Chiang Mai's Maiiam ( has just won the Best New Museum of Asia Pacific award at the Leading Culture Destinations Awards

Now in its fourth year, the awards, pitched as the "Oscars for museums," recognize visionary cities and art institutions for their contributions to the international cultural sphere. 

This year's event was held in London, with winners chosen by a jury of nine established cultural gurus.  

Maiiam, which means "brand new," is the first Thai art museum to be recognized at the awards. Opened in mid-2016, the museum sits in a converted warehouse in the historical craft district Sankhampaeng, a 30-minute drive east from Chiang Mai center.

Already proving iconic, the design of the 3,000-sq-meter space from architectural firm Allzone, led by Rachaporn Choochey features a shimmering facade made from mirror mosaic tiles inspired by Lanna temples. 

Inside features some 600 pieces from the personal collections of Jean Michel Beurdeley and his late wife Patsri Bunnag, together with their son Eric Bunnag Booth, as well as permanent and temporary exhibitions from both local and international artists.   

This year's Leading Culture Destinations Awards comprised 16 categories in total, with London’s Design Museum taking out the overal Leading Culture Destination 2017 award.