A quiet and tranquil province, Nan nestles in a verdant valley in northern Thailand.
About 668 kilometres from Bangkok, it covers an area of 11,472 square kilometres and
is made up of the following districts: Mueang, Wiang Sa, Na Noi, Pua, Chiang Klang,
Tha Wang Pha, Thung Chang, Mae Charim, Ban Luang, Na Mun, Santi Suk, Bo Kluea, Chaloem
Phra Kiat, Song Khwae, and Phu Phiang.
||: Phrae and Phayao
|Distances from Amphoe Mueang to Other Districts
|Tha Wang Pha
||Chalerm Phra Kiat
Festivals & Events
Pink Blossoms of Chompoo Phu Kha in Full Bloom
: February - March
: Doi Phu Kha National Park, Amphoe Pua
Thought to have become extinct from the world, The Chompoo Phu Kha, now only
found in Doi Phu Kha National Park in Nan, is much adored for its gorgeous baby
pink-and-white blossoms which come into full bloom during February to March every
year. Don’t miss this rare chance to witness the Chompoo Phu Kha blossom and
discover the rich heritage of Tai Lue hill tribe through their cultural presentations
The festival also showcases other light-and-sound performances and entertainments, e.g.
Lanna folk music, live concert, fashion shows featuring exquisite cotton-woven garment,
renowned product of the province as well as singing contest, beauty contest, mini-marathon,
Thai-boxing shows, sports to name a few. Aside from this fun-packed event which will guarantee
you an enjoyable time, what’s not-to-be-missed in the area is also breathtaking scenic northern
hills of Nan which offers a stunning natural backdrop that complements the magnificent cultural
heritage for which the province is known.
Hok Peng Wai Sa Ma-ha-that Chae Haeng Festival
: February - March
: Wat Phra That Chae Haeng, Amphoe Phu Phiang
This religious festival is held every year on the sixth lunar month. Hok means 6 in Thai and Peng
means full moon in Northern Thai language. Many of Nan’s cultural attractions are linked to Tai
Lue tribe’s traditions. Situated a few kilometres southeast of the provincial capital, Wat Phra
That Chae Haeng is considered the largest and most well-known of Nan’s Tai Lue temples. With its
stunning long, undulating Naga leading to the main entrance, the temple’s principal claim to fame
is its 55 metre-high golden stupa housing a holy relic from nearby Sukhothai, ancient Thailand’s
Today, as the most sacred temple in Nan province, it continuously attracts a great number of Buddhists
from all over Northern Thailand, and beyond, to go to pay their respects to this magnificent stupa
enshrined inside. The festival’s rocket launch ceremony is believed to be performed as offerings make
Songkran and Pha Jao Thong Tip Worship Festival
: 12 - 15 April
: Wat Suan Tarn, Amphoe Mueang
One of the most highly-anticipated festivals of the year all over the country is Songkran
Festival. What’s even more special in Nan province is that in this event, you will have an
opportunity to pay homage and sprinkle water onto the Pha Jao Thong Tip, the famous Buddha
image of Wat Suan Tarn. Inside the temple, lies Wat Suan Tarn Pagoda whose architecture reflects
exquisite style of Sukhothai period, while interestingly, the Buddha image housed within the
pagoda, features magnificent Lanna-style art.
The festival boasts cultural shows and entertaining activities like Songkran procession, water
splashing, sand pagoda building, live music performance, drum beating contest, folk dancing,
singing contest, local sports, just to name a few. Come dress up traditionally and dazzlingly
creative in Thai style, you might even win the contest of Mr. Songkran or Ms. Songkran and bring
home the prize as your souvenir!
