History of the Raming Tea House Siam Celadon
The Raming Tea House Siam Celadon is a large, two story teak
building which was constructed on the banks of the Mae Kha Stream
in 1915. Originally, it belonged to Anukonburi, a Thai of Chinese
ancestry and the founder of the Nimakon clan. The Thai King conferred
on him the noble rank of Khun (which in Thai is spelled and pronounced
differently from the ubiquitous, but non-noble “khun”)
during the reign of King Rama VI. During that time, this house
had served as a retail store selling construction material. The
name of the store was “Nim Cheo Chuad”. Following
Khun Anukon’s death in 1916, the house was given to his
son, Banyong Nimakon. His son, Dr. Somphot Nimakon, used the house
as his clinic, naming it “The Dr. Somphot Clinic”.
The house was finally sold to Mr. Nit Wangwiwat, the owner of
the Raming Tea Company, on 6 August 1986. He rented the building
to others who operated it as an Italian restaurant. Prior to the
next major renovation carried out during 2002-2003, the edifice
was showing its age and was in very poor condition. Deciding that
this old house should be preserved, Mr.Nit and Mrs. Penpan Wangwiwat
began a major restoration effort. Carpenters were enlisted to
repair old, deteriorated or broken wooden sections, returning
the house to its original condition. The repairs were designed
to blend in with the remaining original portions of the house
as much as possible and the original structure of the building
was maintained in its entirety. It was, however, necessary to
construct additional bathroom facilities as originally there had
been only one toilet. The renovation was under designed and controlled
by Ms. Siriporn Kankulsulthorn, the lecturer of Rajamangala University
of technology Lanna.
A focal point of this antique building, now renovated as a tea
house, is the airy and spacious central atrium, with the rear
portion of the structure now a garden restaurant. To accentuate
the antiquity of the house, no air conditioning has been installed.
In the past, houses were not constructed with low ceilings as
is common now, but rather were made with high, vaulted roofs which
allow breezes to flow through, keeping the rooms cool and comfortable.
As the renovation process progressed, the owners became increasingly
attached to the house, as if the structure had taken on a life
of its own. From that inspiration was born the idea to open the
building as the Raming Tea house, incorporating the celadon business.
The result was the grand opening of the “Raming Tea House Siam
Celadon” on 1 August 2003.
The Raming Tea House Siam Celadon received an award for excellence in
artistic conservation from Her Royal Highness, Princess Sirinthorn,
in 2004 and an award for excellence in the conservation of old
buildings from the Siam Architect’s Association and the
City of Chiang Mai on 4 March 2004.
Tel. 0-5323-4518, 0-5323-4519