The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

Museums in Chiang Mai and Mae Rim Valley, Thailand

Written By: herbrunbridge - Jun• 03•10

Creative Handcrafts Ban Roi An Phan Yang is a must-see in Chiang Mai

There are a number of interesting museums worth visiting in Chiang Mai proper, and in the Mae Rim Valley to the northwest.  Museums in the city of Chiang Mai 

Chiang Mai National Museum, Highway 11, Chiang Mai. Tel: (053) 221-308. Located 2 km north of the city, the museum specializes in Buddha images, work implements, and traditional house wares.  Open 9am – 4pm, Wednesday through Sunday. 

Museum of World Insects and Natural Wonders, 72 Nimmanhaemin,Soi 13, Sirimangkhlachan Road, Chiang Mai. tel: (053) 211-891.  Located 1 km west of the moat, this museum offers a fascinating glimpse of the rich variation of insect life in Thailand.  Open 9 am – 4 pm, daily, ring the buzzer if the door is locked. GPS: N18°47.776  E098°58.233’ 

Sbun-Nga Textile Museum, Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center, 185/20  Wua Lai Road, Chiang Mai.  Tel: (053) 200-655.  This exceptional regional museum contains extremely beautiful, high-design displays of gorgeous textiles and costumes from northern Thailand and Burma.  Khun Bpom has been collecting for years, and has built a fascinating museum that is the equal to any of the best public museums in Thailand. GPS:  N18°46.308’  E098°58.815’

 Tribal Museum and Research Institute, Ratchamangkhla Park, Highway 107, Km 5,  Chiang Mai.  tel: (053) 210-872.  Located 5km north of the old city, west of Rama IX gardens, this museum features displays of tribal costume and culture.  Overall, we feel the museum is somewhat lacking in display savvy, and is a bit out of the way.  For exceptional tribal costuming, we strongly recommend the Sbun-Nga Textile Museum instead.  The tribal Museum is open 9 am – 4 pm, Monday – Friday. GPS:  N18°49.300’  E098°58.442 

Museums southwest of the city of Chiang Mai 

Creative Handcrafts Ban Roi An Phan Yang, 255/4 Chiangmai-Sanpatong Road (between Km 19-20).  Tel: (053) 355-819.  There is nothing in Thailand to compare with Charoui Na Soonton’s incredible wood carving museum and shop, which takes up three floors of his beautiful house.  The shop, on the ground floor, sells some of the best examples of the woodcarvers art in Thailand, and the museum, which takes up the upper storeys, is a magnificent collection of interior and exterior living spaces, shrines, and delights for the eye at every turn.  The 200 baht entry fee for the museum is a pittance, considering the reward.  This remarkable home and museum is a can’t miss, for both Chiang Mai and Thailand.  Open daily from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. GPS: N18°39.057  E098°54.269’ 

In the Mae Rim Valley    

Darapirom Palace, Highway 107 at Km 16, Mae Rim.  Located on the grounds of the Dara Rasmi Border Patrol Police Camp; turn west between the footbridge and police station, then straight for 200 meters.  This was the final home of Chao Dara Rasmi, the daughter of a Lanna king, who was married to King Rama V.  Here, exhibits describe the golden days of turn-of-the-century Lanna royalty.  Open 9 am – 5 pm. GPS: N18°54.793’  E098°56.524’ 

Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden, Highway 1096, Km 12, Mae Rim.  Tel: (053) 298-171.  These extensive gardens, which were initiated in the 1930s, consist of eight discrete zones.  The grounds were expanded in 1992, and feature three nature trails, a museum, and arboretum, replicating a rain forest.  This large park is well worth a visit, and, a car is recommended, as the distances between zones preclude walkers from seeing the entire park in one day.  The Garden is roughly a ½ hour drive from Chiang Mai.  Open 9 am – 5 pm.

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