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Review of Baan Dam Museum

Baan Dam Museum
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Chiang Rai Temples Galleries Art by Car Including Soothing Massage and Lunch
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Private Trekking and Local Temple Day Tour in Chiang Rai
Ranked #8 of 88 things to do in Chiang Rai
Certificate of Excellence
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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 August 12, 2013

crazy and amazing place a bit far from chiang rai

hunt lovers
very original dead snakes many animals bones

Thank micot21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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836 - 840 of 1,842 reviews

Reviewed August 12, 2013

After having seen the so-called White Temple and its site the afternoon before which is nothing but a shivaree full of trivialities and an attraction for Disneyland-minded people, we had been escaping to the silence of the lovely Chayadol Hotel in Chiang Rai where we retired overnight to overcome the yelling and shouting which had been attacking us around that "temple". Next morning we got up early and were going to the Black House and the beautiful and peaceful green garden where this huge ceremony house and numerous other smaller houses are to be seen. It is rather an open air museum where a very interesting collection of wooden Lanna Style houses are shown. Some of them were maybe dwellings before, some were rather houses for ceremony purposes formerly. All of them have beautiful carved ornaments, and all of them give witness of the artistry and the skills and the knowledge of the architects and the timbermen and the carpenters at that time. The atmosphere in this garden is quite enchanting, and anyway you have to face that some of the buildings are housing bone collections, reflecting the animism which is still part of the beliefs of the countryside population. The Black House itself is a huge traditional house or hall, completely made of wood of course, a spectacular and fascinating building.

At the entrance there is a small arts and craft shop where you can buy paintings and objects made by the founder of the place, an artist who was gathering all these beautiful structures. They sell refreshments too, so it is worthwhile to spend a few hours in the garden and park and take photographs and relax because you definitely will never be at a place like this again.

The way to the Museum which is situated a few miles outside of Chiang Rai is not easy to find, but as soon as you turn into the small lane which is leading to the area, you will be there after 300 m, and the car park is big enough for all the visitors.

A magical place. It is "impossible" to be in Chiang Rai without seeing the Black House Museum. It is a must.

2  Thank Jurgen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2013

We travelled to Chiang Rai in July and on one of ours days decided to visit the Black House. We had hopped in a cab day one and then just kept asking him to come get us again. It cost next to nothing to get there and maybe 15 minutes drive just out of town. Almost everything is black. All the buildings walls and floors in most. Now the houses are filled with weird stuff - like snake (stretched out on long tables) and crocodile skins and skulls and buffalo or bullock horns. A lot of the buildings are not open and most you can look inside. There are a few with traditional and obviously very old furniture pieces which are beautiful. You really would not need more than an hour to visit but I think it worth a look. Even the loos have strange stuff hanging in them - for a minute we were not even sure if they were loos - very funny. It is a bit macabre and odd but we really quite enjoyed our short visit and were glad that we bothered.

Thank RoblesSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2013

I really enjoyed the drive up through the little village to arrive at the Black House. Some of the buildings were shut, however what we did see impressed us. It was easy to walk around the grounds. Couple of horses around and swans on the lake. The bathroom hut was my favourite.

Thank chuckyJellie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2013

The complex is FREE and is more like a park where the artist has several (20-30) houses and small buildings painted in black and decorated inside and out with mostly animal horns, hides and bones. Most of the buildings were locked and by the cobwebs it seems they aren't opened very often but most of them had windows you could peer in and see what's inside.

Thank R05S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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