The Baandam museum has over 40 black houses created by the Thai artist Thawan Duchanee. They consist of wooden houses in either Thai or Burmese style along with the artists large collection of animal skins and bones.
Contrary to popular believe there is no religious meaning to the black houses. They are there for artistic merit alone.
Animal lovers may not enjoy the huge collections of skeletons and hides on show here. However, many families with children have had a great time here as kids seems to enjoy exhibitions.
There are over 40 small galleries dotted around the peaceful gardens in the estate. Many seem to be restricted from tourists though. That said there's plenty to see here if you are into the artists exploration of organic work.
Thawan Duchanee’s Black Houses will keep many visitors who like this form of art and surroundings busy for a few hours. There are small catering stalls nearby the main house open to tourists.
The Baandam Museum (Black House) is 10km north of Chiang Rai.
Bus: Take a public bus running from Chiang Rai to the north. Ask one of the drivers if they are passing the Baandam Museum. It will cost you about 50 baht. The bus will drop you on Highway 1 near a side road. You will need to walk the 500 or so meters yourself.
To get back cross over the highway and wave down any of the passing buses or songthaews. The main buses usually pass by every 40-60 minutes.
Motorbike: This is probably the easiest option aside from a tour. Rent a motorbike from either Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai. Take Highway 1 north of Chiang Rai. Once you pass the large university start to slow down and look out for signs on left after about 1.5km. You might notice a sign saying "Thawan Duchanee" but keep going until you get to a wooden road sign saying "13". This is the street number the museum is located on. Go down this road and you'll come across a blue sign in Thai - take a left here and you'll spot a black house up ahead.
333 Moo 13 Nang-Lae, Muang, Chiang Rai, 57100 Thailand.
Contact Us: Tel/Fax : (66) 53 - 776 - 333 Mobile: (66) 83 - 336 - 5333
Opening hours: 9am to 12pm and from 1pm to 5pm every day.
Cost: 80 Baht for foreigners and locals.
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