Set inside the old Provincial Court, the Lanna Folklife Museum (also referred to as the Lanna Heritage Center) was created as an effort to inspire and educate the youth, locals, and the visitors in Chiang Mai about its history, while simultaneously serving as a tourist attraction. This massive white colonial style, two story building is an easy to spot destination.
Dating back over 80 years, this building is a beautifully renovated relic from the past. The exhibition does an incredible job of exposing the intricacies of history and heritage in innovative and capturing ways. There are 18 room displays, each housing replicas of significant cultural objects and events that attributed to the Lanna lifestyle. Life sized wax figures decked out in traditional garb help to demonstrate the religious and work related activities and customs in some of the presentations, while others showcase everything from massive murals to delicate lucky charms.
The information coinciding with the displays on placards is in both English and Thai. Chinese speaking tour guides are available as well. The interior is deceptively small, taking about an hour to wander through all the rooms and it’s not uncommon to have most of the exhibition to yourself. It’s open from 8:30am-5pm Tuesday through Sunday. For foreigners the price is 90 baht per adult, 40 baht per child. Student admission is 40 baht as well. Located directly across from the Three Kings Monument on Prapokklao Road in the heart of the old city, this museum is a great visit if you’re looking to learn more about the heritage and history of Chiang Mai. It’s a perfect introduction to Chiang Mai for the wandering traveller, and a worthy visit for long time locals.
Written by: Grace Van Kirk