If you want to save some money and don’t mind walking for a bit, the public bus is the cheapest option to get to The Black House (Baan Dam) in Chiang Rai.
Still, if you’re looking for an untroubled ride all the up to the gates of Baan Dam, there are some alternatives at the bottom of the post.

Catching the Green Bus

Go to the Chiang Rai old Bus Station (in the city center, near the night bazaar) and find the green bus going to Mae Sai usually parked on Platform 5.

Timetable: green buses departure every 15 to 30 minutes, or when the bus gets full.
Bus ticket price: 20 Baht one-way trip.
Duration: around 20 minutes.


Green Bus Chiang Rai


When you buy your ticket inside the bus, let the driver and ticket holder know that you’re going to the Black House so they can signal you at the drop-off point. When you leave the bus you’ll have 2 route options:

The route to the back entrance (the shortest) Updated Nov. 2018

Right next to the drop-off spot is the correct lane to walk on. After walking 50 meters, The Black House buildings will become visible to your left.

Turn left at the wooden-gazeebo-looking-sign indicating Soi 13 and walk a further 10 minutes. This path will take you through some houses and up to a small clearing where you’ll see the back entrance of The Black House.

Heads up: visitors are now charged a fee to enter the park but you can’t buy a ticket at the rear entrance (yet). So even though this route works, you’ll end up being escorted by a guard to the main entrance to buy your ticket — and that can be annoying to him because it’s not his fault that we’re lazy.

Route to the front entrance

Alternatively, instead of turning left on Soi 13, keep walking straight on the paved road for approximately 400 meters and then turn left into a small Soi that takes you to the front entrance of Baan Dam. Check the map below.

Map to Baan Dam the Black House


Baan Dam – The Black House

Opening hours: opens daily (weekends included), from 09:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Closes for lunch from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM.
Entrance fee: 80 Baht.

In a 100 acres parkland in the Ban Du district, north of Chiang Rai, Thai artist Thawan Duchanee spent 25 years creating Baan Dam (the Black House).


Black building at Baan Dam

Black House exterior

Main building interior

Baan Dam whale room

There are 40 buildings spread around the park along with art pieces and installations. Most buildings are made of black wood and decorated with macabre elements like bones, animal skins, pelts, and dead animal parts.


Animal skins in Baan Dam

Baan Dum (Black House) - By Thawan Duchanee - Chiang Rai - Thailand - 09

Baan Dum (Black House) - By Thawan Duchanee - Chiang Rai - Thailand - 13

Duchanee’s art mixes traditional northern Thai design with Balinese, Burmese and African influences
and it’s all open to interpretation. 

Balinese influence

Ganesha sculpture


Some people see it as a commentary on Buddhist philosophies, while others state that his intention was to remind us of the darkness inside ourselves, and the imminent death of all things.


Buffalo skulls


There’s a palpable, creepy vibe as you stroll around the park, but also a subversive sense of humor. It’s like the artist was trying to tell us: “Don’t take life too seriously, we’re all going to die”.


Mario and Nuno at the Black House

Portrait sculpture of Thawan Duchanee (1939-2014)


Back to Chiang Rai Bus Terminal

Head back towards the highway where you got off the bus and hail to any bus you see going in Chiang Rai direction either the green ones you came in or the grey mini-buses. Have in mind that there’s no bus stop there.

The trip back to Chiang Rai is a further 20 THB.


Transportation alternatives

Hire a songthaew in Chiang Rai for about 300 Baht for the round trip. They’ll try to charge you more, so be ready to negotiate.

Any travel agency in Chiang Rai sells organized tours to Baam Dam that often include a visit to Wat Rong Khun.  Prices will vary from agency to agency, so look around for the best deal.
Have in mind that departure and arrival times will be scheduled to fit everything on a tour. So you will be rushed.


Can we ask for a favor?

It’s likely that a ticket office will open in the back entrance.  So if you try the rear entrance route, let us know if you were able to buy your tickets there — it’ll help other travelers.

Thanks in advance!

Nuno and Mario

Hi there! We’re Nuno and Mário and we share helpful tips to make travel planning easy for you.

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