Wat Rong Khun or ‘The White Temple’ is a popular attraction in Chiang Rai
On the return journey from our visa run at Mai Sai, we stopped off at Wat Rong Khun also commonly known as the White Temple, located 13km south of Chiang Rai off of Highway 1.
It is a popular draw for many visitors who make the journey up to Chiang Rai and if you go to Chiang Rai without seeing it, you will probably be the only person to!
This contemporary Buddhist temple was designed by Thai visual artist Chalermchai Kositpipat.
He wanted to build a temple that resembled heaven on earth with the white colour of the temple symbolising Buddha’s purity.
The glittering glass tiles covering the temple represent the wisdom of Buddha shining all over the earth.
Construction for this stunning new temple started in 1997, while the overall architectural structure is complete on the main building, its construction is still ongoing.
With a total of 9 buildings within the temple grounds, each a different shape and character and each with their own Buddhist meanings, it will be many more years until it is finished in its entirety, expected completion is 2070.
The artist behind the temple knows that he will not live to see his life’s work fully completed and has trained a team of students to continue with his work, vision and imagination, even after his death.
Signs around the temple state that foreign visitors are no longer allowed inside the temple without a Thai guide due to previous accounts of disrespectful behavior, Although I have never seen this enforced. Photographs are prohibited inside all the temple buildings, but you can snap away as much as you like on the outside, which to be honest is where the best images will come from anyway.
Women are required to wear clothes that cover the knees and shoulders before going into the main building, and you will be given a white wrap to wear at the entrance if they feel you are not suitably dressed.
No photography is allowed inside the main building, where you will find a very intriguing mural covering the walls, if you didn’t think Spider Man, Harry Potter and the New York Twin Towers would ever adorn the same wall, then this is where you will find it!
Wat Rong Khun is an unusual place to visit, and increasingly popular with both tourists and locals alike. With a deep meaning behind every statue, the White Temple is incredibly interesting and definitely worth seeing if you are in the area.
A very unique temple in the North of Thailand.
Our Google Map of Wat Rong Khun – The White Temple
View Wat Rong Khun, The White Temple in a larger map
Sacha El-Haj – 8 Miles from Home
To view our cinematic travel videos, visit:
To keep up with our adventures in between blogs & videos…we’re also on Facebook: