More information  

Baan Dam

Our rating:

Another of Chiang Rai’s more extraordinary sites, in a town that’s blessed with several rather eccentric attractions, is the highly unusual Baan Dam.

Travel better, travel smarter

Save money, receive our latest updates and get the most out of your travels.


Commonly known as the Black House it’s a park containing a diverse and sprawling series of buildings, displays, sculptures and installations, lying in Ban Du district a short hop north of town. The park and highly eclectic contents are the life’s work of local and nationally renowned artist Thawan Duchanee.

Not a Hobbit in sight. Photo taken in or around Baan Dam, Chiang Rai, Thailand by Mark Ord.

Not a Hobbit in sight. Photo: Mark Ord

Despite occasionally, and mistakenly, called the “Black Temple” this is not a religious site and the themes are apparently more general commentaries on the human condition rather than Buddhist, or even unorthodox Buddhist, as per the White Temple. While bewildered, or to put it bluntly gob-smacked, tourists wander around trying to make head or tail of it all, according to those that know far more we do on the subject, the intention is to represent the darkness inside man!

It certainly is very dark—not just in the colour of the black, aged teak constructions that give the site its name—but clearly in atmosphere as well and the principal aesthetic signature is dead animal parts. Most buildings, regardless of whatever else they may display, are decorated with cow and buffalo skulls and horns though you’ll also see elephant bones and tusks, what looked like an entire whale skeleton, plus tables and chairs clad in bear or leopard pelts. (These grim objects were of course collected, not created, by ... Travelfish members only (Around 600 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

Don’t miss the boat!

Please subscribe to to read the rest of this article, or log in here.

Subscribing to Travelfish costs A$35 per year and it gets you access to more than 200 downloadable guides to specific destinations, fabulous discount coupons and 50% off our personalised travel planning service. Sign up here.


Popular hotels in Chiang Rai on Agoda

How to get there
To reach Baan Dam by your own means, head north out of town on route 1 past the airport and university. After passing the large Ban Dun market on your left look out for signs on the same side. It’s about 500m down a windy residential lane. For public transport access then take either a north heading buses from bus terminal 1—Mae Sai ones for example—or a Mae Chan-bound songthaew from the station behind the market on Uttarakit. Either will drop you off or pick you up at the entrance to the lane leading to Ban Dam from where you have around a 500-metre walk. Both means of transport costs 20 baht each way and drivers will have a pretty good idea of where you want to get off even if they don’t speak any English.

Baan Dam
414 Moo 13, Ban Du district, north of Chiang Rai
Mo–Su: 09:00–17:00
T: (089) 767 4444, (053) 705 834
Admission: 80 baht

Location map for Baan Dam

Book a flight, train, bus, taxi or ferry in Thailand with 12Go Asia

Popular attractions in Chiang Rai

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Chiang Rai.

Best places to stay in Chiang Rai

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Chiang Rai.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Chiang Rai.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Chiang Rai.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Chiang Rai.
 Read up on how to get to Chiang Rai, or book your transport online with 12Go Asia.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Chiang Rai? Please read this.
 Buy a SIM card for Thailand—pick it up at the airport when you arrive.
 Browse the web securely while travelling with TunnelBear. Try with a 7–day free trial.

Heading to Thailand?
Heading to Thailand?
Ad Search for cheap flights to Thailand
on Skyscanner.

Read more

See below for more sights and activities in Chiang Rai that are listed on

Top of page

Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Chiang Rai? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.

Top of page