Fall in Love with “Nan”, a Living Old City
If you have a chance to visit “Nan” province once in your life, you will fall in love with its old-but-still-alive atmosphere. Charming and magical characteristics of Nan is very unique and cannot be found anywhere else and that is what makes visitors come back to this lovely little town.
If you think about typical old cities, pictures of historical places, artifacts, old temples, and palaces will most likely come to your mind. Sukhothai and Ayutthaya are old cities that reflect pictures of the past and take you down a memory lane to see ways of life of people in the early days. What have remained until now are ruins and traces of the historical sites, old objects, arts, and cultures. All of these have become historical learning centers opening for the visitors and those who are interested.
Nan province, on the other hand, is an old city that local people still live their lives the same way their grandparents and ancestors did in the past. This can be seen through the local people still paying respect to some of the 100-year-old temples and performing religious ceremonies in these temples as well as using the temple grounds as local markets.
The pictures of the past, especially during the Kingdom of Nanzhao aged more than 400 years ago, can still be witnessed today at Phra That Chae Haeng Temple, Phumin Temple, Phra That Chang Kam Temple, and old houses and buildings in the old town district. These places are open for the visitors to come and learn about the local ways of life of Nan people in the past, arts and cultures, and ancient household appliances. Most importantly, unique characteristics and traditions of Nan’s local communities have been well-conserved and practiced from generations to generations until recent days.
Mr. Suksun Pengdit, manager of the designated area office 6 under the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (Public Organization) or DASTA, has said that Nan is the second old city to the Rattanakosin Island. With the unity and cooperation of Nan people in preserving and protecting the province’s identities, the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP) had begun to draft a city development plan which later was taken care of by the Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning. In 2010, DASTA has come to take responsibility of the area with an instruction to improve the old development plan. DASTA has invited every related party, especially the communities and the local people, to discuss and listen to their opinions. The conclusion has been reached that they would like to make the old town district a selling point of the province. From then on, Nan has become one of the creativity-based tourist spots exhibiting several aspects of the province, namely the local ways of life, arts and cultures, and craftsmanship.
Mr. Suksun Pengdit
Anyone who visits Nan will find it very difficult not to fall for its charms – a distinctive old city of people living their simple lives with no rush hours. Nan is full of unique style of arts and cultures. Also, the fact that it is located in the middle of the valley and embraced by the nature simply makes Nan a perfect countryside getaway.
Mr. Suksan has also stated that the perfection in every angle of Nan province has made DASTA to come up with a plan to nominate “Nan” to be listed in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) in the field of Crafts and Folk Arts in the fiscal year 2021. The Network is under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization or UNESCO.