baked pork ribs which are all delicious. It's also great to buy home as a souvenir.


Wat Phra That Suthon Mongkol Kiri, Phrae Province

Location: Denchai District, Phrae Province

It is located not far from Denchai Intersection. 'Wat Phra That Suthon Mongkol Kiri' is very beautiful. It highly has a Lanna Buddhist arts. In addition to the giant Reclining Buddha which is outstandingly located at the front, it also enshrines a beautiful Phra That (relics of Buddha) at top. It is a must not miss temple!


It is indeed a very detailed review. This winter if you yet know where to visit, you could follow my review and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.

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Thank you very much, Kob Khun Krab ^^


 Monday, November 28, 2016 6:05 PM