Lying in the remote valley of the Nam River, one of the most significant tributaries of the Chao Phraya River, encircled by mountain chains and covered with forests, Nan is a tranquil and quiet province of Thailand. It is situated in the north of the country and covers the area of 11,472.1 sq kms.
The province consists of 1 King Amphoe and 12 Amphoes, including Muang, Thung Chang, Chiang Klang, Tha Wang Pha,Wiang Sa, Na Noi, Mae Charim, Pua, Ban Luang, Santisuk, Na Mun, King Amphoe Song Khwae and Bo Klua. Its capital, Nan, is a small city located 668km to the north of Bangkok and among the lush valley.
Nan used to be an independent kingdom for centuries but the remoteness prevented it from the connection to the other kingdoms. Traces of settlement in Nan province have dated from 1280. In the early 15th century, Nan was a part of the kingdom in the reign of King Boroma Trailokarat. For 200 years later, it was a vassal of the Burmese. In 1931, after the kings of Nan gave some privileges, Nan was integrated into the kingdom of Siam.
Despite isolated from the others, Nan has improved to become a tourist development area with considerable charm as historical ancient temples and majestic mountainous countryside.the province is also home of Thai Lue and other ethnic hill tribes where you can see a lot of local textiles featuring the traditional floral, animal and geometric designs in the black and red cotton fabrics which are always in high quality.
Nan hosts many remarkable attractions, some of which are: Phrathat Chae Haeng, which contains a 55m-high golden Chedi and a Holy Relic, represents the best art in local architecture; Phrathat Khao Noi pagoda on the hill-top of Khao Noi; Wat Phumin monastery which has unusual characteristics and attractive items as wood carving doors made by the Lanna Thai artisans, mutual paintings showing the ways of lives and cultures of the people in the past; Wat Suan Tan monastery which houses a beautiful pagoda with a big bronze Buddha, this’s also where grand celebration with fireworks is held during the Songkran Festival; Nan National Museum with many kinds of artifacts; etc. Besides, some natural sites attract a lot of tourists as Pha Tup Forest Park with a few caves worth visiting; Thaw Pha Mong and Tham Pha Wiang caves with picturesque stalactite and stalagmite formations inside the caves; beautiful Namtok Sila Phet waterfall; Doi Phu Kha National Park in high moutain range with lovely scenery; or the chance to explore local life is offered to the remote villages as Ban Pak Nai with floating food shops; Mu Ban Thai Lu with famous Nam Lai hand-woven fabric products as skirt, tube skirt, blouse, and scarfs;
Nan province is also the land of special festivals and interesting activities. Some of which are Wai Phrathat Festival which are organized to pay respect to the Phrathats; Tan Kuai Salak Festival, ancient tradition and is considered as a main local merit making ceremony. Besides, nan Boat Races Festival offers the chance to join in lively activities in this festival.