Skeletons and Penis Pots — The Baandam Museum Chiang Rai

Elephant Skeleton — Baandam Museum Chiang Rai

Welcome to the Black House Chiang Rai, the Weird and Wonderful Baandam Museum!

It is one of the most popular Chiang Rai temples to visit, but is actually more of a museum than a temple, though it does contain some shrines. Entrance was just 80 Baht — well worth the money for what you see.

How to get to the Black House Chiang Rai — Baandam Museum

I would recommend that you spend at least two hours at the Baandam Museum as there is so much to see. It’s more than one building — actually, it’s a complex of around 40 buildings by that combine architectural mastery with elaborate wood carvings.

Discovering the Black House Chiang Rai

Elaborate Wood Carving of the Baandam Museum

Inside the Black House — The Weird and Wonderful Collection of Thawan Duchanee

This wooden Ganesh is mainly a Hindu God of wisdom, but is widely recognised in Buddhism also.

The collection of animal skins is extensive — you will find several preserved crocodile skins, skulls with horns and even a full elephant skeleton. The animals all died of natural causes (there was no harm to elephants or crocodiles during the making of this museum!)

Somewhat explicit and intriguing was the collection of ‘penis’ bowls and paraphernalia. The penis is a symbol of fertility in Thai culture.

White Igloos

In one of them, I was greeted by a black obsidian statue of a male with a rather large member! Inside the igloo were shells arranged in a circular fashion to reflect the building walls, and several animal horn chairs.

I found several elephant statues around the igloos and far buildings, which I love.

If you enjoyed my article on the Black House Chiang Rai and are spending time in the city, I also recommend that you visit the White Temple, the Blue Temple and the Crouching Elephant temple.

The Toilets

Visiting the Black House Chiang Rai?

Where to eat in Chiang Rai — Barrab, Sawaddee, Smiling Moon Cafe.

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About Me

I did my degree in Religions and Theology at the University of Manchester, and loved every minute. Buddhism and Hinduism were my key areas of study. My favourite units were ‘Buddhism and Modernity’ with Francesca Torocco and Indian Philosophy with Jacqueline Southern-Hurst.

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Hi I’m Amy — travel blogger, dog lover, digital marketer. I write mainly about Europe, Middle East and Southeast Asia. Getting into drones!

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