We decided to go to Chiang Rai for one day and it was for two reasons.
First was Baan Dam or The Black House. In fact it is not only a house but a whole complex, a kind of artistic installation by a Thai artist – Thawan Duchanee. Mr Thawan was a painter, scluptor and an architect. There is a lot of controversy around the place. Some say this is a black temple being an opposite to the White one, that there are animal bones everywhere or it is a vision of hell or a memorial of death and vanishing. I guess everyone will find there something. I found beautiful buildings being a nice change after gold-soaking, multi-color temples. Just raw wood. Interiors filled with furniture made of animal horns and skins are not my thing but still I think it leaves a mark in your head.
The second reason to visit Chiang Rai was The White Temple – Wat Rong Khun. A modern building, a sacred place and an art exhibition at the same time. The Temple was designed and built by another Thai artist – Mr Chalermchain Kositpipat and I strongly recommend to google this name, as what he is doing gives your brain a ride. It is not allowed to make photos inside the temple although I saw someone break this rule.
This place is totally crazy and I was roaming around with a stupid smile all the time. I do not know which is better – the glittering exterior looking like an ice palace or golden interior with the vision of good and evil and tons of very direct references to western culture. I think the Taj Mahal we have in Warsaw’s district of Wilanow could take a lesson or two from this place 😉