Wat Rong Khun

Once upon a time, the Ministry of Culture of Thailand thought: “It is important to promote modern arts in our country.. And not just arts, but modern architecture.. Just look around.. All we have is traditional architecture of old buildings..” 

I’m not certain for the authenticity of their thoughts, but the outcome of these reflections was the white temple, Wat Rong Khun, located about 6 kilometers from the city of Chiang Rai in northern Thailand … This temple is a good example (if not the only one) of modern temple architecture, uncommon for Thailand..

The construction of the temple began in 1997 based on the project of Chalermchai Kositpipat.. In 1997 Chalermchai Kositpipat offered his service to carry out the construction of the ubosot at his own expense as an offering to Buddha.. Later he changed the construction plan as he saw it.. As a result, Wat Rong Khun became one of the most famous tourist attractions of Northern Thailand..

Unlike most of the temples in Thailand, White Temple’s ubosot (consecrated assembly hall) is designed in white color with some use of white glass. The white color stands for Buddha’s purity; the white glass – for His wisdom..

Apart from unusual white color Wat Rong Khun is interesting for strange sculptures around its ubosot and architectural details.. Here you can find all sorts of scary monsters like this “Manneken Piss” from hell..

The paintings on the walls inside the consecrated assembly hall are based on modern Hollywood themes.. Matrix, Star Wars and Avatar are among the most popular..

Paintings are made in golden colors, which symbolizes the will to renounce the material world for spiritual development of the person..

You will also be impressed by the luxurious building of the toilet, situated at the left of the main site.. Yes, the golden building on the photo below is the toilet..

The construction of Wat Rong Khun is still going.. When completed, the construction project of Wat Rong Khun will consist of nine buildings: the ubosot, the hall containing Buddha’s relics, the hall containing Buddha images, the preaching hall, the contemplation hall, the monk’s cell, gates with images of the Buddhavasa, the art gallery, and the toilets..

More photos from our hitchhiking trip to Chiang Rai:


7 thoughts on “Wat Rong Khun

  1. amazing photos!
    spend 2 months hitchhiking wandering in this country but i ve never been in Chiang Rai.
    Chiang Mai was so good that it stopped me from travelling further. 🙂
    thanks for the article!
    all the best

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