The white temple as it is popularly known or the Wat Rong Khun is a mesmerizing and unusual Buddhist Temple in Thailand. A temple steeped in Buddhist lore and legends and yet with a modernistic approach, that is still a work in progress, this is definitely an attraction you don’t want to miss out on your next visit.
For those on the look out for Chiang Rai Hotels consider the ease and luxury of the Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort which is centrally located to take in the sights and sounds of Chaing Rai.
Chalermchai Kositpipat is an acclaimed painter cum architect who began work on this unique temple in 1997. Moving away from the golden tradition of temples in Thailand, he chose white as a symbol of purity of Buddha. Visitors are greeted even at the gates by traffic cones with ghostly skulls on top of it, leading into gardens depicting ghastly faces hanging off trees and other intricately carved sculptures. The walkway leading upto the temple symbolizes the journey through the many temptations and realms of desire depicted by around 500 hands outstretched begging for help, agonized faces, a demon king, predators rising up out of the ground and many other fearsome statues.
Having made their way past all these sculptures, which are also pure white, visitors then move on to the main temple hall. Here the extensive paintings whilst maintaining a certain Buddhist imagery also includes images of characters such as superman, spiderman, Keanu reeves from the Matrix, George W Bush in an attempt to show the fight between good and evil. The paintings culminate in two pure white serene Buddha statues.
The essence of Buddhist teachings, the need to escape and tear yourself away from evil desires are the messages that the temple attempts to get across. Far from completion, architect hopes to add on a monastery, pavilion, museum, crematorium, hermitage, pagoda, preaching room, rest room and other facilities.
In contrast to the rest of the building the washroom at the white temple is gold and is a lavish undertaking.
As a remarkable work of art and as a visual wonder, the white temple is certainly a must visit for all those travelling to this part of the world.
Nigel Walters is a travel writer, who writes under the pen name, Fritzjames Stephen. His content is based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life.