Nan in the Rain
Nan in the Rain
Story & Photos by Exotica Traveler
Nan, the Far East province of the Lanna region next to Laos is a province frozen in time. Floras flourish across the misty valleys of Nan, especially during the rainy season, making it a cooling paradise for both the environmentalist and tourist alike.
Bor Klua – Ancient Salt Mine
Rich in salt, Nan has been mined for rock salt at Bor Klua village for centuries. As salt was a very valuable resource in the past, Nan became a strong district, and many empires like Lanna, Chiang Tung, Bagan, Sukhothai, and Xishuangbanna were always eyeing for the land.
The North mine and the South mine by Mang River are the only two surviving rock salt mines today, and locals still use traditional method to produce salt. Salt water from the mine is pumped into a large boiler powered by wood fire is used to boil the salt water for approximately 4-5 hours until only white deposit of salt remains.
Then the salt deposit is scooped up and hung to dry before they are sold in small packages. Nan rock salt is believed to have therapeutic benefit and often used in spas and cooking.
For more information, contact Tourism Authority of Thailand, Phrae-Nan Office, Tel. 0-5452-1127
Phufa Development Center – Meet the Malabree
The harsh terrain of the valleys and mountains in the Phufa district, Nan, makes it hard for the people to travel in and out of the land. However, the Phufa district is home to various tribes of ethnic minority who relied on “slash-and-burn” farming which often takes a huge toll on the forest.
In 1995, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn visited Bor Klua and initiated the project to improve the quality of life and the nature in the area, which has now developed into “Phufa Development Center under the Initiation of Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.”, the project not only promotes an increase of income for local farmers.
But also sustainably revives the forest. Farmers are encouraged to produce tea leaves and other organic produces, which they can sell to the project where some produces can further be processed into higher valued products.
Even the “Malabree”, a local tribe which lives deep into the forest, was encouraged to produce their unique handicrafts to gain income and improve their living condition.
For more information, contact Phufa Development Center, Tel. 0-5471-0610
Wah River Rafting
Wake up your adventurer spirit and hop on a raft to battle the current! Mae Jarim National Park offers an exciting rafting experience on Lower Wah River, so get your safety equipment ready and start the river rafting journey down the devious river passing lush forest and 22 exciting cataracts.
The largest cataract is Gang Luang where the intimidating river roars with 1-2 meters drops along the way. You can choose 2 starting point to start your adventure. The first starts at the nation park’s entrance and runs for 15 km. The second starts at Baan Nam Phu and ends at Lanna Nong which runs for 19.2 km. and takes around 4 hours to complete.
Winter is the best season to experience Lower Wah River rafting as the surroundings are most beautiful and the river difficulty level is between 3 to 5. Just make sure you listen to the captain’s instructions and attach yourself the raft well, and you will have the adventure of your life.
For more information, contact Jarim National Park, Tel. 0-5473-0040-1