Our introduction to Chiang Mai came in the form of a museum. Come to think of it, this was the only museum we visited in our Thailand trip, and we were only compelled to do this because a local, Joy, the owner of our guesthouse, recommended we make such a visit. We had time to burn while waiting for our 2PM check-in time and Joy suggested we visit the Lanna Folklike Museum, which was just one big block away from the guesthouse.
Lanna is the culture of the people in Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai was a kingdom different from Siam (or modern day Bangkok) and the two were consolidated only two hundred years ago. It is no surprise that when you reach Chiang Mai, it is as if you have reached a new country. Lanna can be translated to the “land of a million rice fields” because, yes, you guessed it, this part of Thailand has, indeed, a million rice fields. In Chiang Mai, it is as if I went to a more feminine version of Bangkok — softer, prettier, more beautiful, gentler.
The Lanna Folk Life museum was not an impressive structure. But I was impressed with what was inside. I loved that all the rooms had so much information, presented well, and was not cramped at all. I also loved that the floors were scrubbed well. I know, funny, but I always look at the floor of any establishment to see how well they clean it. The wooden floors of the second floor were glistening. My grandma and mama would approve. Joel and I also enjoyed the hologram of a typical Lanna life. The museum tour was unguided, although I think the students who were manning the museum are more than willing to help you should you need answers to certain questions.
Across the folklife museum is the Three Kings Monument and the Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Center. The cultural center was under renovation at the time we were there, so we were only able to check out the monument, which is a symbolism of the good relations between the former king of Chiang Mai and kings of two other kingdom.
Entrance to museum: 90baht