Friday, 14 February 2014

Chiang Rai Black House by Thawan Duchanee

Chiang Rai Black House

Monday, 10.02.2014

Black House (baan dam บ้านดำ) is an art collection and exhibition by Thai artist Thawan Duchanee (ถวัลย์ ดัชนี).

Quote from wikitravel:
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. [quote/]

12 km by road from Chiang Rai bus station, about 800m walk from Pahonyothin road, west of Pahonyothin road, there is a sign on the main road. (When I visited, there was road construction work, requiring a small detour.)

Open 9-12 and 13-17, free entry.

I took the public bus from Chiang Rai bus terminal (the one in town, ask at tourist information: bus from platform 5 to Chiang Saai, 20 Baht), 10:02 to 10:32, then walk, arrive 10:45. Alternatively, you can join one of the many tour operators in Chiang Rai.

The main house is huge, you can see from a distance. Once inside, it is even more impressive, as there is only ground floor and the rest is empty space with beams. The small house in front is not open to public.

Inside there is a collection of wood carvings, chairs made from animal horn, snake skin table runners, animal hide and other weird stuff.



Carvings on one of the doors:

The toilet house (they have conventional toilet at well):

You can buy one of these in the shop, about 500 Baht:

Many more dark colored houses on the premises, these in area not open for public (however there are just small signs, easy to overlook, then a guard will blow his whistle, and sometimes the trespasser will not notice this is aimed at him, so the guard has to shout):

They have a black snake and a black turtle (no pic), but their living conditions look pretty dire. Wood carving in progress:

More houses and weird stuff scattered around:

Some buildings in white, you can walk in:

The houses are closed during lunch break (12-1), but the shop stays open:

Further information (a selection of links I found on the internet, those that contain useful information and not just fishing for clicks):

Verdict: higly entertaining, worth going again, perfect complement to White Wat, not to be missed when in Chiang Rai. I would plan 2 hours for a repeat visit (Black House and shop).

1 comment:

  1. another great travel lead from you, thank you


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