While the 'White Temple' south of Chiang Rai town seems to be all the rage, it seems that far fewer people visit its polar opposite, the Black House, which is, appropriately, on the other side of the city.
Like Wat Rong Khun, the Black House is the vision of a single man, Thawan Duchanee. Unlike the White Temple, which while fantastically designed is still easily understood as a religious structure, Baandam is much harder to understand, and there are no informational signs around to help you out. The Black House is not a single structure, but a collection - a village you might say - of over 50 buildings. Many of the structures do indeed resemble traditional Thai houses, although with large expanses of glass, they are almost certainly not really meant to be lived in. Rather, they are part of the stage set for the things found inside.
Many of the buildings are, in fact, galleries of one form or another, although almost none of them were open when I visited. The largest structure by far is the Mahawiharn, or main hall, which looks like many main prayer chapels (wiharn) found in temples all over Thailand, except for the mostly black exterior walls. Inside is dominated by a long dining table running the length of the building. It ends up looking a bit like the Thai version of Valhalla.
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The Black House is open daily from 9:00 am to noon and from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. There's a gallery and shop lining the parking area, which does not close for lunch. The house is about 10 to 15 kilometers north of Chiang Rai, not far off the main highway. However, the turning doesn't seem to be marked, so you may need to engage a tuk-tuk or taxi to get there without getting lost.