As the month of April in Chiang Mai is synonymous with culture and traditions, step back in time and visit the peaceful Lanna Folklife Museum, which reflects the prosperity of the region, from past to present.
Housed in a splendid old courthouse building, dating from 1935, the museum recreates Northern Thai’s village life. It features 18 exhibition rooms related to religion, culture, mural paintings, and ways of life, costumes, laquerware and ceramics.
The exhibits are presented in a modern format which lets you touch certain display items such as local ingredients and local basketry, as well as explaining everything from the mystical Lanna dance featuring long metal fingernails, to the intricate symbolism of different elements of Lanna-style monasteries.
Throughout the museum, you will find interesting details about each 3-D display, written in Thai, English and Chinese languages. You are also allowed to take photos inside the building.
Folklife is an integral part of all Chiang Mai lives and an essential part of the city’s history. In this museum, collections and displays are grouped into four bigger rooms: the temple reproduction (with details on the architecture, the religious accessories and the beliefs), Lanna folk accessories (and their meanings in Lanna festivals), Lanna textiles (with hand woven silk clothes from each different parts of the North) and Lanna paintings (with a very interesting reproduction of the different steps in painting inside a viharn-temple).
Other rooms display Buddha images, folk culture, musical instruments, traditional dances, and war equipment, all of which combine to provide an overview of Lanna history. The building has two floors and the visit should take around an hour and a half. Despite the fact that it is more of an exhibition hall than a museum, and the artefacts are not very old, it is an excellent introduction to Lanna lifestyle and definitely a wonderful place to visit, especially at this time of the year when the spirit of Songkran festival makes the city of Chiang Mai all about Lanna way of life.
After this interesting visit, take time to walk in the surrounding garden and relax at “Café de Museum” which serves delicious drinks and cakes.
LANNA FOLKLIFE MUSEUM
Prapokklao Road, Sriphoom. Chiang Mai.
(opposite Three Kings Monument)
Open 8.30 to 17.00 |
Close on Mondays and from April 13-15