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“Hauntingly Beautiful”
Review of Baan Dam Museum

Baan Dam Museum
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$105.29*
and up
Chiang Rai Temples Galleries Art by Car Including Soothing Massage and Lunch
Ranked #9 of 92 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 April 11, 2014

One of the most intriguing, unique, and hauntingly beautiful places. Although I loved both, I preferred it to the White Temple. The Black House was much more of a chance to explore, with something unbelievable to discover under every rock and around every corner. Highly recommend a stop if you are in the area.

Thank seahawkAlex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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827 - 831 of 1,959 reviews

Reviewed April 4, 2014

We were invited to join our Thai friends to see the Black House. What we saw disturbed me enough to write our views on this house to highlight how humans once again continue to cause distress to animals. The art was 'disturbing' and 'macabre' and the large spreads of animal skins no doubt placed to add to this 'atmosphere'. These animals are now long dead and that is sad. However they have now added two live species to the collection, to continue the theme set by the artist intent on titillating the public. We saw a beautiful python or maybe anaconda kept in a very small cage next to a wonderful wide eyed owl! We saw one tourist teasing the owl, and others making loud noises, the owl was in obvious distress, and kept growling and turning his head to each loud noise. All in all an attraction in very poor taste.

5  Thank flossybear665
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2014

A little way north of town, but well worth the trip and there's no entry fee. Gorgeous traditional dark teak buildings filled with eccentric art and other "collectibles" such as animal skins. Weird, but interesting! We spent about 90 minutes wandering round the various buildings wondering "what will be round the next corner". Oh, and there's a fabulous homemade ice cream shop just up the road, which, as a self-professed ice cream connoisseur, I highly recommend!

Thank small-skiing-mole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2014

We saw this the day after we saw the amazing White Temple. What a contrast! That's all I will say, since I can't begin to describe it without sounding macabre. It is amazing to walk around the grounds and peek into the houses--each one has a concept and theme all its own. The artist definitely has vision--I'll give him that. That being said, there were three cages housing a python, a great horned owl and a songbird--small, dirty, foul cages. I don't know why they were there but a lot of tourists, Thai and otherwise, seemed upset about them. That alone bumps it down one star. Visitors should also be aware that there a lot--A LOT--of dead animal pelts and skeletons used in decorations, so animal lovers should maybe not eat right before or after visiting.

1  Thank mirmirandronnie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2014

Is it a temple is it an artistic concept? Fascinating glimpse into the dark aspect of life. Do go and be challenged!

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

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