Bo Kluea

Bo Kluea

Ancient salt mines and mountain views

Though perhaps not ideal for the hyperactive or thrill seekers Bo Kluea is a charming spot to while away a couple of days. Remote and picturesque, the tiny village of Bo Kluea lies in a scenic valley in the far northeast of Nan province, close to the Lao border.

More on Bo Kluea

Surrounded by rugged mountains and national parks – this part of the province has more forest cover remaining than many other districts – the settlement has a budding tourism scene with some fine accommodation options. This is a seriously off the beaten track yet fascinating destination with a special feature giving rise to the village’s name. Bo Kluea in Thai means salt well. The village has grown up around two natural saltwater wells which have been exploited for centuries if not millennia, providing Bo Kluea’s historical raison d’etre and principal present-day attraction.

For now very few foreign visitors make it up here so tourists are mainly Thai, though its remote location keeps even their numbers down. Bo Kluea retains an authentic, unspoilt feel and while – salt wells aside – there isn’t much to do here in terms of sights as such it is one of those places where doing nothing is a delightful pastime. Locals seem very happy to see a few foreigners up here so you can sit and pass the time of day in one of the town’s two very good coffee shops; wander around the tiny village, take a stroll down the valley along the banks of the Mang or sit in a riverside cafe sipping a cold one.

If you do have transport then Khun Nan National Park with hikes and an easily accessible waterfall is just a few kilometres up the road and Doi Phuka National Park, halfway to Pua, can be reached by public songthaew.

The village itself is tiny and nestled in a narrow scenic valley surrounded by largely wooded hills. The quaint old settlement lies compactly along the east bank of the Nam Mang – more stream than river - and the main street hosts, aside the famous salt wells, the only ATM, a couple of good coffee shops and grocery stores, a wat, and the excellent Bo Kluea Home guesthouse. Highways form a T-junction with the village squeezed between Route 1257, heading south to Santisuk, and the stream.

At the top end of the village Route 1256 crosses a bridge where you’ll find Bo Kluea View plus the area’s best restaurant, before heading off uphill to Doi Phuka and Pua. The third branch of the junction is formed by Route 1081, which passes Khun Nan National Park, just outside of town, before continuing due north over a torturous mountain road to Chaloem Prakhiat district and the Lao border crossing at Huay Kon.

The southern highway, Route 1257, has more restaurants and accommodation plus shops, the local clinic, police box and post office. Santisuk is around 50 kilometres, Chaloem Prakhiat some 80 and Pua around 60 kilometres away.

36 other destinations in Northern Thailand

Learn more about Chiang Dao
Chiang Dao

Caves and mountains

Learn more about Phu Lang Ka
Phu Lang Ka

Clouds amid the karsts

Learn more about Pai

Busy trekking centre

Learn more about Phu Chee Fah
Phu Chee Fah

Quite a view

Learn more about Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai

Thailand’s northern capital

Learn more about Tha Ton
Tha Ton

Famous for the Kok River trip

Learn more about Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai

Plenty to see and do

Learn more about Mae Salong
Mae Salong

Least Thai town in Thailand

Learn more about Umphang

Gateway to an impressive waterfall

Learn more about Nan

Well worth the side trip

Learn more about Kamphaeng Phet
Kamphaeng Phet

An ancient fortress

Learn more about Sukhothai

An ancient Thai capital

Learn more about Soppong

Spectacular mountain scenery

Learn more about Si Satchanalai
Si Satchanalai

Ancient satellite of Sukhothai

Learn more about Wiang Haeng
Wiang Haeng

Remote border region

Learn more about Mae Sariang
Mae Sariang

Bucolic mountain outpost

Learn more about Mae Sot
Mae Sot

Bustling on the Burma border

Learn more about Phrao

Scenic stopover

Learn more about Lampang

Elephants and horse carts

Learn more about Pua

Launching point for Doi Phuka

Learn more about Doi Inthanon
Doi Inthanon

Thailand’s highest peak

Learn more about Mae Wang
Mae Wang

River trips and hill tribes

Learn more about Lamphun

The history runs deep

Learn more about Doi Khun Tan National Park
Doi Khun Tan National Park

Undisturbed forest

Learn more about Mae Hong Son
Mae Hong Son

Tranquil temple town

Learn more about Fang

Odd name, great scenery

Learn more about Chiang Saen
Chiang Saen

A sleepy historic centre

Learn more about Chiang Khong
Chiang Khong

A popular border town

Learn more about Phayao

Take a load off by the river

Learn more about Phrae

Steeped in history

Learn more about Phitsanulok

P’lok will do just fine

Learn more about Sob Ruak
Sob Ruak

The Golden Triange

Learn more about Khun Yuam
Khun Yuam

Sunflowers and a waterfall

Learn more about Mae Sai
Mae Sai

Infamous border town

Learn more about Tak

A low-key river town

Learn more about Hot

Cool off in Hot