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Baan Dam Museum

Baan Dam Museum

The Baan Dam Museum (also known as the Chiang Rai Black Temple or Black House Museum) is a museum and gallery that was home to the renowned Thai artist, Thawan Duchanee.

The attraction isn’t actually a temple per se, but a collection of around 40 buildings on a large property that showcase the skill of this artist. In Thai, “baan” means “home” or “house” and “dam” means “black”, hence the name.

Chiang Rai Black Temple / Baan Dam Museum, Admission Fee & Hours

Thawan Duchanee was a Thai artist who was born in Chiang Rai and studied art in Bangkok and then abroad in Amsterdam. His work remains controversial in Thailand, with many locals referring to the famous White Temple as ‘heaven’ whilst the Black Temple is referred to as ‘Hell’. The artist spent over 50 years building this museum of art. Of the 40 houses created around the property, they are made of wood, glass, concrete, bricks and terracotta with various unique styles incorporated in their design.

Visitors are welcome to come into the gardens and take a stroll around the many buildings located on-site here. Some buildings cannot be entered, as the artist kept his bedroom and house private, but there are plenty of opportunities to enter some of the most impressive buildings and take a peek at their unique architecture. You will be able to view Thawan’s collection of paintings, sculptures, animal bones, skins, horns, silver, gold and other unique items which are placed around the property.

Tours to the Black Temple can be organised at any tour office in Chiang Rai, or you can take a tuk-tuk to the temple for around 300THB each way. The temple is located a short distance north of the city. Arrange for your driver to wait for you as there aren’t many options for a return trip.

Baan Dam is open daily, but visitors should note that it closes over lunch between 12pm – 1pm. There are also plenty of food options located here, with coffee shops, souvenir stores and restaurants located around the entrance.

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