Wat Rong Khun is quite a sight. It is an all white temple situated just south of Chiang Rai, north of Chiang Mai in Thailand. We had seen a number of photos of The White Temple but nothing could prepare us for seeing it so close up.
The photos that we have taken do not do Wat Rong Khun justice. You will have to visit the temple yourself. In the meantime, let us tell you all about it.
Chalermchai Kositpipat, a well known Thai artist captures Buddhist imagery in a way that sparks peoples hearts. He is so well known that he was commissioned to paint the first Thai Buddhist Temple in the UK, Wat Buddhapadipa in London.
So the story goes, Chalermchai designed, built and paid for the White Temple to be built. That is quite an impressive feat for an artist.
The building of Wat Rong Khun started in 1997 and it is still in construction. We believe it will always be worked on. The artist seems to be a perfectionist.
Walking up to The White Temple is quite moving. It is a gorgeous site. A massive white artistic structure. With more artwork surrounding the temple. Even the witches hats were designed by Chalermchai Kositpipat.
The Temple itself is set up so that you walk into the gardens, walk over a bridge, crossing over from Hell to Heaven. Do not look back. Do not go back. If you attempt to walk back, the security guards will yell at you “Turn away from Hell” or “Go straight to Heaven” or the worse… “You want to go to Hell?” Quite daunting for the non-English speakers!
Our friend Jane, who lives in Chiang Rai, took us around the temple sharing stories about the Temple and the artist. Unbelievably, we were lucky to meet the artist himself! Jane and I were ecstatic. This man really is a genius. Even if you don't like his work personally, the attention to detail is brilliant.
Wat Rong Khun – The White Temple in Chiang Rai, northern Thailand is free to the public. It is important to remember to dress respectably, shoulders and knees need to be covered. Umbrellas are not allowed. Nor is easting, drinking or smoking. The temple grounds are open from about 8am till 6pm.