Your complete guide to Nan province (North Thailand) by Traveling 2 Thailand
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Thai - Lao Border Market & Local Border Crossing at Song Kwae
Entrance to the market (and border)
There are many local border crossings between Thailand and Laos. And most times the reason for this local border crossing is a weekly market where Lao come buy modern utilities from Thailand and the Thai buy jungle herbs from the Lao. This is a small market and not really worth to travel there specially, but if you happen to be in the area it is a great place to see the local way of living along the borders.
When go go?
All year around, but ONLY on Sunday and very early in the morning (starting at 6:00).
Where to go?
20 km north of Song Kwae what is 60 km north-west of Nan town.
How to get there?
Best with your own or hired transport. From Nan follow route 101 to Tha Wang Pha, then follow route 1148 in direction of Chiang Rai. After about 20 km on route 1148 you will be passing the village Song Kwae. About 1 or 2 km after the village there is an kind of curve to the left that is also an intersection. Go straight ahead, there are signs. Keep on following the main road for another 20 km, but there are no signs anymore (This Is Thailand).
Nan province is motorbike touring heaven, not only the route going to Nan but also within Nan province. So once you are in Nan it would be a great idea to rent a scooter or motorbike. Some guesthouses or hotels do rent scooters but luckily there are now also a few shops that have started renting out motorbikes & scooters. A little warning before you are going to rent.
The law about riding a motorbike in Thailand
For riding any scooter or motorbike in Thailand you will need to have a motorbike driver-license. Not that the rental company will ask for it but if you do not have a motorbike driver-licsense you might have 2 problems. First of all police could stop & fine you. Secondly your travel-insurance might not be valid in case of accident. Also be aware that most scooters & motorbikes do not have a full-insurance. They will only have a simple third-party insurance. That means that ALL costs in case of accident are YOURS. That means damages to the motorbike, to other vehicl…
The Bo Klua Loop is one of the famous attractions of Nan province, to do by Motorbike / Scooter / Vespa or even with your bicycle. Most people doing the Bo Klua Loop come on their own motorbike or rent one in Bangkok, Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai. But in Nan town are nowadays also a few shops renting Motorbikes or Scooters. For more information have a look at Motorbike Rental Shops. Besides the famous Bo Klua Loop there are also other very interesting loops & routes to be made with stunning view, small villages and rivers in the mountains. And the nice thing about the roads here in Nan province is that that they are not busy, so relatively safe to ride.
As for scooters it is recommended not to rent a "small scooter" but at least 150cc. And of course ALWAYS wear a good helmet, jacket, gloves and good shoes. Also be aware that scooters are by law motorbikes and that you will need a motorbike driver-license for it (check your travel insurance).
The Kwang Khun River coming out of the forest of Doi Phu Kha National Park created a kind of (small) Grand Canyon. A wonderful place to explore and make photos. The access point is located about 6 km east of Pua town near the village Ban Hua Nam. The last 800m is a kind a dirt road but very well to drive in the dry season. And there is parking. Along the river is a walking path, what needs some climbing and walking very careful.
Check out our Travel Blog about Pua
When to go to Wang Sila Leang Grand Canyon?
All year around, daily. But best to be visited at the end of the during the dry season from February to April.
Where to go?
About 70 km north-east of Nan town and 7 km east of Pua town.
How to get there?
Best with your own transport. From Pua follow route 1081 for about 6 km until the village Ban Hua Nam. From there you will have to walk for about 1 km or take a dirt road between the rice fields.
NearbyBaan Hua Nam Mushroom Farm Restaurant & Coffee Shop
Location of Wang Sila Le…
The International Border Crossing is about 2 km from the village Huai Kon, so the border is sometimes also called Chaloem Phra Kiat (name of the district). On the Lao side the nearest village is Muang Ngeun. The border crossing is about 130 km north of Nan town. This is the gate-way to Luang Prabang, Laos.
Crossing the border from Thailand to Laos
The border is open from 9:00 - 12:00 and from 13:00 - 17:00. You will first have to go to the Thai Immigration to exit Thailand. If your Thai visa is not multi-entry then your visa will expire the moment you exit Thailand. Then you will have to cross a part of no-man'ss land in between Laos and Thailand. If you are not with your own transport you can walk or take a motorbike-taxi.
To enter Laos you will need a visa. If you do not have a visa you can apply for one (Visa On Arrival) valid for 30 days. You will need 2 recent passport photos. Costs depends on your nationality and best to be paid in US$. After getting you Lao visa you will hav…
Who thinks about Thailand thinks also about Thai massage, a perfect way to relax on a hot afternoon. If you are looking for the infamous Thai body-to-body massage (or soapy massage) you are at the wrong place in Nan - Thailand. But there are quite a few massage places in Nan - Thailand where you can have a good, safe and relaxing massage. Be aware though that also in Nan - Thailand are some massage saloons that offer a little bit more as just massage.
