Nan, capital of the kingdom Nan
Nan is the capital of the province of the same name. The province is in the east of North Thailand, bordering Laos. Nan is still an off the beaten track destination although there are now regular daily flights from Bangkok. It is a laid back town that mostly gets Thai visitors.
It used to be considered be a remote part of Thailand, rather cut off from the rest of the country. Nan has a rich history. It was one of the principalities that made up the kingdom of Lanna.
Just as the rest of the kingdom it came under Burmese occupation until the late 18th century. The local dynasty came back into power and managed to retain autonomy until 1931 when it became part of Siam. Nan is a lovely town on the river of the same name. Check out the local Museum to learn about the history of this region. There are some beautiful temples such as Wat Phumin, with its famous murals, and Wat Phra That Chae Haeng. Don’t forget Wat Phrathat Khao Noi with its standing Buddha statue. From this temple you have a wonderful view of the town.
The Presbyterian Mission has been very active in Nan from the late 19th century onwards. If you have time it is worth visiting the former missionary school which has been turned into a museum. Many photographs adorn the walls in this beautiful building.
In the province there are some wonderful national parks but it will take some time to visit these as they are along the Thai-Laotian border.