Nature and Temples Trip to Nan

At the end of February, I went on a three day trip to Nan province in Northern Thailand. The highlights included Doi Phu National Park and the temples of Nan City. In particular, Wat Phumin, which is famous for the “Whispering Lovers” mural, and Wat Phra That Khao Noi for the Standing Buddha image, were very memorable.

Date of travel: 21-23 February 2015

DAY ONE: Boarding Nok Air’s “Nok Ra Rueng” aircraft to Nan in Northern Thailand. Flight time is just over one hour

Nan Airport was officially renamed “Nan Nakhon Airport” by Princess Sirindhorn during her recent visit.

My first meal in Northern Thailand is naturally Khao Soi. Also having Khao Pad Nahm.


Doi Phu Kha National Park is in Puan district of Nan Thailand. The highest peak is 1,980 meters above sea level. Doi Phu Kha National Park is 200 Baht for foreigners & 40 Baht for Thais. Nice place but not sure if it’s worth 40 Baht.

The provincial tree and provincial flower of Nan is the Orchid Tree which blooms this time of year.

DAY TWO: Good morning from Pua Municipal Market in Nan Province. It’s a chilly 19 Celsius at the moment. Lovely weather. It’s always worth getting up early to visit the local markets in Thailand. Bonus when there are no other foreigners.

Wat Nong Bua in Tha Wang Pha district of Nan dates back to 1862. It was built by the Thai Lue people.

Wat Nong Bua in Nan has some interesting murals that depict contemporary life in Thailand during the 19th Century.

Aerial photos of Wat Nong Bua in Tha Wang Pha district of Nan.

Wat Suan Tan in Nan town. The temple dates back to 1227. Inside there is a large bronze Seated Buddha.

Aerial photos of Wat Suan Tan in Nan town.

You can take a 1 hour tram tour of Nan. Mon-Fri 9am & 3pm. Sat-Sun 9:30am, 10:30am, 1:30pm & 3:40pm. Price 30 Baht/15 Baht.

A good way to explore Nan town is by bicycle. You can rent one opposite Wat Phumin for only 50 Baht for the day.

Wat Noi in Nan town is the smallest registered temple in Thailand.

Wat Phrathat Chang Kham is one of the oldest temples in Nan town. Its name comes from the stucco elephant sculptures.

Aerial photos of Wat Phrathat Chang Kham in Nan town.

The most famous temple in Nan town is Wat Phumin. It has 4 Buddha images facing the 4 points of the compass.

Wat Phumin in Nan is famous for the “whispering” two lovers mural. There are other interesting murals too.

Aerial photos of Wat Phumin in Nan town.

Wat Ming Muang & Nan’s City Pillar. Both have beautiful stucco reliefs on the walls.

On the walls inside Wat Ming Muang there are murals depicting the lifestyle of the Nan people in the past.

Main feature of Wat Sri Pan Ton is its elaborate carving and gilding on the exterior of the main building.

The Walking Street in Nan takes place every weekend from about 5pm-9pm in front of Wat Phumin.

The food area at the Walking Street is particularly good with a wide variety of food & plenty of space to sit & eat.

Photos of Wat Phrathat Chang Kham in Nan, in the few minutes after sunset when the sky turns dark blue.

DAY THREE: Good morning from Wat Phra That Khao Noi overlooking Nan. Sun just coming up behind the Standing Buddha.

Front view of the Standing Buddha at Wat Phra That Khao Noi with the sun on its face.

Aerial photos of Wat Phrathat Khao Noi overlooking Nan town.

Monks collecting alms at the market in Nan town.

Patongko, sometimes called Chinese doughnuts, and soy milk is a good breakfast.

A monk receiving alms while sitting on a samlor in front of Nan market.

Exploring the morning market in Nan. Plenty of smiles. Locals are very friendly & happy to have their pictures taken.

Nan Riverside Art Gallery is a contemporary art gallery founded by Winai Prabripoo. Entrance is 20 Baht.

Some variations of the famous whispering lovers mural painting including one by Princess Sirindhorn.

I’m told that smoking cigars was a courtship ritual in the olden days in Nan. If she lit one up too, she liked you!

Wat Phra That Chae Hang in Nan features a 55 metre-high golden Chedi containing a Holy Relic from Sukhothai.

Aerial photos of Wat Phra That Chae Hang in Nan town,

Time to leave Nan & head back home. I had an enjoyable 3 days in Nan & hope to be back again soon.

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