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NAN EXPERIENCE

Nan Experience 2024
 

Nan Experience is a unique 10 day package of cooking classes and cultural tours and activities based in the township of Nan, that will give you an authentic taste of northern Thai food and culture. Set in this unspoilt corner of north eastern Thailand, close to the Laotian border, Nan retains its essential Thai-ness and is an ideal base to truly relax and immerse yourself in the sights, tastes and sounds of this area. 

Your host, Duang Tengtrirat, has partnered with a very committed and knowledgeable team of local women - a hotel owner, an accredited tour guide and a chef - who provide the wealth of their combined expertise and local knowledge to give you a unique experience. Nan Experience operates as a social enterprise, supporting and encouraging the businesses it works with to adopt ecologically sustainable practices and to use ethically sourced products. It works with and supports small, locally owned businesses and promotes the maintenance and resurgence of traditional crafts and skills. 

You will be staying at Nan Boutique Hotel, which has won numerous sustainability awards, the latest being the 2023 ASEAN Green Hotel Award. The very comfortable accommodation at Nan Boutique Hotel is provided on a twin share or single basis. Rooms are air conditioned, and the ensuites are supplied with organic local shower products. Delicious breakfasts are served on the open air balcony in the hotel grounds. Nan Boutique Hotel is a short walk to Baan Ya, the traditional shopfront house that will be our base. 

Duang grew up in Nan. She spent her adult life living in the USA and Australia but has kept strong ties to her home town and to Thai culture throughout her life. Duang is a passionate cook and learnt by watching and helping her mother prepare fresh food daily for her family of 11 from her outdoor kitchen. It’s in this kitchen at Baan Ya that our cooking classes will be held. Duang has refurbished her mother’s kitchen to create a comfortable space for groups to cook, dine and relax, maintaining its traditional Thai charm but adding some 21st century conveniences. Cooking classes are hands-on and fun, and culminate in a shared lunch served with cooling herbal infusions or ice cold local beer. 

Cooking classes will alternate with excursions out of Nan that will enable you to see and experience more of the area. Excursions will include visits to: a Thai Lue village where you’ll observe traditional spinning and weaving and broom-making; ancient Buddhist temples; a cooperative that makes cosmetics and medicines from forest herbs and plants; and an ancient salt mine in the hills behind Nan**. We’ll spend time with a Thai farming family on their permaculture farm and prepare food from produce grown on the farm. As well, there will be visits to Nan’s wonderful night market, a local coffee house (the Nan region is known for its high quality coffee) and a variety of local eateries. 

There will be plenty of free time to shop, have a relaxing Thai massage (onsite at your accommodation), go for a swim at nearby Nan Resort Hotel, explore Nan on pushbike or just relax in your hotel room. Early risers can enjoy checking out the morning food market, attend the free community qi gong classes in a nearby park or be part of the community’s daily alms-giving to local Buddhist monks.

 

In 2024 we will offer three small group tours (see dates below). Each group will have an English-speaking host who will be your first point of contact for day to day matters and tour logistics. 

**Subject to change. The wet season can be unpredictable and very heavy rains can cause the closure of roads preventing some excursions to go ahead. If this happens, alternate excursions and activities will be substituted. 

TOUR DATES FOR 2024 

Group 1 - 18 to 27 July 

Group 2 - 22 - 31 August 

Group 3 - 19 to 28 September 

Group size - 6 minimum to 14 maximum 

WHAT IS INCLUDED:

  • Pick-up and drop-off at Nan airport. 

  • 10 nights accommodation at Nan Boutique Hotel, winner of 2023 ASEAN Green Hotel Award. 

  • 10 breakfasts, with a choice of Thai or western food. 

  • Wifi at Nan Boutique Hotel and at Baan Ya. 

  • All tours and local transportation. 

  • Local registered tour guide. 

  • 5 cooking classes. 

  • 10 lunches and 10 dinners. 

  • Filtered water and local beer. 

  • Pushbikes for those who want to explore Nan on wheels. 