Namatsakarn Phra That Khao Noi Festival
: Wat Phra That Khao Noi, Amphoe Mueang
For centuries, Buddhism has lived along side people of Nan province and in various places in
old town area both in Amphoe Mueng and Amphoe Pua, lie several “Phra That” or “Relics of the
Buddha” up in the mountains. Considered as one of the most sacred and respected Buddha’s relics
in Nan, Phra That Khao Noi Worship Festival or “Namatsakarn Phra That Khao Noi Festival” is
annually held on the full moon night of the 8th northern lunar month or the 6th central lunar
month. Located inside Wat Phra That Khao Noi on top of Yod Kao Noi (Noi Mountain), Phra That Khao
Noi Pagoda whose appearance portrays architecture of Burmese combined with Lanna style, contains
the holy Buddha’s hair.
In the area in front of the pagoda, stands the impressive 9 metre-high majestic statue of Buddha
called “Phra Put Tha Ma Ha Udom Mong Kong Nun Ta Bu Ri Sri Nan” on top of tiered lotus base. It
was built to celebrate the 72nd Birthday anniversary of King Rama IX in 1999. Apart from a ceremony
to pay homage to Phra That Khao Noi, the festival also features a sky rocket launch which is regarded
as an offering made to the Buddha. What’s more, up here at Wat Phra That Khao Noi is also the only
bird-eye viewpoint in town where you can really appreciate the whole spectacular landscape of Nan.
Tan Kuay Salak Festival
: Various spots around Nan province
Famous traditionally Lanna festival, Tan Kuay Salak, Kua Tan or Tan Salak, is held annually ever
since olden times two months after Buddhist Lent Retreat until the end of Rainy Season Retreat.
“Tan” literally translates to “Eat’ or symbolise “Alms”, “Kuay” means a round woven basket made of
bamboo with banana leafs placed on its bottom before following by dried and instant food and daily
necessities e.g. instant noodles, stock fish, banana, sugar cane, toothpaste, soap, toilet paper,
towel, etc., and lastly, “Salak” means “Lot”.
Basically, Tan Kuay Salak is a tradition to make merit and pay offerings contained in woven bamboo
baskets to Buddhist monks without designating which monk is to receive them, and using Salak as
indication instead. Considered one of the grandest religious ceremonies and signature festival of
Lanna, the event showcases parade, cultural shows, Kua Tan contest including boat race for the venues
by the river.
Nan Traditional Long-Boat Racing Festival
: October - November
: Nan River
Here in Nan, Long-boat racing tradition has been carried on for centuries to commemorate the end of
the Buddhist Rains Retreat. It is regularly held in the 10th or 11th lunar months when the water level
is at its peak. As part of the celebration of the local “Black Ivory”, a town’s invaluable treasure
and “Tod Kathin” festivals, the whole town welcome locals and visitors to witness the races of these
intricately decorated dug-out boats, elaborated hand-adzed and carved from massive tree-trunks. The
vividly colourful sight of the races on Nan River will keep you mesmerised especially by the boats’
elegance and brightly decoration with imaginatively designed prows and tails as ones of Nagas, the
sacred creature of Nan believed to be the God of Water and Nan people’s ancestor.
The festival features Racing Boats Competition from large, medium to small size, including Beauty
Boat Contest and the Cheering Squad Contest. It is guaranteed to be one of the most memorable events
of the year. Nowadays traditional Nan boat races take place along side Tan Kuay Salak Festival of Wat
Chang Kham Worawihan, a royal temple. The opening of the races is the date when the food offerings are
presented to the monks by drawing lots.
Golden Orange and Red Cross Fair
: Nan Provincial Stadium, Amphoe Mueang
Held annually, and in some years is co-organised with “Best of Nan Products Fair”, “Golden Orange and
Red Cross Fair” particularly boasts the succulent Golden Orange, a famous horticultural crop of Nan
province. Coming from the same species as tangerine, though much sweeter and tastier, this talk-of-the-town
fruit has irresistibly shiny golden skin. The fair features Golden Orange Parade Competition, Beauty Contest,
traditional shows and entertainment including exhibition and booths displaying high quality handicrafts and
local products from both government and private enterprises.