Buddhist Temples of Nan

Wat Phumin

Wat Phumin is the most famous temple of Nan. Its Viharn and Ubosot are combined with a quite unusual floor plan in the form of a crucifix. The complex has a Ho Trai (a library) and a dome like structure with scary scenes from the Buddhist hell. Wat Phumin was founded in 1596 but was rebuilt in the years 1867 until 1875. Wat Phumin is located in the center of Nan and is a must-see temple. It should be on our “Things to do in Nan” list.

Wat Pra That Chae Haeng

Wat Phrathat Chae Haeng is considered the most important temple of Nan. It is located across the Nan River. Its chedi is called Phra That Chae Haeng. It contains a relic of the Buddha. The temple was founded in 1355. A broad walkway flanked by long balustrades leads up to the temple. The lower end of the balustrades is topped with massive 4 meter high heads of the Naga snake. The body of the serpent extending all the way up to the temple area. This is also a must-see temple in Nan.

The chedi of Wat Phra That Chae Haeng in Nan
Wat Phra That Chae Haeng in Nan.

Wat Phra That Khao Noi

Wat Phra That Khao Noi is located a bit outside of town on a hill that offers great views over Nan and surroundings. Take the long stairs! Wat Phra That Khao Noi’s chedi contains a relic of the Buddha. The temple dates back to the 13th century. It is constructed in Tai Lue style. This is another of the must-see temples of Nan.

Wat Phra That Chang Kham

Wat Phra That Chang Kham is one of Nan’s oldest and most important temples. This temple dates back to the early 15th century. It is built in a mix of Tai Lue and Lanna styles. Local people call this temple “Wat Chang” which means Elephant Temple. The chedi of this temple contains a relic from the Buddha. It is supported by 24 elephant statues.

Wat Chang Kham in Nan after dark
Wat Phra That Chang Kham in Nan. Picture by Frans Betgem