 

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED:

  • Domestic and international flights. 

  • Personal expenses such as: laundry, phone, massages, drinks, etc. 

  • Tips for guides and drivers. 

  • Personal travel insurance (it is highly recommended that you take out suitable travel insurance before you leave home). 

  • Accommodation before and after the designated 10 days of the tour. You will need to arrange and pay for any additional accommodation directly with Nan Boutique Hotel & Resort 

 

WHAT TO BRING:

  • Light breathable clothing, easily washable (natural fibres recommended). 

  • Shoes suitable for walking in and able to withstand wet conditions. 

  • Sunhat and sunscreen. 

  • Swimwear. 

  • Insect repellent. 

  • Water bottle and hydralytes. 

  • Personal medications as required. 

  • Electric adaptor (Thai wall plug-in is same as Japan and US). 

  • Book/s - there is a small exchange library at the hotel and at Baan Ya. 

  • Charging cables for your devices. 

  • Cash - most local transactions are made in cash. 

 

IS THIS TRIP RIGHT FOR YOU?

The cuisine of northern Thailand includes meat, mainly pork, chicken and fish. However the restaurants that we are partnering with are keen to adapt dishes to vegetarian and vegan options, and all cooking classes will have vegetarian and vegan options if requested. The tour is unable to accommodate people on FODMAP diets or who have coeliac disease. 

At this time of the year Nan is hot and humid, and on some days it can get very hot. Remember to use sun protection, drink plenty of water and add electrolytes regularly, as even short walks can take it out of you quickly. On some of the tour days you will be walking up to 1 km at a time, so prepare yourself to be in the best condition you can for the tour. 

It is the rainy season so be prepared for heavy tropical downpours - umbrellas will be provided. 

TOUR COST

AUD $3,400 per person twin share 

USD $2,300 per person twin share 

If you prefer not to share a room, you can choose to have a single room. 

AUD $3,600 per person with single room 

USD $2,500 per person with single room 

CANCELLATION POLICY

  • A 10% non-refundable deposit is to be made at the time of booking to secure your place. Your deposit will be
    refunded if the tour is cancelled due to insufficient numbers.

  • The balance of the total fee is payable no less than 60 days before the commencement of your Nan Experience group. 

  • Once your final payment has been made, no refund will be given unless you can find a replacement. 

 

Email: Nan.experience3@gmail.com 

 Nan Experience 2024 Itinerary 

While we will make every endeavour to follow this itinerary, we may need to make some minor changes based on circumstances that may arise e.g. local weather conditions could mean we will need to change the days around for an excursion. However there will be 5 cooking days and 5 excursions. 

Nan is a real foodie town and we want to make sure you get to experience the diversity within northern Thai cuisine that it offers. Where ‘local restaurant’ is stated, we will be going to a different restaurant with a different menu each time. It is our goal to highlight Nan foods and the varieties that are available. In one or two instances we will arrange the same dish to show how different it can be depending on the background of the cooks. 

DAY 1

  •  p/u passengers from airport 

  • Check in at hotel and breakfast for early flight arrivals. Lunch at local restaurant. 

  • Enjoy resort atmosphere – swim, read, massage (bring swimwear, books to enjoy). 

  • Check in at hotel for evening arrivals. 

  • Tonight’s Welcome Dinner gives you an opportunity to meet your fellow travellers. 

DAY 2

  •  9am pick-up at hotel. 

  • Open air bus trip around Nan including coffee stop at specialist coffee house. Lunch at local restaurant. 

  • Free afternoon with options** 

  • Visit Nan’s famous Night Market and dinner at local restaurant. 

DAY 3

  • Cooking class at Baan Ya and enjoy the food we cook for lunch. 

  • Weaving at a historic home or free afternoon with options** 

  • Nan’s Night Market and dinner at local restaurant. 

DAY 4

  • Excursion to ancient salt pit of historical significance, stopping to and from Nan at various places, including national parks (subject to weather conditions). Lunch at Baw Kluea restaurant. 

  • A long drive back to Nan with stops along the way. 

  • Dinner at local restaurant. 

DAY 5

  • Cooking class at Baan Ya (including preparing extra for alms offerings to local monks). Eat the food we cook for our lunch. 

  • Free afternoon with options** 

  • Dinner at local restaurant. 

DAY 6

  • Offering alms to local monks (optional - for early risers). 

  • Excursion to villages north of Nan. We will visit a Thai Lue village, their temple and enjoy their weaving and textiles and broom making. Lunch at local village café. 

  • Drive back to Nan with a stop at a local art gallery. 

  • Dinner at local restaurant. 

DAY 7

  • Cooking class at Baan Ya and enjoy the food we cook for lunch. 

  • Free afternoon with options** 

  • Dinner at local restaurant. 

DAY 8

  • An excursion to a not-for-profit village cooperative with a stop on the way at an ancient temple. The
    c
    o-op aims to save their forest by using leaves and bark of trees and indigenous plants to use as medicine in various ways. Take a walking tour of their herb plantation. This is also a certified cannabis extraction plant. 

  • Lunch at the cooperative’s café. We can 

  • choose to try food with or without cannabis. 

  • Dinner at local restaurant. 

DAY 9

  • Cooking class at Baan Ya and enjoy the food we cook for lunch. 

  • Free afternoon with options** 

  • Dinner at local restaurant. 

DAY 10

  • Foraging at a permaculture farm and outdoor cooking class with the farmers using their farm fresh produce. Lunch at the farm. 

  • Free afternoon with options** 

  • Final dinner at Nan Boutique Resort. 

DAY 11

  • Final breakfast, farewells and transportation to airport. 

**options include 

  • Walking/cycling around Nan 

  • Visiting local markets 

  • Shopping 

  • Swimming at Nan Resort 

  • Visiting temples 

  • Walking along Nan river 

  • Thai, or deep tissue massage (500 Baht/90 minutes) 

  • Staying at the hotel and resting 

 

Contact: Nan.experience3@gmail.com 

Emily, Melbourne, Australia 

Exploring Nan with Duang was such an incredible experience. Preparing and cooking meals at Baan Ya, visiting the morning market for fresh vegetables, fish and coffee, and eating at local restaurants was immersive and delicious. Doing it all alongside Duang and her gorgeous team made it all the more special. If you love cooking, eating and getting well away from Thailand’s tourist trail, I would definitely recommend this trip. 

Kelly, Melbourne, Australia 

I learned more on Duang’s tour than in 30 years travelling solo in Thailand. This is an intimate and deeply immersive cultural tour to a truly unique town in remote, north-eastern Thailand that encompasses food and culture. Duang invites you into her family shopfront and shares her mother’s recipes she learned as a child in a simple Thai courtyard kitchen with the century-old teak house in the background. I fell in love with Nan, its food, the mountain vistas, its hospitable people, and you will too. It was worth every penny. 

Jodi, Portland, USA 

Last summer, my husband & I joined Duang’s August session of her Nan Food/Culture Experience….and what a wonderful adventure it was! Equal parts food & local culture, we greatly enjoyed making a variety of Thai dishes and exploring the environs of Nan Province from mountains and rivers to temples, family farms & out of the way restaurants in beautiful locations. The humor & comaraderie between Duang, our tour guide M’am & our hotelier Khun Tae set the tone for our Nan Experience: educational and energetic, lively yet relaxing, sociable congeniality among participants and an underlying festive vibe in everything. Quite unique! 

Gillian, Melbourne, Australia 

There were so many delights packed in, all seamlessly arranged by Duang and her team without any effort on our part, it was hard to believe the trip was only ten days. Those of us who were lucky enough to participate feel forever changed – for the better – by the opportunity. We were made so welcome that we all left something of our hearts in Nan. We gained an appreciation of why a large part of Duang’s heart remains there although she hasn’t lived there permanently for many years. 

I cannot recommend highly enough this outstanding food and cultural experience. 

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