It is hard to believe that somewhere, as calm and green as The Lanna Traditional House Museum, is located just next to Nimmanhaemin area, one of the busiest neighbourhood in Chiang Mai. The setting of this museum feels like a little village in a large garden. This museum is a fantastic way to take a step back into the past and get a taste of Lanna culture. As it is often overlooked by visitors, it’s visit makes it even more enjoyable as you get to walk around the leafy outdoor site and peek inside some of the buildings without any crowds. Well presented with large trees all around, a visit there will give you a great insight into traditional rural life. It is worth taking a peek if you find yourself in the area.
When you first enter the compound, you will first meet with the museum’s office which is an impressive colonial style house with whitewashed walls, originally built in 1932. It once belonged to the representative of the Bombay Burma Company, who were teak merchants in the region. This building is surrounded by eleven wooden buildings that have been transported and rebuilt in the garden.
The Lanna Traditional Museum is part of Chiang Mai University’s Center for the Promotion of Arts and Culture, the wooden houses were both purchased or donated by local families to help preserve the traditional architecture of the region.
Walking in the garden, you will find Thai and English historical explanations about each house. Our favorite house is definitely the Tai-Lue House - Heaun Mon Tood or Heaun Oui Tood (number six). Oui Tood or great grandmother Tood, was a Tai-Lue descendent living in Doi Saket District. The house was built by Por Noi Luang, her husband, in 1917 from wood collected from many old wooden houses. Ajarn Sirichai Narumitrekhakan acquired this house but the relocation only started after Oui Tood passed away at the age of 109.
Other houses in the museum include Chiang Mai Townsfolk (Heuan Phaya Pong Lang Ka), Pan-Ya House (Heuan Anusarn Sunthorn), Mae Taeng Folk House, two Kalae House and some beautiful rice barns.
Moreover, The Lanna Traditional House Museum is surrounded by beautiful old trees and it is a very peaceful way to spend an hour, trying to picture the peoplewho would have resided in these properties and how different Chiang Mai must have looked at the time.
The Lanna Traditional House Museum is open weekdays from 08:30 until 16:30 (entry fee 20 THB). After this visit, you can check out another little-known but very interesting attraction next door: The Chiang Mai University Art Gallery (Nimmanhaemin Road).
THE LANNA TRADITIONAL HOUSE MUSEUM :
239 Huay Kaew Road. Chiang Mai.
Tel 053-943 626