17. Nan, Hidden jewel of North.

Further up 2hours drive from Phrae, Thai Lu(people from Xishuang Banna China) dominant town Nan is there.

The bus we were on from Phrae was unique of sort, just like a Boeing 747 airplane, it has economy at the back and 1st class seats in the front, with toilets and in-bus beverage service(just water and cookie though)


My memo pad on a seat, always lots of trivial things in there.


Nan, it has a little bit of old city walls, many Wats, especially Wat Phumin with the famous murals, markets and places for just mucking around.

We stayed at Nan guest house in a fan double at 250 Baht and it was squeaky clean all about the house. On the roof top there is a resting area where people can lie down on a hammock drinking beers or reading a book.

Paintings around the Nan guest house.

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Rooftop resting area of the house.

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A double bedroom with a shared bathroom.


This map provided by Nan guest house is all you need to navigate the city. Perfect.

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Now out to the old city walls. Partly restored.

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A Thai model taking a pause. We don’t know how famous she is, not much I guess.

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Local markets, cafes, and street pictures peppered with Wats. Think you are walking along these pictures with you. Just lovely enough to spend two or three nights in this city. You may need a bit of Thai language skill as not many locals will understand English.

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The rambutans, hairly outside, sweet white flesh inside.


Cooked Thai corns, yummier than New Zealand ‘Country Gentleman’ only 20Baht for a pack(four).


Fish cakes in skewer, all sort of colours.


Custard apples,sweet flesh with lots of black hard seeds.


Bamboo shoots.

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My daughter trying her luck on a Nan’s most famous hair artist.

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Wat Phumin, the true magnet for the local tourists. The murals in the wat are reprinted on T-shirts, bags or a stone slabs.

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A reprinted painting on a traditional thick paper costs 200 Baht.

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Coffee tress grown in front of a cafe.

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The mural painting even on a public phone.

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This Tea-only shop, no coffee, has all sort of teas you can imagine. If you ask for a coffee you will be tea-sed. They make a killer black pearl tea for only 25 Baht.

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The seats are upside-down beer crate with a cushion on.

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All weather motor bike in use, Nan style.

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If you can read Phasa-Thai, Do-Re-Mi, All you can eat meat buffet for 149 Baht.


Yep that’s it. No more to add on. This small city is very strong with art scene and humour. If you don’t mind losing all the comforts that Chiang Mai may offers, Nan will be the perfect alternative of either  gone-too-far-Pai or lost-its-true-colour-Chiang Khan, if you understand what that means.


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