Nan National Museum

Top choice in Nan

Housed in the 1903 vintage palace of Nan’s last two feudal lords, this museum first opened its doors in 1973. It’s one of the country’s better provincial museums, featuring exhibits on Nan's ethnic minorities, local history and Buddhism, and there are English labels for most items.

The ground floor has ethnological exhibits covering the various ethnic groups found in the province. Among the items on display are textiles, silverwork, folk utensils and tribal costumes.

On the 2nd floor are exhibits on Nan history, archaeology, local architecture, royal regalia, weapons, ceramics and religious art. The museum’s collection of Buddha images includes some rare Lanna styles as well as the floppy-eared local styles. Also on display on the 2nd floor is a rare ‘black’ elephant tusk said to have been presented to a Nan lord more than 300 years ago by the Khün ruler of Chiang Tung (Kyaingtong).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Nan attractions

1. Wat Hua Khuang

0.08 MILES

This temple features a distinctive Lanna/Lan Xang–style chedi (stupa) with four Buddha niches, an attractive wooden hŏr đrai (manuscript library) and a…

2. Wat Phra That Chang Kham

0.12 MILES

The founding date of this wát, the second-most important temple in the city after Wat Phra That Chae Haeng, is unknown, but the main wí·hăhn (sanctuary),…

3. Wat Phumin

0.12 MILES

Nan’s most famous Buddhist temple is celebrated for its exquisite murals, executed during the late 19th century by a Thai Lü artist named Thit Buaphan…

5. Wat Phra That Chae Haeng

1.87 MILES

Located 2km past the bridge that spans Mae Nam Nan, heading southeast out of town, this Buddhist temple dating from 1355 is the most sacred wát in Nan…

6. Wat Nong Bua

21.57 MILES

The neat and tidy Thai Lü village of Nong Bua, approximately 30km north of Nan, is famous for the Lü-style Wat Nong Bua. Featuring a typical two-tiered…