So where to go for massage? Well some hotels will offer in-house massage like Nan Boutique Hotel and some other hotels will recommend you a massage saloon that they know is trustworthy. Following are a few massage saloons that we have been and are clean, safe and will give you a relaxing massage.
Nan Nanthaburi Massage in Nan town
This massage saloon in a double 1-storey shophouse at Anatana road offers Thai Massage, Oil Massage and Foot Massage from 10:00 - 18:00.
Location : Google Maps
Risasinee Spa & Massage in Nan town
Nan Bus Station station about 500m south of town, about 200m from route 101 just before Nan town on your left hand side. The bus station is served by government busses and by private bus companies. And there is an information counter but all staff of course speaks only Thai. In front of the building are ATM's and nearby are small restaurants. This bus station is used for local transport in Nan province and for inter-regional transport.
How to get to Nan Bus Station?
By public transport you can get to Nan Bus Station with taxi, songtheauw or even samlor. By private car or motorbike, just follow the signs along route 101. There is free parking. Transport within Nan provinceNext to the building are Red Songtheaws for transport in Nan townPlatform 7 - 8 are for Blue Songtheauws for transport to places like Tha Wang Pha, Santisuk or Mae Charim.Then there is the famous Orange Bus (actually red) going to Pon in Thung Chang district. This bus passes Tham Pha Tub Forest Park, Nan Riverside …
Rai Ton Rak Organic Farm did open in 2017 but came to full use in 2018 with an organic strawberry farm in the cool season and an organic rice farm in the raining season. But it is not only a farm, it is also a boutique homestay, restaurant and coffee shop. There is a a open-air restaurant with private sala's between the teak trees and the farm land. They serve Thai & Western food and drinks for lunch and dinner. As boutique homestay they have currently 2 teak wooden rooms between the teak trees and 1 small house overlooking the organic farm. But they are expanding with 1 more teak wooden bungalow to come soon. A great place to sit & relax while enjoying your food or drink. Be aware that Rai Ton Rak Organic Farm is a bit on the outskirts of Pua town, about 500m from the main road.
Information of Rai Ton Rak Organic FarmLocated about 2km south of Pua town (500m from route 101)Facebook : Rai Ton Rak Organic FarmHotelRoom rate : 2.500 Thai baht (2 persons) or 3.500 Thai baht (4…
Baan Hua Nam Mushroom Farm is a combination of a mushroom farm, restaurant and coffee shop and is a bit difficult to find as it is at then end of a small road in a small village and located in a forrest of trees & bamboo. From the tropical garden of the restaurant you can walk to the famous Wang Sila Leang Grand Canyon. They make the best pizza in town and it is a great place to sit, relax, eat & drink. Be aware that there is no public transport to Baan Hua Nam Mushroom Farm.
Ban Tai Lue Cafe is located in between the rice fields of Pua and build in Tai Lue style of a wooden open-air building with sala's between the rice fields. Ban Tai Lue Cafe is a very popular place for Thai tourists as next door is also Ban Tai Lue OTOP where traditional Tai Lue cloths are sold. And they also did build little bamboo bungalows on poles in between the rice fields. The bungalows are very basic but with Air-conditioning, Private balcony and Private bathroom with shower. And at a great location that feel give you the feeling of living in a old Tai Lue village.
Information of Ban Tai Lue Cafe & HomestayAbout 3km east of Pua town along route 1081Facebook : Ban Tai Lue Cafe & HomestayKitchen : Hot & Cold drinksOpening hours : 8:00 - 17:00Seating : OutdoorsParking : On siteHotel : Number of rooms : 4
Location of Ban Tai Lue Cafe & Homestay Location on Google Maps CHECK ACCOMMODATION ON AGODA OR BOOKING
In Thai Nam Tok means waterfall, so Sila Phet Waterfall would called Nam Tok Sila Phet although sometimes it is written as Namtok Sila Phet. This waterfall in the village Ban Sila Phet is the Yang River flowing out of the mountains of Doi Phu Kha National Park. One of the most popular waterfalls of Nan - Thailand. First of all because it is easy to get there and there is always water. And secondly because your can really swim there in the waterfall. And if you come there about late lunch time or afternoon you can eat & drink there at one of the small restaurants near the parking place. The first stage (the last stage for the water actually) is very easy to reach, just 50m walking from the parking. From there a not so well maintained walking path goes into the jungle to the next levels.
When to go to Sila Phet Waterfall?
In the green mountains of Nan - Thailand are many waterfalls. All waterfalls can be visited daily from 9:00 - 17:00, all year around but are best to be visited at …