Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Centre

Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Centre

Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Centre
4
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This is an amazing museum about Chiang Mai's history and culture. It opened in 1999. Their web sit is a bit hi-tech quirky.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.0
194 reviews
Excellent
76
Very good
67
Average
32
Poor
15
Terrible
4

Patcharapon Pansang
Chiang Mai, Thailand8 contributions
Feb 2020 • Solo
You can buy the package for 3 museums with the special price. It is very good. It is also very interesting if you are the group that has the children. Also if you would like to know about the deep detail of the history of Chiang Mai, this is the best place.
Written February 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Abovetheclouds
2,233 contributions
Dec 2021 • Solo
I really enjoyed this. Well laid out. Very interesting without information overload. Highly recommend coming here if you want to learn more about the city. Information boards are in English too. Right behind the Three Kings Monument. Check online as they close Monday I believe. Staff are pleasant and friendly. Cheap entrance fee. I think there is a combination ticket (may be wrong) that covers all three museums which are close together. Only two are open at present. December, 2021. You need an hour to an hour and a half at the most.
Written December 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MaggieMCorson
Weston, MA6 contributions
Apr 2022 • Friends
Fantastic museum!! Full of history, exhibits, and very well laid out.

We happened to arrive as the curator was at the entrance. She offered to show us around. She is incredible!! Answered all of our questions, provided personal stories, and spoke great English!

There is a ton of info in multiple languages on the exhibit display boards. Well worth reading as much as you can. If you take your time, it will likely take three hours. There are multiple rooms to go in and out of, most are well air conditioned. A couple of short movies to see provide a nicely timed place to sit.
Written April 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

D S
A87 contributions
Oct 2022 • Couples
Loved our visit here. We were planning to go somewhere else and stumbled upon this museum about Chiang Mai’s history and culture by accident. Great set up, really interesting exhibits and a wonderful tea room and museum shop to boot. Enjoyed ourselves thoroughly, and I was able to purchase some beautiful handwoven Karen and Hmong blankets and hangers. The caretaker/owner of the store visits the hill tribes regularly and can tell you exactly where everything in the store came from.
Written October 13, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vincent M
New Orleans, LA2,213 contributions
Mar 2015
I'll shorten the name to ACC. The ACC is the center of a three museum complex--the other two are the Chiang Mai Historical Centre (HC) and the Lanna Folklife Museum (LFM). You can buy individual tickets, or one ticket for all three for under 200 baht. The three don't fare well on TA listings: currently the LFM is the #43 attraction in town and the ACC is the #49 attraction. As for the HC, TA doesn't even know that it exists! No reviewer has ever asked them to put it into their system! (I asked TA to do that earlier this evening.). I have a radically different take on this. Not only do I think that you should go to all three, but I think that if you're the typical tourist coming to Chiang Mai for the first time without much knowledge of Thai history, culture, religion, art, architecture, society, and psychology (in the sense of how they perceive and think about things), if you are going to be here for four or more full days, not only should you go to all THREE of these museums, but you should make that the very FIRST thing you do in town. It will give your holiday a quantum leap in enjoyment and appreciation.

Why the low ratings and no listing? Some people go to museums to be entertained; others go to learn. No instant gratification superstar exhibits at any of these museums: no T-Rex skeletons or Hope Diamonds or King Tut treasures. To benefit from these museums, you'll be doing a fair amount of reading and watching. The superstars are surrounding these museums on all sides: Phra Singh, Chedi Luang, Sri Suphan. What you're doing here, is preparing yourself to really see those superstars.

The world is like a book; those who do not travel, only read one page of it. But even if you do travel, what if the page you're on is inThai script or something, and isn't easy to read? You could go to some place like Wat Chiang Man and walk away thinking "That's really beautiful and I got great photos", without understanding anything about it or noticing the most impressive treasures. As Sherlock said to Dr. Watson, "seeing but not observing." I'd say "seeing but not perceiving, understanding, or appreciating." It's not incomprehensible at all though, and spending four or five hours at this complex of three museums will terrifically enrich your visit to everything else, far better than any tour guide working from a stock script could possibly do. (Caveat: the shorter your visit here, the less time you can afford at museums and the more you need to spend at the actual sites; you wouldn't want to spend so much time at a museum in Agra which explains Moghul culture and history, that you didn't have time enough left to actually see the Taj Mahal.)

The names are reasonably clear: in the order that I recommend you see them:

The ACC introduces the art and culture of northern Thailand.

The HC gives you an overview of the history of Chiang Mai, which was a royal capital back in Europe's High Middle Ages.

