"Love that Nan" Nan by riproy

Nan Travel Guide: 34 reviews and 52 photos

Hmong New Year in Nan

Nan is a sleepy town that seems quite far removed from the rest of Thailand. There are few roads that enter the province - one from Phrae to the south and one from the north going to Chiangrai, and Lao PDR lying to the east. Nan still has a long of forest and a large minority population, mostly Hmong but many others too such as Mien. The topography is hilly and it has a very rural and isolated feel to it.
I remember arriving there early in the morning on the bus one October. The air was very cool and the town felt sleepy. There was little of the road noise that i associate with provincial capitals. A 'samlor' pedaller tooks me to a friend's place where i could wash up before my day started. At 5:30 am, the streets were very peaceful and a samlor was the perfect way to take it in.
Nan is a relatively seldom visited province with a lot of natural attractions like national parks to visit. If you would like to get off the beaten path, then this is an ideal province for you. The town has some interesting historic sites too. Pick up a good guide book for more info.
There are a lot of older teak houses in Nan because of the plentiful wood resources the province is blessed with. I love these homes.
Nan also has a strong local NGO movement under an umbrella group called Haq Muang Nan. That means 'love Nan' in the northern dialect.
If you are looking to buy ethnic handicrafts and weaving from a 'fair trade' org, see my shopping page.
While the Thai and northern Thai cuisine is always great fare, there is (last visited in 1999) a good foreign food restaurant called 'Dario' in Nan town, started my an Italian fellow, but i think he has left his wife to continue the business. Their food was excellent, but i can't describe how to get there - sorry! It's not a big town so many you can ask around. It was in a residential area.

In December of 1999 i went to my coworker's village in rural Nan. Sujarit is Hmong by heritage and the Hmong New Year (goes by lunar cycles) was in early December.
People were dressed very well for this wearing all their traditional finery. Pictured are some of the stunning handiwork that goes into the clothing.

  • Last visit to Nan: Dec 1999
  • Intro Updated Jan 3, 2003
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