Although Nan town is the centre of Nan province, it still is a small town. A bit like Chiang Rai or Chiang Mai probably were 40 years ago. The main attraction of Nan town is the slow life of upcountry Thai living and the many beautiful old temples in & around Nan town. Nan town is so small you can easily walk or bicycle all town. Traffic jams is something for places like Bangkok or Chiang Mai, not for Nan town. Another thing for big cities is exotic nightlife or international restaurants, because that is also something you will not find in slow life Nan town. So it will not surprise you that most of the tourists coming to Nan are Thai, only a handful of western or asian tourists makes it to Nan province.
So what to do in Nan town?
- Sightseeing the Historical Centre of Nan town with old wooden houses like Luang Thana's Mansion and the Khum Chao Thep Mala House, shophouses, temples and markets. And not forget the Old City Wall.
- Visit the most famous temple Wat Phumin and other temples in Nan topwn like Wat Phra That Chea Kham, Wat Ming Muang, Wat Si Phan Ton, Wat Suan Tan, Wat Hua Kuang or the smallest temple from Thailand the Wat Noi.
- And just outside Nan town are more temples like the Wat Phra That Khao Noi for a beautiful sunrise or the Wat Phra That Chae Haeng for a beautiful sunset.
- If you wake-up early you could watch or participate in Tak Bat (Giving Alms) or visit the Morning Market.
- And for the people who likes markets there are local markets all over town and in the weekend there is the Weekend Market in front of the Wat Phumin.
- For the lovers of history & culture there are the Nan National Museum, Nan Christian School Museum, Nan Noble House and the Identity of Nan Museum.
From Nan town you can make all kind of 1-day trips within Nan province but that is an other story for next time.
Nightlife in Nan town?Well to start with there is not much nightlife in Nan town in compare to places like Chiang Mai or Bangkok. And the places are a bit spread over Nan town, although it seems that there is a development of pubs & restaurants along Soi Mahayot XX (the street has no name but have a look at the location tag link).
My two favourite pubs are Pump Cafe Station and We'Loft Bar & Bistro followed by Mitbun Ung Cafe and Relax @ Nan Pub. If you would like to dive into the local nightlife you might want to visit the Karaoke bars along route 101 near the airport.