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The Black House, Chiang Rai: A Photo Tour of Baan Dam
Thawan Duchanee's dark masterpiece, Baan Dam, also known as The Black House, is located 10 kilometers north of Chiang Rai's city centre. The fifteen black houses that make up Baan Dam's site are filled with dark sculptures and animal remains arranged in an impressive and uniquely photogenic display. It is the opposite of his teacher's Wat Rong Khun, a picture of heavenly purity with its glistening white buildings, south of the centre.
Other places to visit in Chiang Rai
- Wat Rong Khun, The White Temple of Chiang Rai: A Photo Tour
Wat Rong Khun, with it's glistening, snowy facade, is quite an eye-catching sight in northern Thailand. The elements that make up the lovely structure make it very intriguing.
- Chiang Rai, Thailand: Top Places to Visit
Chiang Rai, the northernmost part of Thailand, has several attractions that tourists must visit. These are the top places to visit if you are short on time.
The Main House of Baan Dam Chiang Rai
Inside the main house of Baan Dam are massive tables decorated with animal fur, snake skin and shells. Dark-colored chairs made of animal horns and skulls surround the tables. Accenting the opaque furniture are stands that are made up of peacock feathers. The opaque decor and the gruesome choice of material make up a decadent lair for an evil lord of the house.
Large windows with intricately carved details surround the house, creating a lovely frame around the dark creations of Chiang Rai's Black House.
Smaller houses can be found behind the main house. their opaque facades are lined with white ornamental carvings and animal skulls. More animal parts can be found in these houses. One house even has the skeleton of an elephant.
Not all of the animals residing in The Black House are dead, however. In the middle of the garden is an opaque birdhouse with living birds. Perhaps this is another depiction of salvation in the midst of hell?
Which photo tour did you prefer?
Since there are no written descriptions or explanations in the Baan Dam, the symbolism behind this massive work of art remains to be a mystery. Perhaps the artist leaves it up to the tourists to find the symbolism behind his work.
Whatever message the artist wishes to impart, the uniqueness of this massive exhibit is worth seeing. It is quite a trip from the center of town but this well-hidden gem is worth finding.
Baan Dam, The Black House, can be found on one of the small streets along Phaholyothin Road.