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“A Challenging Experience.”
Review of Baan Dam Museum

Baan Dam Museum
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$99.05*
and up
Chiang Rai Temples Galleries Art by Car Including Soothing Massage and Lunch
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$86.67*
and up
Private Trekking and Local Temple Day Tour in Chiang Rai
Ranked #8 of 85 things to do in Chiang Rai
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Thawan Duchanee (September 27, 1939 - September 3, 2014) was a Thai contemporary painter, architect and sculptor with an international reputation. In 2001, this notable artist was given the price by the Office of the National Culture Commission of Thailand as the National Thai Artist in Fine art and Visual art. Thawan is not only famous for his paintings but also architecture. His architectural masterpiece is Black House. It was the residence for Thawan for the rest of his life. In Thai, 'baan' means home or house and 'dam' means black. The Black House isn't just one structure, but a collection of around 40 buildings of varying shapes and sizes dotted around a peaceful garden. Created by Thailand national artist Thawan Duchanee, the grounds include nearly 40 small black houses made of wood, glass, concrete, bricks, or terracotta in various unique styles and design scattered around the temple area. The cluster of houses accommodates Thawan's collections of paintings, sculptures, animal bones, skins, horns, and silver and gold items from around the world. Several of the houses exhibit Balinese and Burmese architecture and art dating back to the Ayutthaya Period. The artist uses bones as a source of inspiration to paint. It is definitely not a place for animal lovers. There are also various kinds of baskets and drums from many regions and countries on display at Baandam. Not all exhibits are open to public.
Reviewed July 31, 2013

This relatively new attraction on the outskirts of Chiang Rai can be difficult to find by the independent traveller as a result of the poor signage. While I was present there were many tour groups present which seems to be the usual way of visiting this attraction.
Much of it is the work of local artist Thawan Duchanee and as such showcase some of his artwork as well as those of others.
Basically it consists of several Thai style buildings of different sizes and uses, as well as some very modern buildings. The colour of the Thai buildings is predominantly black hence the name of the attraction. In many of the buildings buffalo horns and skeletal and skin remains of animals are used as decorations.
There is a shop selling the usual tourist paraphernalia as well as some foodstuffs.
The overall experience is challenging in that it is difficult to discern what the artist(s) are attempting to achieve. On the one hand it could be an ostentatious display of wealth or at the other extreme simply an unusual venue to display art and craft work which does not always fit in to the usual Thai mould.
One could not help feeling that in some of the buildings there was a really strong feel for the occult.
Nevertheless this attraction is well worth a visit as it really is out of the ordinary for Thailand.

Thank crocnsw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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824 - 828 of 1,800 reviews

Reviewed July 30, 2013

If you want a 'twilight zone' experience this may suit you well. The Black house is a beautiful Lanna-style teak home. It is completed with a number of smaller Thai houses and a number of other odd buildings (a submarine construction that looks like something out of a Beatles movie, several igloo-ish things too) and there are so many hides and skulls and other bones that make this seem like some sort of Satanic dwelling-place. The unease is an absolute delight.

Thank Ben P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2013

I went here after the white temple Wat rong khun. They are just an opposite. The white temple symbolises the heaven in Buddhism, while this black house has a massive collection of animal specimens and also skeletons. On the outside it looks like a Wat, but actually it is not. This is also an artwork! The place receives not much of visitors, so you can spend your time taking photos and relax.

Thank sweizhong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

The Black House or "Black Temple" is not what one would expect. The main structure is build on the order of temple construction, but the interior is designed and built to house a host of arts and artifacts. The site is comprised of many structures that were built by a Thai artist and are used to display artworks and hold gatherings of various kinds. Traveling art displays are sometimes set up and displayed in the main building. The buildings are beautiful structures, most made of wood and stained black. A few of the buildings are actually works of art themselves and vastly differ from any traditional building construction. The grounds are quite expansive and a walk through them is worth the effort.

Thank marcuscromwell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

This was a surprise! Part of a full day trip out and seen after the White Temple it is a really different place. A huge building that you walk though welcomes you with tables covered in snake skins (big ones!!). You initially think that's it but when you come out of the other end, there are lots of other interesting sites, buildings and sculptures to take in. Well worth browsing around.

Thank Dave D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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