White Wat Rong Khun

Chiang Rai Travel Blog

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This is our tour group in front of the hotel. There is me in the middle (wearing one of my fake Lacoste T-shirts), Jef and Gerda at my right, Elisabeth and Sonia (the girls from Luxembourg) at my left, and behind them David and Mireille (the Walloon couple). All in the right corner is Raf and Carine, and in front from left to right there is hot, our busdriver, and our Thai guide Mac. Those are the people I hang out with. To be honest, I have already forgotten the names of the others :S

Already missing my lovely hotelroom, I checked out of Dussit Island this morning. No time to waste as we leave for Chiang Mai today, but first, we visit one of, if not the most modern temple of Thailand: Wat Rong Khun. I must say I absolutely love this building. The whole complex, which is even after ten years of work not finished, is white and full of little mirrors that reflect the light.
Wat Rong Khun
It is very different from the classical temples we've seen before, and the total opposite from the ancient ruins of course. The man who came up with the whole idea is a Thai painter who dreamed on night of the "perfect temple". The next morning he started to raise funds for this project, and ever since he is building his dream here, just outside Chiang Rai.

The inside of the temple isn't finished completely. Only two of the four walls are yet painted: the one behind the Buddha statue, that shows modern images of a meditating Buddha, and the one opposite of the statue, at the front door. This wall is not at all what you'd expect to see inside a temple. Colors are bright and the images are all blending together into one big storyboard full of modernly painted scenes.
Wat Rong Khun
You'll find a straight on charge against injustice, violence and greed upon this wall, featuring a mix of sometimes ironical sketches, portraying no less than collapsing WTC towers, leaking oil pumps, sexual escapades, weapon machinery and so on and so forth. Just this one wall alone is worth visiting Wat Rong Khun, but the outside is just as nice. I really recommend this place, because it is beautiful, artistic and on top of that pretty different. Aside the temple there is a gallery where you can by paintings of the architect/artist, both originals and copies. I liked quite a lot of them but I bought only one little copy. Since it is all blue and my room at home pretty orange it doesn't fit in at all, but I thought it would match perfectly with my future bathroom :) No kidding, that is honestly what I bought it for. The painting portrays a meditating white Buddha, floating in the air on a lotus above a peaceful garden of eden like environment, with plants and flowers and waterfalls. It is a nice souvenir, and above that, my tribute to the temple of Wat Rong Khun. I wonder how many little mirrors they can buy with this modest donation?


R. Kelly - Gotham City
posimike says:
Thanks for the great write-up. I'll be teaching English as a volunteer in a High School very close to this Wat in about 3 weeks time. I'm so excited to be there.
Posted on: Jan 23, 2009
Pearl510 says:
Hey Huy, thanks for your input. Well honestly, the reason why I wanted to put the painting there is because whenever I feel stressed or sad, first thing I do is run a warm bath, lit some candles and burn incense and then I easily feel balanced again. So in that sense, my bathroom is the most nirvana like place in our house and it is kind of meditation for me :) But yes I get your point... I guess I'll have to find another spot to place the painting. Still haven't moved out though, so for know it is still hanging in my room :)
Posted on: Aug 28, 2008
Pearl510 says:
Oh no? Really? Why not? I didn't mean to be disrespectful or anything... So maybe I should put it somewhere else then? To bad! It would just fit so perfectly in there between my candles and incense :P
Posted on: Aug 28, 2008
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Wat Rong Khun
Wat Rong Khun
Wat Rong Khun
Wat Rong Khun
Wat Rong Khun - not yet finished
Wat Rong Khun - not yet finished
Wat Rong Khun
Wat Rong Khun
Wat Rong Khun
Wat Rong Khun
Wat Rong Khun
Wat Rong Khun
Wat Rong Khun
Wat Rong Khun
Wat Rong Khun
Wat Rong Khun
Chiang Rai
photo by: Pearl510