Introducing Nong Bua
This neat and tidy Thai Lü village near the town of Tha Wang Pha, approximately 30km north of Nan, is famous for Lü-style Wat Nong Bua. Featuring a typical two-tiered roof and carved wooden portico, the bòt design is simple yet striking – note the carved naga heads at the roof corners. Inside the bòt are some noteworthy but faded jataka murals thought to have been painted by the same mural artists as Wat Phumin. The building is often locked when religious services aren’t in progress, but there’s usually someone around to unlock the door. Be sure to leave at the altar a donation for temple upkeep and for its restoration.
You can also see Thai Lü weavers at work in the village. The home of Khun Janthasom Phrompanya, a few blocks behind the wat, serves as a local weaving centre – check there for the locations of looms or to look at fabrics for purchase. Large yâam (hill-tribe-style shoulder bags) are available for around 60B, while nicely woven neck scarves cost more. There are also several weaving houses just behind the wat.