A hidden gem of a province, Nan was once an independent kingdom and is now a refuge for travelers who wish to explore the natural beauty of northern Thailand and its rich cultural heritage in peace and tranquility.

A quiet and tranquil province, Nan is nestled in a verdant valley in northern Thailand along the border with Laos. Because of its relative proximity to Luang Prabang, the historical capital of the Laotian Lan Xang kingdom, the earliest settlers in the area were Lan Xang’s Laotians, ethnic Tai who are distantly related to the Tai people who settled in central Thailand. These early settlers established themselves around present-day Pua district, which is rich in rock salt deposits, about 700 years ago. The earliest Nan rulers allied themselves with neighboring principalities to establish the kingdom of Lan Na. The center of power in Nan eventually moved south to the fertile Nan River basin, where the capital of Nan exists to this day. Nan’s history, development, and architecture were greatly influenced by various neighboring kingdoms, in particular Sukhothai, which played important political and religious roles in shaping the development of Nan. Over the centuries however, Nan alternated between being an independent principality under the control of Lan Na, Sukhothai, Burma and Siam in that order. In 1558, the town was conquered and depopulated by the Burmese. By the late 18th century Nan forged an alliance with the new Bangkok centered Rattakosin Kingdom and existed as a semi-autonomous kingdom with a line of monarchs that ruled from 1786 until 1931. Today, Nan is still the home of numerous Thai Lue and other hill tribes who retain many of their fascinating customs and traditions.

The rural province of Nan is an attractive region of northern Thailand where there are high populations of hill tribe communities, including Hmong, N’tin, and Khamu. Much of Nan is devoted to agriculture, particularly rice and fruit cultivation.Nan features six national parks, including the stunning Doi Phukha National Park, which contains mountains nearly 2,000 m high. The rich natural beauty of Nan makes it an ideal destination for trekking as the remote province sees far fewer visitors than neighboring Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai. The provincial capital of Nan has a relaxed charm, an interesting history, some impressive temples, and a good museum. There are also a number of quality restaurants and bars along the town’s riverfront to plan your adventures into the countryside or relax after sightseeing in the town.

Key Tips
  • If you plan to visit in October, the city comes alive for the annual Nan boat races; try to book your room early!
Tour the Farms, Taste the Fruits
Story by Saisunee Singhathat
 
The eastern region of Thailand consists of Chon Buri, Rayong, Chanthaburi, and Trat Provinces. It is a charming coastal area attached to the Gulf of Thailand. The eastern beaches are well-known as a getaway destination to both Thai and foreign tourists thanks to a number of tourist attractions and various facilities. The region is also not far from the capital Bangkok and available all year round.
 
The 60 kilometer long beach of the region, from Chon Buri to Trat, boasts paradise beaches and wonderful islands and bays. Up on the shore are a variety of lavish green natural attractions with an abundant number of wild animals.
One of the charms that draw a lot of visitors to the region is the food. Be it seafood, both fresh and processed, local food, the area offers the best you can find in Thailand. In addition, the land is home to the most famous tropical fruits in Thailand.

Approximately from May to June each year, the farms in the area yield the best fresh tropical fruits such as rambutan, durian, salacca, and marian plum. To engage more visitors, farm owners open their homes and invite tourists to go wander around, try their fruits, and buy them at low prices, following the regional slogan ‘Tour the Farms, Taste the Fruits’. Besides, each province in the region also holds their own fruit fairs to draw fruit fans. The period is uncertain as the best time of fruit production is still speculated. Among the most popular fruit fairs is the World Durian Festival in Muang District of Chanthaburi Province.

In order to promote durian, the most noted fruit of the province, many events are held throughout the season. The activities are, for example, Farm Beauty Contest, various fruit contests, fruit eating competition, fruit parade competition, and fruit fair from local farmers. For more information please call 0 3865 5420-1.

Trat Fruit Festival
Trat Province is well-known for its source of tropical fruit production, especially the sweet salacca, which is best yielded in the area thanks to the suitable weather and soil condition. To celebrate this advantage, the province holds the 2 day event named Trat Fruit Festival annually in front of Trat City Hall. The ceremony features a colorful parade decorated with fruits proceeding through the important streets in the province. In addition, there are also other activities arranged in the festival such as beautiful dog contest, fruit and vegetable contest, exhibition of sweet salacca breeding, trade fair, and etc. For more information on the festival please contact Trat Provincial Office, Tel. 0 3950 1282.

Rayong Fruit Festival
Rayong province is one of the leading seafood producers in Thailand and it is also well-known for the succulent tropical fruits. In an attempt to promote its natural products, Rayonng hosts the Rayong Fruit Festival every year during the beginning of the rainy season. The featured activities are fruit-decorated parade, fruit contest, local food fair, trade fair, and etc. For more details about the festival please contact TAT Rayong, Tel. 0 3865 5420-1.

The northeastern region of Thailand is a vast plateau which boasts an abundance of historical sites that tell its prosperous history. The historical attractions are, for example, old Khmer temples, Pha Taem National Park, etc. Besides the rich and exotic culture, the region offers a huge number of strikingly marvelous natural attractions such as strange stone formation in Phu Pha Toeb and various islets in Mekong River. All has impressed millions of tourists from around the world. http://www.tourismthailand.org/where-to-go/north-eastern/