Chiang Rai, Thailand, Travel

Chiang Rai: Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple)

June 20, 2012
Jason complained that my previous post on Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Temple has too many words in it.
But in my opinion, these magnificent buildings need some explanation on their greatness.
Thus, for this post, I have categorize them.
Please skip that particular session if you don’t feel like reading today. 🙂
After we have arrived at Chiang Rai, we stopped by the famous Wat Rong
Khun. I was completely blown away by this magnificent architecture. 

Wat Rong Khun (Thai: วัดร่องขุ่น), also referred to as “The White
Unlike Thailand numerous ancient and historical temples, this unconventional temple is fully covered in white. It also represents the most beautiful example of modern
Buddhist art in Thailand
General Information 
Location: 10km
South East from Chiang Rai 
Construction began: Year 1997 
Construction ends: Scheduled to be Year 2070 
Built Area: 7 Rai ( about 3 Acres) 
Design by: Thai artist , Chalermchai Kositpipat 
Will consist of 9 buildings:
The Ubosot (The main building)
The Relic Hall
The Image Hall
The Preaching Hall
The Meditation Hall
The Monk’s Cell
The Door facade of the Buddhavasa
The Art Gallery
The Golden Toilets

The Story
The original Wat Rong Khun was in a very bad condition and work commenced
to build a new Ubosot in year 1996. Unfortunately, the work was slow and the
temple was running out of funds. At this time, Chalermchai Kositpipat offered
take over the building and expenses were paid out of his pocket as personal
offering to the Lord Buddha. Thus, the construction of Usobot began again in
1997. His work has received so much acclaim that he decided to rebuild the
entire Temple as a tribute to His Majesty The
King and for the greater glory of Thailand and its people.
The Design
Wat Rong Khun is unique from other temples that it has been constructed
entirely in a radiant white color with sparking reflections from mirrored glass
mosaics embedded in the white plaster.
The white colour represents the pureness of Buddha. 
Before the bridge, there were sculptured hands at the bottom, reaching up
from Hell. 
The Bridge
Leading to the Ubosot, it represents crossing over from the cycle of rebirth to the Abode of Buddha, on the way of enlightening. 
The Ubosot

Inside the
There were several interesting and modern images painted on
the walls: Spiderman, Batman, Keanu Reeves, Bumblebee Transformer, and even
Osama Bin Laden’s face.
A mix of traditional Thai Buddhist art and contemporary scenes. 
( Talking
about unconventional temple, haha)
The Golden

Things You
Should Know
  • No photographs were allowed inside the Ubosot.
  • Do not go too close and touch the sides. (don’t worry, a guy stationed
    there will always remind you of that 😛 )
  • Unlike many temples, Wat Rong Khun refuses to accept donations of more than
    10,000 baht and the donors cannot have their names recorded on the buildings.
  • It is ranked #2 of #27 attractions in Chiang Rai at Tripadvisor

With this post, I salute the sacrifices made by Khun Chalermchai along with
his followers in creating this masterpiece of art, The White Temple.
“Only death can stop my dream, but cannot stop my project” 
~ Chalermchai

My Chiang Mai & Chiang Rai Travelogue: