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Nan province

{| border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" align="right" ! colspan="2" align=center bgcolor="#DEFFAD"|Statistics |- ||Capital:||Nan |- ||Area:||valign=top|11,472.1 km²
Ranked 13th |- ||Inhabitants:||valign=top|458,041 (2000)
Ranked 55th |- ||Pop. density:||valign=top|40 inh./km²
Ranked 73rd |- ||ISO 3166-2:||TH-55 |- !colspan="2" align=center bgcolor="#DEFFAD"|Map |- |colspan="2" align=center| |}

Nan (Thai น่าน) is one of the northern provinces (changwat) of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are (from south clockwise) Uttaradit, Phrae and Phayao. To the north and east it borders Laos.

Table of contents
1 Geography
2 History
3 Demographics
4 Symbols
5 Administrative divisions
6 External links


The province is located in the remote valley of the Nan river, surrounded by mountains covered with forests. The highest mountain is the 2079 meter high Phu Khe in the north-east near the border with Laos.


For centuries Nan was an independent kingdom but, due to its remoteness, had few connections to the other kingdoms. The first kingdom around the city Mueang Pua (also known as Varanagara) was created in the late 13th century. Its rulers, the Phukha dynasty, was realted to founders of Vientiane, however it became associated with the Sukhothai kingdom as it was easier to reach from the south then from the east or west. In the 14th century the capital was moved to its present location at Nan.

In the 15th century, when Sukhothai declined in power, it became vassal of the kingdom of Lannathai. In 1443 King Kaen Thao of Nan plotted to capture neighboring Phayao by asking King Tilokaraj to help him fight against Vietnamese troops attacking Nan, even though there was no such threat. Kaen Thao could kill the king of Phayao, however then the troops of Tilokaraj attacked Nan itself, and captured it in 1449.

When Lannathai was under Burmese rulership, Nan tried to liberate itself many times without success, which finally lead to direct Burmese rulership of Nan in 1714. In 1788 the Burmese rulers could be finally fought back, however Nan had then accept the new Siam rulers. In 1893 after the Paknam incident Siam had to give a big part of eastern Nan to French Indochina.

However Nan kept some degree of independence from the Siamese rulers, and it took until 1931 to become fully integrated into Thailand, and the province was then created.

Before the early 1980s bandits as well as People's Liberation Army of Thailand (PLAT) guerillas were a big problem in the province, usually destroying highway construction overnight. With the help of the army and the more stable political system the province improved significantly, but is still a very rural and remote one.


10.5% of the population belong to the hilltribes.


The provincial seal shows a Usuparatch bull carrying the pagoda of Phrathat Chae Haeng. The buffalo goes back to a legend that the rules of Nan and Phrae were brothers, and meet at a mountain to decide about the boundary between their lands. The ruler of Nan went there on a buffalo, while the ruler of Phrae went there on a horse.

The provincial tree and provincial flower is the Orchid Tree (Bauhinia variegata).

Administrative divisions

King Amphoe
(minor districts)
  1. Mueang Nan
  2. Mae Charim
  3. Ban Luang
  4. Na Noi
  5. Pua
  6. Tha Wang Pha
  7. Wiang Sa
  1. Thung Chang
  2. Chiang Klang
  3. Na Muen
  4. Santi Suk
  5. Bo Kluea
  6. Song Khwae
  7. Chaloem Phra Kiat
  1. Phu Phiang

External links