Black Black House

As mentioned in my previous post, Chiang Rai is famous for the white and bright Wat Rong Khun, or the White Temple. But what I discovered later is that Chiang Rai is also famous for another attraction which is quite the contrary to the White Temple. This place is called the Black House, or locally known as Baan Dam (in Thai, baan literally means house while dam means black). This interesting and rather unusual complex can be reached within around half an hour drive to the north of Chiang Rai city.

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Very traditional Thai main building at the front of the estate
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This stone statue is very balinese though
 The Black House is sort of a museum or art gallery as well as home which is created by another Chiang Rai-born artist, Thawan Duchanee. In my opinion, this national artist had a rather unique style of art, a bit dark and somber, but still the estate showcases wonderful art pieces and architectures. Although called the Black House, the site actually consists of numerous individual houses. Almost all of them are wooded traditional houses with predominantly black, dark brown and honey colour, while a few are in more contemporary designs. Currently some of them are used as storage to keep various art items.
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This massive wooden hall looks very much like a movie set
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So hot out there, I just want to stay under the shades
The main structure at the front of the complex is by far the largest one. It is a great hall with elaborate wooden sculptures all over. Here we could find a massive table with snake skin laid along with other suspicious looking articles which seems to come out from any pirates movies or the set from the Games of Thrones. Animal skulls and buffalo horns can be found in various parts of this estate. Some buildings in this complex can be accessed by visitors, while some others are off limit.
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This house has a very nice architecture, doesn’t it?
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I don’t think this one is very traditional though
I have to warned you that Black House might not be suitable for everyone. But just as each of us would have different tastes in things, some people would find this place interesting. In my opinion, the architecture of the houses is very nice and note-worthy, although it is a bit eerie. I enjoyed my visit to the Black House and I even got a couple of postcards from the souvenir shop. However at the end of the day, just say that this is one of the places that I would prefer not to spend a night at.

 

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