Continuing on with the Gateway to Eastern Lanna trip with ThaiGuide and Chiangrai Provincial Tourism and Sports Bureau, last week we took you to Payao. Today we are heading to “Naan”, a province packed with beautiful temples. For spiritual temple goers, this province is for you. We even had to stop for photos at some of the places not even on our itinerary just because they are so gorgeous. Let’s see where you shouldn’t miss in Naan.
WAT PHRA THAT CHANG KHAM
Last week, after arriving in Chiangrai, we headed to Payao. This week, we continue on to our second stop, Naan province. We arrived in Naan in the evening and decided to visit PHRA THAT CHANG KHAM Temple to make merit. The temple was formally known as LUANG KLANG VIANG Temple, built in 1406. The main hall is huge with northern architectural style. Two guardian lions stand tall in front of the hall entrance. The principal image is a gigantic stucco Buddha image in Chiangsaen style.
Chang Kham pagoda is an ancient sanctuary influenced by Sukhothai art as seen at Chang Lom temple’s pagoda. There are half-body elephant stucco images surrounding this Chang Kham pagoda.
Kuang Mueng, Naan Walking Street
After making merit at WAT PHRA THAT CHANG KHAM, it’s time for dinner. If you happen to visit Naan on weekends, this is a great opportunity to visit Kuang Mueng Walking Street. Just cross the street from WAT PHRA THAT CHANG KHAM, you will get to try lots of Naan’s local food. Just buy the food you like then head to the dining area at Kuang Mueng, a town square with large outdoor space, and enjoy the food with free live music!
The food at Kuang Mueng is cheaply priced starting from only 10 baht. For fashion lovers, Hand-woven fabric and clothes tailored by the locals will surprise you with its style and bargain for just under 200 baht.
WAT PHRA THAT KAO NOI
After staying at Naan for one night, let’s start fresh with merit making at WAT PHRA THAT KAO NOI, another highlight of Naan province. The iconic photo spot of this temple is from the back of the nine-meter-tall golden Buddha image standing on a lotus base with walking posture. From this angle, you will capture the 360-degree view of Naan and the Buddha image as if you are following the steps of the Buddha to heaven.
The beautiful appearance of WAT SRIPANTON captivated us, so we couldn’t resist to stop by. This golden monastery shines from afar. And when you get to see the inside, you will see the painting telling the story of the Buddha and Naan province. Surrounding the monastery is the marvelous sculptures. The seven-headed golden naga guarding at the stairs of the main entrance are both charming and exquisite.
After making merit at two beautiful temples, it’s time for a cup of coffee. We headed to Naan province’s renowned café, Cafe Sudkongdee. This treehouse café enclosed by greenery sits at Naan riverfront. You can order your coffee on the ground floor and climb up to enjoy your favorite drinks and gently taste the cakes on top of the tree while looking at natural scenic view at the same time.
WAT NONG BUA
We made a final stop of our Naan province trip at WAT NONG BUA before heading to Chiangrai province in the next episode.
Here you can see beautiful paintings, elaborating architecture and neat handcrafts all in one place. Wat Nong Bua is in Nong Bua village of tambon Paka, Tha Wang Pha district. This area is Thai Lue village (group of villagers living along the Thailand-Myanmar border). Inside the monastery, you can appreciate elaborating paintings and the traditional local architecture. Another highlight is the handwoven fabric display zone showing meticulous Thai Lue craftsmen which you can also buy as a souvenir