The LFM is an introduction to the arts, crafts, and culture of
the kingdom that Chiang Mai was the capital of.

To get full benefit, you need to read what the placards say, and occasionally watch short films. Consider yourself a horse that's led itself to water. Not much good unless you actually drink. Everything is in both English and Thai. Toddlers are over their heads in these museums, and will be bored to fits.

By the way, these museums are all dual purpose: for locals and foreigners. Some info will be of much greater interest to locals than short-time visitors, just as information about the Grand Dukes of the West in a Dijon museum is likely to a strike a more immediate chord with Burgundians than with either Brazilians or Bostonians. Or Parisians.

So you start the visit to the ACC by watching a short film about Chiang Mai Today, apparently commissioned by a local Tourism Board with a tight budget, but it's only polite to sit through it.

Unless you're a local, the next two galleries--on Pre-History and the Two Rivers Culture--have no practical use to you and are best raced through.

The next four, from the construction of the city to the picks for The Best of Chiang Mai, are worthwhile, and the last gives you tips on what to see. But the best stuff is upstairs.

Upstairs they have the best stuff: life-sized dioramas on life along the Ping River, in the agricultural areas roundabout the city, in the city and so on. The room on Buddhism will be particularly useful to you. Unless you plan to use Chiang Mai as a base for treks into the Golden Triangle, the info on the Hill tribes won't actually be useful to you as you go Wat-hopping. But there's an intrinsic interest in knowing which Hill tribe grows the best opium, and even if you're not planning to purchase/consume, it's pretty doggone interesting. For the record, growing opium is every bit as illegal in Thailand nowadays as taxis driving Farang from Don Mueang to a Silom Road hotel without using their meter. Simply doesn't happen anymore!

Then, on to the Historic Centre! (But until TA adds the HC to their listed attractions, this three-attraction review is currently short-circuited under "To Be Continued.")

Written March 15, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BethyB
Kingston upon Thames, UK38 contributions
Mar 2019 • Couples
Would highly recommend visiting this museum! It’s very modern, with hi-tech displays & beautifully presented information. The gift shop & cafe are also lovely. Was surprised by how empty it is given the high standard! The best museum we’ve been to in Thailand by far!
Written March 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Emma K
34 contributions
Nov 2015 • Couples
We went today to get a better historical perspective of Chiang Mai, after we noticed gaping holes in our knowledge of the region. We paid 180 baht pp and went first to the Arts and Cultural Centre, then the Historical Centre (in the building directly behind it), and the Lanna Folklife Museum (across the road). Overall a great experience!

The criticisms of some on this site are valid- yes, some of the displays were poorly translated, and some of the audio didn't work, but that did not detract from the overall experience. Reading all the information gave an amazing insight into the history and culture of the region, and has helped to understand the sites around the city better.

It could be improved (and proofread!) and modernized, but it was very interesting and informative.

If you don't like history, and you don't care about the history of the place you are in, then DONT go to a historical museum (duh). But for anyone who is keen to learn more about Chiang Mai this is a great start, with interesting displays, videos, and photos.

We did this at the end of our stay here (because we didn't know about it until now) but we would recommend going at the start to give some context to the things you see.

Written November 29, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mako13Man
Dameron, MD633 contributions
Apr 2015 • Couples
I really enjoyed spending the afternoon at this and the 2 other museums (Historical and Lanna Folklife) in the same proximity. All buildings had A/C - if I remember correctly. Good way to beat the heat of the day. Exhibits were explained in both Thai and English. I found the archeological site to be very interesting at this particular museum. On the lawn here, they had a 3 piece Thai band playing different musical pieces. Very enjoyable afternoon spent here.
Written June 4, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

pptuck
Brisbane, Australia419 contributions
Oct 2014 • Friends
A really enjoyable night Chiang Mai. The meal consists of local Thai dishes which were very tasty and refilled as often as you wanted.There is a show inside after the meal depicting Thai history and the a second show outside which has a more local village feel to it. We found the whole night interesting and well worth a visit
Written November 5, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Minnesota_Ice
Palm Springs, CA20 contributions
This museum is a fabulous introduction to the history and culture of Chiang Mai. The first floor has several rooms focusing on the ancient history of the region and the development of the town. The second floor focuses on the current plethora of cultures that exist in the region and an introduction to Buddhism. The museum opened fairly recently (1999 is my guess) and serves as a visitor's center to the walled portion of the town. Signs are in Thai and English while audio presentations in each room are in Thai, Mandarin, German, French, English and, I think, Lao.
Written January 22, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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