Itinerary Day 1 Bo Kluea Mountain Salt Wells Doi Phu Kha Viewpoint 1715 Cocoa Valley Day 2 Farmer School Homestay Wang Sila Laeng – the Grand Canyon of Pua Wat Phuket: a temple with a view
Bo Kluea Mountain Salt Wells On the way to Pua, we stopped at the Bo Kluea Salt Wells, one of the most popular destinations in Nan. Its history can be traced back more than 800 years, and it is said to be the world’s only mountain salt mine still in operation. . Only 2 wells remain today, and villagers continue to follow the traditional way of harvesting the salt. You will see how the villagers extract salt from a pit on the mountain using simple tools and methods. There are various salt products for sale, too.
Bo Kluea Mountain Salt Wells, Bo Kluea district, Nan Open daily from 08.00-17.00 Hrs. (free admission) The salt harvesting operation comes to a halt during the Buddhist Lent from July-September and over the Songkran Festival. Tel. 087 176 2016 (Spa product group) GPS : https://goo.gl/maps/aaigsLsHJn2y3dwh8
Doi Phu Kha Viewpoint 1715 This popular viewpoint is located on Highway No. 1256, around 4 kilometres from the main entrance of Doi Phu Kha National Park. From here at 1,715 metres above sea level, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the picturesque national park whose most celebrated plant is called Chomphu Phuka (bretschneidera sinensis), from which the park takes its name. . Found in Thailand only in Doi Phu Kha National Park, the pink flowering plant is in full bloom during January -February. . Highway No. 1256 Pua District, Nan GPS : https://goo.gl/maps/Y4TcBDyTN4pwwAHB8
Cocoa Valley . Cocoa Valley is a must-stop for anyone who loves chocolate. This resort has an in-house café that uses cocoa from their own farm. . Here you can learn how to make a chocolate bar starting by picking a ripe cocoa pod on the farm. The staff says it usually takes up to 3 years before the fruit is ready for harvesting.
You will be shown how to pick the pod from the tree and cut open the thick skin to reveal the fresh white beans it’s sour taste. These are said to be especially good for the memory.
The next step is the fermentation to develop the flavour. The beans will then be dried, cleaned, roasted, and their shells removed to produce cocoa nibs. The nibs are then ground to produce the cocoa mass. The leftover shells can be used in fabric dyeing.
We can say for certain that making your own bar of chocolate is a fun experience! To start with, the processed cocoa is mixed with palm sugar. (Just say if you prefer not to have any sweetening agents). Before moulding, the cocoa mix must go through a tempering process, which involves spreading it on a marble table and scraping it back and forth to get the right consistency. Once the moulding is finished, the next step is to add the topping.
The last step is to freeze your chocolate bar for about 5 minutes. The entire lesson takes 45 minutes and costs 350 Baht per person.
Cocoa Valley 339 Mu 8, Pua subdistrict, Pua district, Nan Open daily from 10:00-18:00 Hrs. Tel. 063 791 1619 GPS : https://goo.gl/maps/nB649qmGhBx
Day 2 . Farmer School Homestay Farmer School is a homestay facility that allows guests to enjoy a hands-on experience of rice farming, either by growing rice or harvesting crops depending on the season. . Set in the middle of the rice fields in Ban Na Kham, this farm stay is ideal for anyone wanting to learn about the simple life of Thai farmers. Advance booking is advised if you want to join their farming activities.
We recommend visiting this area for its natural beauty and abundance of fresh air even you don’t plan to stay at the farm. . Farmer School 225 Mu 1, Ban Na Kham, Sila Petch subdistrict, Pua district, Nan Accommodation costs from 600-4,000 Baht/house (including breakfast) Tel. 089 999 7737 GPS : https://goo.gl/maps/XN7gnfSfVZP2
Wang Sila Laeng – the Grand Canyon of Pua . This natural attraction, dubbed the Grand Canyon of Pua, has been shaped by the Khun River, which has wound its way through rock formations over time immemorial, carving pillar-liked structures on both banks. The entire area of this geological wonder stretches some 400 metres and boasts high cliffs and deep lagoons. It can be accessed by a 15-minute walk through the Ban Hua Nam Mushroom Farm. . Ban Hua Nam, Mu 5, Sila Laeng subdistrict, Pua district, Nan GPS : https://goo.gl/maps/EpwqkebJsm62
Wat Phuket: a temple with a view . Wat Phuket gets its name from its location – Phu meaning mountain and Ket being the name of the village where it stands. . Besides the ritual of paying respect to the Buddha image, we stopped at this temple for the spectacular views seen from its back veranda, which is surrounded by scenic rice fields and the mountains of Doi Phu Kha National Park. . October-November is the best time to visit the temple and take in the picturesque paddy fields of Nan. . Ban Ket, Mu 2, Wora Nakhon subdistrict, Pua district, Nan Tel. 084 046 9745 (the abbot) GPS : https://goo.gl/maps/WSPrL4bUdgT2