Nan, Travel

A Two Night/Three Day Tour of The Beautiful Nan Province – DAY ONE

Have you ever heard of Nan in Northern Thailand? If not, don’t worry, not many tourists have. Nan isn’t top of many people’s list of destinations when planning a trip to Thailand. This may be about to change, however, with the Thailand Tourism Authority making it one of their new ‘Creative Tourism Districts.’

 

The idea behind the Creative Tourism Districts is to attract more visitors to lesser travelled regions of Thailand and help local communities support themselves through sustainable tourism.

 

We teamed up with thaiguide.com for a two night/three-day tour of this beautiful part of Thailand.

 

You can read about day two here.

 

Day 1: Green Living in Chiang Klang.

 

After landing at Nan airport at 8 A.M and were met by our driver to set off for the forty five minute drive to our first stop, the Sangthong Resort in Chiang Klang. The journey gave us a chance to take in the local scenery and get a real feel for the lusciously green Nan countryside. I had a feeling we were going to enjoy this!

 

Peter, the resort manager, greeted us on arrival, and after a brief explanation of what the resort offers, it was off to have a stroll around the hotels own rice paddies.

 

The hotel boasts it’s own on-site rice paddies.

 

The scenery at the Sangthong Resort is nothing short of stunning. There are rice fields that go on for miles, surrounded by the Chiang Klang mountains, where Peter told us they grow the best coffee in all of Thailand. Chiang Klang is about as far away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok city life as you could hope to find yourself.

 

 

Peter showed around the different rooms on offer, and the views from the ‘Love Suite’ are incredible. They feature an outside decking area with a bathtub overlooking the fields and mountains mentioned above. The quoted price of 4400  seemed entirely justified.

 

Rooms with a view.

 

Sangthong Resort boasts an organic farm on site, where they grow most of the vegetables used in their restaurant. They also produce Japanese melons and cucumbers here. Being a cook, I was very interested to see the farm for myself and Peter was more than happy to show us around.

 

They have rows of giant greenhouses for all the different fruit and vegetables and also an outside patch which was being tended to by the always friendly staff members as we walked around.

 

Helen admiring the melons!

 

After seeing where the food was grown; I was eager to try it, so we headed to the hotel restaurant for an early lunch.

 

The open air restaurant, situated over the hotel rice fields, gives a lovely breeze as well as a good a view as I’ve seen anywhere in Thailand. I hoped the food would live up to the surroundings!

 

 

Here is what we ordered:

 

  • Tom yum soup with seafood

 

  • Spicy deep fried freshwater shrimp salad

 

  • Stir fried ‘mountain’ cabbage with soy sauce

 

I started with the tom yum soup, which is one of my favourite Thai dishes, and I wasn’t disappointed. It was everything I expect from a tom yum; spicy, sour, creamy and salty. It was packed full of perfectly cooked squid and juicy mussels.

 

 

Next up was the Spicy shrimp salad. It consisted of small freshwater prawns, battered and deep fried and tossed with lemongrass, local herbs, and shallots in a sour lime dressing. It’ was perfectly balanced, sharp from the lime juice and not too sweet. The battered prawns gave a nice texture to the dish.

 

 

The dish I was most surprised about was the stir-fried cabbage. Peter told us that the cabbage was grown in the surrounding mountains as it needs cool air to flourish. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. The cabbage was blanched then quickly fried in soy sauce to retain its crunch and texture and let it’s natural sweetness shine through. A simple but delicious side dish.

 

 

We finished up with an excellent latte made with the local coffee. Peter wasn’t lying; this really is some of the best coffee in Thailand!

 

 

After lunch, we took a bike ride around the villages, up to the nearby Nan river. The whole of Chiang Klang is steeped in natural beauty. If you love to get out of the city and take in the countryside, then this could be the place for you.

 

 

Below is a video of our day at The Sangthong Resort:

 

We departed The Sangthong Resort at 3.30 to make our way to a temple called Wat Phuket on the way back to Nan Town. I’ve visited a lot of temples in Thailand, but nothing could have prepared me for what we were about to witness.

 

 

 

The temple grounds at Wat Phuket are beautiful but what sets it apart from other places we’ve been is where it’s situated; high above an incredible valley, overlooking rice paddies, forest, and mountains stretching as far as the eye can see.

 

 

After walking down the stairs to the fields below, you come to a market where the local Lanna people come to sell their local produce and crafts.

 

 

There are walkways and huts to relax in while you wait for sunset to fall.

 

 

I can honestly say that this was some of the best scenery we have seen anywhere in Asia. You can read about day two of our trip here.

Below is a video of our trip to Wat Phuket: