Wat Rong Khun / The White Wat

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Chiang Rai, Thailand

Wat Rong Khun / The White Wat Chiang Rai Reviews

FoxyFauz FoxyFauz
214 reviews
A must see if you ever come to Chiang Rai May 11, 2015
The one and only reason why we came to Chiang Rai was to see the White Temple or Wat Rong Khun as it is locally called. As basically the town is more or less a sleepy town, nothing nice to see. We asked our hotel to arrange for a taxi but instead a private car arrived instead.

It is not advisable to go to the White Temple on a single ride. It is like in the middle of nowhere that you would not find a taxi home. Therefore, it is very important to arrange a 2-way trip with your driver.

Against the dim or sleepy town surrounding, the White Temple stands out especially when the hot bright sun shines on it.

This is a privately owned temple and the architecture differs from the typical Buddhist temple. At the entrance, you will see a sign (kind of like a statue) of the temple’s architect and owner, Chalermchai Kositpipat. He became very famous in Thailand due to his efforts in completing this then unfinished temple using his own funds. Therefore, the souvenir shop sells stuffs - mainly books about him! I cannot remember if we (as tourists) had to pay any entrance fees to enter this temple, even if there was, its not much.

Men are allowed to wear bermudas to enter the site. Women’s arms and legs must be covered.

The temple consists of 9 buildings and the Main building is reached by crossing the bridge over the lake (or pond). The bridge is special as it is called The Bridge of Cycle of Re-birth, therefore you will see outreaching hands that symbolize unrestrained desire forming this bridge.

And then you will meet the Gate of Heavens which is headed by 2 creatures from Buddhist mythology before finally reaching the Main Building. The Main building is covered with many mirrored glass (therefore quite blinding under the sunlight) and styled with 3 tiered roofs of dragon.

You will also see a Gold Building which is a total contrast to the rest of the many white buildings within this temple grounds. The gold symbolizes how people focus on worldly desires and money. A unique way to look at life & death. Interesting concept isnt it?
Foxyfauz @ The White Temple
Foxyfauz @ The White Temple
Foxyfauz @ The White Temple
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san_vai san_vai
3 reviews
A temple with diffrence Jun 10, 2015
I have visited many temples in my life, this was different. more like Art Temple. beautiful, stunning, amazing, artistic, strange , I can go on for this

movie characters as paintings and hanging Heads ...

We drove from ChiagMai to ChiangRai just for this. in 2014

This temple is still under construction, so there will be somthing new for you only.

don't forget to go for a pee... a toilet like some Arab sheikh's.

there is enough parking and restaurants also
Trekertim Trekertim
13 reviews
Amazing Thai temple (wat) still being built Jun 12, 2011
I visited Wat rong Khun in the Chaing Rai province in June 2009. I visited with my Thai girlfriend at the time, and she gave me a little information about it. She told me that the man who instigated the building of it is regarded as being very excentric, he is often on Thai TV, and he was actually there the day we walked around. He was happy to have a picture taken with him and I took a picture of him with my girlfriend, sadly it is a little blurred.

It is the most incredible place and still under constuction. The fixation of the white theme extends to the incredible white Koi carp that swim in the small ponds at the front of the temple. My girlfriend explained to me that the sea of hands coming from the ground represents the hell one would go to if you lived the bad life and smoked!! (apparently)

I watched the craftsmen working on one of the walls that surround the temple and it was a fascinating process. They individually place tiny mirrors into wet concrete. Once they are dry, they paint the whole surface area in white. Once the paint has dried, they very carefully scrape the paint away from the mirrors to leave the spectacular effect that you see in the photos. The process is incredibly slow and intricate, but the results amazing.

The inside of the temple is totally bizzare and looks completley out of place compared to traditional temples in Thailand. He had at the time of visiting, painted Keanu Reeves, space ships and the twin towers. It was all very odd to say the least.

However, This is an absolute must do on your list if you are going anywhere near Chiang Rai, and I highly recommend it!
kikomanzoni kikomanz…
14 reviews
disneyland castle ambience in northern thailand Nov 22, 2010
So, in october 2010 on my route to chiang khong ( laos border ), I decided to make a quick stop at chiang rai.

turned out, I stayed there for 3 hours, because it was so amazing. this temple has been designed by a contemporary artist, so it is not like any other temple in thailand. First of all, it is white with mirror-mosaics-reliefs and though, it is beautiful, it seems a bit surreal. giving me the impression of walking through disneyland, hehe.

the temple is still under construction (since 1998) and this gave me the chance to observe the workers, but sadly didn' t allow to see the crasping hands and the fishes in the lake.

wonder, how it will look like next time :)
the bridge, still under constructi…
vosking vosking
12 reviews
A Modern style temple complex near Chiang Rai, Thailand. Sep 15, 2008
Wat Rong Khun, or in english,the white temple, near Chiang Rai.

It is a new temple under construction. A thai artist named Chalermchai Kositpipat (Kosit) started this project in 1998 and he and many others are still work on it. How long this is going to take, nobody knows. Some say it will be finished around 2070.

So far this project cost about €400.000. All of it is donated by the thai people, who all coming to this special modern temple. Any donation is welcome, but maximum donation pro person is € 200. More is not allowed to give and no names will be published on the walls of this temple complex.

Chalermchai Kositpipat believes that he will get eternal live by building this temple as a donation to Buddha. His wish is even that they finish his dream after his death. I must say, he is quite some artist. On the outside it's all white with glass mosaic. And near the temple there are some ponds with big fountains and Koi carp in it. The inside of the main temple is painted in a very modern style. Above the entrance in the highest part of the wall, you see a painted Buddha. Under the Buddha you see how the world is turned in a (let I say it in a easy way) HELL. You see the twin towers in New York burning, You see Osama Bin Laden next to that who grin, Star Wars, Keanu Reeves as Neo from The Matrix(beats me what those two has to do with the situation in the world), demons, hell monsters who will be fed with gazoline,etc,etc... It's a surreal story to see this painting and he's still working on it. This is the bad part, the good part still has to be painted.

Unfortunally I wasn't allowed to make photo's inside of the temple, but it's worth to go there and see it for yourself.

You find this Wat at road number 1 on the way to Chiang Rai on the left handside of the road. It's possible to go there by tuk tuk, bus, taxi or tour from Chiang Rai.

Near the complex are some small restaurants and a exhibition with paintings and a photo gallery of Chalermchai Kositpipat. If you buy here something, it will be used for the constuction of the temple.

One tip, it's a budist temple, so wear suitable cloting and be astound.
Main temple.
Main temple.
Still working on it.
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
edsander says:
Wow ! Stunning ! Almost looks like it snowed in Thailand.
Posted on: Jan 18, 2009

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