quiet and tranquil province, Nan nestles in a verdant valley in
northern Thailand. About 668 kilometres from Bangkok, it covers
an area of 11,472 square kilometres and is made up of the following
districts: Mueang, Wiang Sa, Na Noi, Pua, Chiang Klang, Tha Wang
Pha, Thung Chang, Mae Charim, Ban Luang, Na Mun, Santi Suk, Bo Kluea,
Chaloem Phra Kiat, Song Khwae, and Phu Phiang.
The people of Nan descend from the Lan Changs (Laotians). Their
forebears moved to settle around present-day Pua district which
is rich in rock salt deposits, about 700 years ago at the time when
Sukhothai was becoming the kingdom of the Thais. They subsequently
moved south to the fertile Nan River basin which is much more extensive.
Nan's history is deeply involved with its neighbours, in particular
Sukhothai which played an important role in both political and religious
terms before Nan became a part of Lanna, Burma and Thailand in that
order. Today Nan is still the home of numerous Thai Lue and other
hilltribes who retain highly interesting customs and traditions.