Nan and Phayao: cheap but charming havens.
In recent years, the sleepy towns in eastern Lanna, Nan and Phayao, become a new frontier.
Normally, life in northern towns of Thailand goes on in slower pace than in Bangkok. However, if you find Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai is not slow enough, Phayao and Nan probably suit your desire. Rustic charm and easy atmosphere make small towns dream places for slow life seeker.
Nan is rich with Culture. Just grab a bike to roam the downtown area and you will find yourself among the cultural hub of the province. Classic design of Wat Phumin as well as its Naga sculptures and mural is the highlight for all visitors to Nan. Besides a number of splendid temples, the century-old Nan Noble House or Hong Chao Fong Kham showcases cultural richness of Nan. Art and craft demonstration is conducted in a huge teak building among utmost classic vibe.
Nan National museum can make you love to the small town even more with romantic Frangipani tunnel that leads to the building. While art space of outskirt of the town, Rim Nan Art Gallery, mirrors the artful lifestyle of the people here.
While Nan impresses visitors with charming culture, the adjacent Phayao lures travelers with slow pace of life and Lakeside easy vibe.
The beautiful small town is set on the eastern side of a nice lake called Kwan Phayao. The serene lake is ringed with restaurants, plantations, and impressive temples. At far side of the lake, the hill top Wat Analayo houses eclectic collection of Buddha images, pagodas, and halls among lush tropical Garden as well as the scenic lake view.
Spend a peaceful night and slowly explore the towns, you may love their slower pace of travel.
How to get there: Nan is 416 miles from Bangkok and via highway 11. Phayao is 451 miles from Bangkok via highway 1120. There are daily flights between Bangkok and Nan.