The Kingdom of Thailand is a land of many wonders. It is a nation steeped in history yet also a modern metropolitan marvel where the urban jungle seamlessly unites with tropical rainforest. Of the many cities in Thailand, one of the most interesting is the city of Chiang Rai, the northernmost metropolis in Thailand. Although not as famous as Bangkok, this city is very well developed, with many luxury hotels in Chiang Rai to be found such as Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort. Out of her many attractions, Chiang Rai’s White Temple is the most endearing.
Locally referred to as Wat Rong Khun, what seems like a temple is actually a privately-owned art exhibit of sorts meant to promote Buddhism and serve as a place of reflection and meditation for practitioners of Buddhist philosophy.
There are many beautifully designed aspects of the temple that have very strong imagery with significant messages. The main building is reached through crossing a bridge bearing hundreds of outreaching hands. The hands symbolise greed, desire and temptation, therefore the message of the bridge is that in order to reach happiness one has to overcome these sensations.
Things get very abstract and weird inside the main building, known as the ubosot. The murals featured on the interior are incredibly different from those found in a traditional temple. In addition to conventional Buddhist imagery there are visual depictions of popular western figures such as Michael Jackson, Neo from the Matrix, Harry Potter and even Superman.
The unique establishment is an endeavour of a local artist by the name of Chalermchai Kositpipat, who funded the project with forty million THB of his own money. The temple is still under construction and will not be completed until the year 2070.
Be sure to visit this unforgettable temple if you find yourself in Thailand.
Intrigued by history, art and food, Lavinia Woolf is a writer who is passionate about the extraordinary and writes of the exhilarating and enchanting.