Several weeks back I spent a three day weekend exploring the small quaint town of Chiang Rai. You can learn more about what there is to do in Chiang Rai HERE. On one morning we decided to explore and try to find Baan Dam Chiang Rai. This is not to be confused with the White Temple of Chiang Rai.
Trying to find the Baan Dam was very difficult because we could not find it on Google Maps and at the time there was no map of it on Tripadvisor. If you search for it now, there is a map but…. it is not in the right location. mmm… That is not helpful. We had rented a motorbike and attempted to search for it on our own. That was an adventure in of itself.
The directions sounded pretty simple. Take the highway north for 20km and it will be on the left side of the road. Those were the directions that we received in broken english from locals. After looking at my phone and using it as a reference, I felt confident that we would find it easily. Wrong. Assumption.
After driving north for 20km based on the bikes odometer, we decided to stop at a gas station and ask for directions. Fortunately, after living in Thailand for almost a year I have learned a few Thai words. I ask, “T-ni Baan Dam Mi” or Where is Baan dam? The funny part was that the gas station attendant pointed in the direction that we just drove from. Awesome. It turns out that we drove roughly 5km too far. Bummer.
How To Get To The Black House
When we searched for Black House in Google maps, no locations appear. mmm… But! When you search for Black Temple, the location appears. Ta Da. That would have been helpful to know when going out there. Baan Dam goes by many names including, Black House, Black Temple, Baan Si Dum and more.
If you take a tour then trying to figure out how to get there will not be a problem but if you are getting their on your own then take the highway north for 15km. Keep going for another few kilometers after the turn-off for the international airport.
There will be a sign to look out for on the left-hand side. You want to turn onto that street. The trick is of course to not pass this sign, then you have gone too far (obviously). Also check out this link for another detailed map if you are arriving directly from the airport.
The road continues for 500 meters and then you make a left down a smaller road to the Black House. Once you have turned off the highway you will be good to go!
Arriving To Baan Dam Chiang Rai
It was really nice to have driven ourselves for the reason that there was limited parking and since we had a motorbike, parking was not an issue. There is no entrance fee to enter the premises and there are several coffee shops right outside for a nice snack. It is better to get coffee afterwords because you cannot bring any beverages onto the premise.
Hours Of Operations
Although it is free to enter, there are limited hours that the museum is open. As the sign clearly states, they are open from 9am to 12 (noon) and 1pm to 5pm. If you want to make sure that they have not changed their hours, you can go their website HERE.
Description Of Baan Dam Chiang Rai
The area of the entire grounds is pretty big and it took us 2 hours to walk around and check everything out. The entrance of the museum has the massive Black House. I could not believe how big it was, it was very impressive.
The Baan Dam museum was initially owned by a wealthy Thai named, Thawan Duchanee. He studied art and was very talented, having his art at many art exhibitions all over the world. After his death he left behind what is now the Baan Dam museum. As we walked around it was very interesting to admire the different pieces of art and the vast collection of animals skins, animal bones and shells.
Overall, I am really glad that we found it and it was really interesting to find and explore. Although it was frustrating trying to find it initially. If I am ever back in Chiang Rai, I will want to return to the Baan Dam Museum!