Entry Fee : Local Visitors: Adults: THB 200 Children: THB 100 International Visitors: Adults: THB 300 Children: THB 200
Oub Kham Museum, Chiang Rai Overview
The Oub Kham Museum in the Muang district in Chiang Rai, Thailand boasts of being home to thousands of rare Lanna items and artefacts that once belonged to the Tai people, and thus it offers its visitors with a comprehensive and beautiful thousand-year visual history of the Lanna culture and the roots of the Thai people.
The museum was built by Julasak Suriyachai, a retired professor and a descendant of this dynasty. He wished to preserve this rich history and culture for future benefits. The name of the museum is derived from the word ‘Oub Kham’, which is a gold-coated bamboo bowl that was used by kings to store and serve food to the monks. The museum holds the rich history through its ornaments, silverware, textiles, antique collections and even daily-use Tai objects. These artefacts are open for public exhibition. The highlight of this museum is the 400-year-old golden throne of Tai Yai royals from the Shan State of Myanmar, which is the only one of its kind to exist till this date.
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Attractions and Exhibits at the Oub Kham Museum
The museum is divided into a total of seven rooms, each of which showcases different items and artefacts.
Art and Accessories The first room showcases Lanna art and accessories. You would also find Tai silverware, old coins and an old silver divorce certificate here. The room also houses utensils dating back to the Lan Xang period. The antiques also include Tai ruler-crowns and also a 3000-year-old bronze drum that was used to pray for the rains.
Buddha Images and Sculptures In the second room, you will find a vast collection of Buddha images, including an ancient Chiang Saen Era seated statue of the Budhha. This statue is a white marble image of the Buddha which includes colourful myriads of small seated figures dating back to the 15th century.
Buddha Exhibits The third room also exhibits images of the Buddha, but these are crafted in wood. You will also find here a tiny figurine of Buddha made out of gold displayed her, which measures just half a centimetre in height. According to the guides in the museum, this image is 500 years old.
Items from the Royal Court The fourth room showcases different items from the royal court such as an old silk sarong with gold threads and old fabrics from the areas of Chiang Tung, Xishuangbanna and Mandalay. You will also find ancient beads and an ancient Oub Kham from Chiang Tung here in this room. Another highlight of this room is the legendary creature of the Lanna period, known as Panjarup, a creature used to decorate gongs during auspicious occasions and ceremonies. Five different animal organs are used to create the Panjarup: the body of a snake, the wings of a bird, the horn and legs of a deer, the tail of a fish and the trunk and tusks of an elephant.
Daily Life Objects The fifth room imitates a cave, representing the safety measure of the people of the time. The sixth room is an exhibition of different samples of colourful and vibrant garments worn by the people.
The Collection of Thrones The best room has been saved for the last, and it is no doubt that the seventh room is the highlight of this museum. This room has on display a complete set of Lanna-style thrones, which are more than four centuries old. This set comprises of nine items in all, including statues that represent the guardians of the throne. The wooden throne coated in gold is decorated with angels on the left and right, Brahma on top, and a real golden image of the Buddha in the middle of the backdrop.
History of the Oub Kham Museum
The Oub Kham Museum is decorated in contemporary Lanna style and is quite colourful to behold. The museum is also surrounded by plenty of fountains and well-maintained gardens, which creates an overall fresh and inviting atmosphere.
Highlights All rare and exquisite artefacts found in the museum are credited to the founder Julasak Suriyachai. Suriyachai gladly opened his own house as a private museum, and personally collected many items that are at display today. The museum started on a piece of one-rai of land in a simple two-storey building with just three rooms. However, the museum has gradually developed; today, it occupies a total of seven rooms.
Do not touch the valuable items on display in the museum, lest you will damage them and end up paying a hefty fine.
Photography is prohibited in many parts of the museum, so make sure to obey the rules there.
How To Reach Oub Kham Museum
The Oub Kham Museum is located in Chiang Rai, which is the northernmost province of Thailand. It is relatively easy to get to the museum, which is located right next to the Den Ha Market.
Via Bus All that you need to do is to take a bus from the Transport Company Limited, which will drop you right outside the museum in no time.
Via Tuk-Tuk You can also easily hop on a tuk-tuk, which will charge THB 60 per person for a ride to the museum.