Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Donating money to the temple

At the end of Buddhist lent there are big temple fairs and a part of the fairs is to donate money to the temple. This collecting of the money is done by people themselves in a few different ways. One of it is that a shop puts a kind of tree (money tree) in their shop where people can attach some money. The owner of the shop will at the day of donating take the "money tree" to the temple and give it to the monks.

Another way is that family & friends collect money and put it in the "money tree" and at the day of donating one person of the family will give it to the monks.

This is they way it did happen with some friends of us. My wife had made donating coins (wrapped in strings like a flower) and we did put some money in an envelop for donation to the temple. On the day of donation we did visit our friends and helped them to put all the money on the tree. The big notes (500 & 1000 Thai baht) in the top and the smaller notes (100, 50 and 20 Thai baht) a bit lower of course.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Bicycle tours in Nan (Thailand)

DASTA has developed a nice brochure with 9 bicycle trips in & around Nan. The first tour is in Nan city and you will be passing historical buildings & temples of Nan city. Some other tours go the country side nearby Nan. Personally I think that some of the upcountry tours are for experienced bicyclist only. Not to mention the fact that you are riding some roads with much more as little bit traffic from cars & trucks. Be careful!

DASTA supports & encourages sustainable traveling in endorsed provinces all over Thailand.


Saturday, 15 November 2014

Lemongrass Restaurant @ Nan Seasons Resort (Nan, Thailand)

OK it is not my photo but some of the dishes I did indeed eat at the restaurant of Nan Seasons Resort in Nan. The kitchen is managed by Kas & Suwannarat .... who is actually "The Chef"? It does not matter because the all team of the kitchen creates together a wonderful menu of local & Northern & Southern Thai food combined with International dishes to create delicious fusion food.

Even when you are not staying in the lovely resort, the restaurant is a great place for lunch or diner (for couples or very small groups). The service & hospitality of Kas & Rogier and the all staff is fantastic and makes you feel coming to a place where people know your name.

And good food of course goes with good drinks ... so there is a nice wine collection for affordable prices. I had a few times diner here and I liked it very much. And price-wise very good value for money!

The restaurant is at the romantic open-air sala of the resort located in a teak plantation about 2 km from Nan city center.  So when you are in Nan ... ..try it out and have lunch of diner at "Lemongrass Restaurant" at "Nan Seasons Resort".

Rungyen Resort (Phu Rua, Thailand)

The garden of the resort
The resort is a bit older Thai family resort in the hills between Phu Rua and Dan Sai in Loei province. At a height of about 600 meter, the resort is hidden away in the lush jungle of Loei. About 10 km from the main road (route 203).

The hotel of course has private parking, free wife and restaurant for breakfast, lunch and diner. Although I would suggest to take your own food with you, as the quality of the food is not very well. The resort has a main building with rooms and a few bungalows with 1 or 2 rooms. Our bungalow had 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a living room with a fire place (for in the winter). And of course a verandah. Although it is all a bit older it was well taken care off and recently renovated.

If not in the high season the prices are actually not bad and if you are with a group of people who do not mind that it is all a bit older then it is a great place to stay.

See Rungyen Resort

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Another day trip around Nan (Thailand)

Temple entrance
With Nan city as base, the province is ideal for making day trips. It does not matter if you go North, West, East or South there are rivers, mountains & hill tribe villages to be found everywhere.

Nearby Nan are many small roads that are perfect for making bicycle trips and there are many small villages and beautiful temples to be found all along the trip. Great to do in the afternoon when the sunlight is so beautiful.

For tours in Nan province see Discovering Nan by Beyond Highlights Travel 

A bit further North-East of Nan city are many waterfalls to cool down after a hot day. Although of course the water does not come from high mountains with snow .... the water is still bloody cold!

You can even swim here

Another bride crossing the Nan river

Siam Garden Resort (Thung Chang, Thailand)

Sorry no photos this time ... A lovely budget resort in the midst of the mountain area north of Nan. They have 5 bungalows on the slopes of the mountains nearby a small village. The Thai & Italian owners are lovely hosts and very knowledgeable about the area. Highly recommended!

The area is perfect for hiking and caving. It is also located in the area bordering Laos and is a great gate-way to Laos (Luang Prabang). So if you are a nature lover this is the place to go in Nan!

See Siam Garden Resort

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Phu Hun Sa Boutique Hotel (Nan, Thailand)

Sorry no photos, it was a quick visit. A brand new hotel (at Nov'2014) in the city of Nan. It is located just of one of the main streets and has a small park in front of the hotel. The hotel has private parking, free wifi and a swimming pool (there are not much hotels with swimming pool in Nan). The rooms are comfortable and luxury. The hotel is build in a romantic old fashion style. They do serve breakfast. I did like the hotel with spacious and well taken care rooms but with a price range of 1400 to 2800 I think it is a bit on the expensive side. But time will learn.

See Phu Hun Sa Boutique Hotel

A day trip around Nan (Thailand)

With Nan as base, the province is ideal for making day trips. It does not matter if you go North, West, East or South there are rivers, mountains & hill tribe villages to be found everywhere.

On the East side of Nan is Mae Charim National Park, what has different entrances to access the huge area that the park is covering. The Wa river is passing the park and in & just after the raining season the river is wild and a perfect place for rafting down the river.

For tours in Nan province see Discovering Nan by Beyond Highlights Travel

Where to go?

Rapids in the Wa river

A bridge crossing the Wa river

Swimming to the other side might be safer

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Loy Kratong in Nan (Thailand)

This year I was in Nan to celebrate Loy Kratong. Luckily it was dry in the evening, as it had been raining slightly all day. Along the Nan river, near the bridge, is where the main party was. Hundreds  of people, young & old gathered together here to float their kratong in the river and to lift their lantern  in the dark sky. Of course there was also music, food and a market. All together a wonderful Thai family happening.

Visiting Hmong hill tribes (Nan, Thailand)

The province of Nan is ideal for making day trips. It does not matter if you go North, West, East or South there are rivers, mountains & hill tribe villages to be found everywhere.

Overview of the misty mountains
About 50 km north of Nan city is a mountain range that is famous for its Hmong hill tribes that are living there. It takes a 45 km dead-end road to a height of about 1300 meter to reach the valley in the mountains. In the old days the area was infamous for being a stronghold for communist rebels and the growing of poppy fields.

Nowadays due to Royal Projects the poppy fields have been replaced by vegetables and flowers. The people living there are still descents from Hmong hill tribes that came from China. And the mostly still live in their own traditional way, although of course they now have cars, TV and mobile phones.

The area is also famous for its many caves and even Thailand's deepest cave (400 meter deep) can be found here. A great area for hiking. Something I will do next time! So more photos coming up in a few weeks.

For tours in Nan province see Discovering Nan by Beyond Highlights Travel 

School kids singing the national Thai song

Nan Lanna Hotel (Nan, Thailand)

Front of the hotel
A brand new small hotel (at Nov.2014) in the city of Nan. The hotel has only 10 rooms and is located in a quite small street behind Wat Hua Khuang. The hotel has limited private parking and free wifi. There is no breakfast but free coffee & tea all day.

The spacious room has airco, fridge, TV and private bathroom with shower only. The room was comfortable and clean. Good value for money and I would stay here again.

See FB Page of Nan Lanna Hotel

Monday, 10 November 2014

Vespresso Coffee shop (Nan, Thailand)

A very nice coffee shop in the city of Nan. Decorated with of course Vespa's. And I think it is the only coffee shop with a motorbike service workspace behind the shop! Good service, very good hot chocolate and free Wifi. Highly recommended!

See Vespresso