THE WHITE TEMPLE: A PLACE OF ARTFUL DEVOTION AND DEVOTION TO ART

Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple) Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple) Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple) Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple) Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple) Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple) Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple) Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple) Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple)
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Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple) Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple) Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple) Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple)

Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple)

Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple)

  • Demon mask at Wat Rong Khun

    If there is any antidote in Thailand for visitors who are “all templed out,” then it is here, a few kilometers south of Chiang Rai city, just off highway No 1. Nothing compares with the first breathtaking view of this structure, the creator of which, famous artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, says will never be finished during his lifetime. It is as if a sculptor crafted this intricate work from one enormous block of ice, yet it sits there sparkling in the sunshine, and grows rather than shrinks.

    Wat Rong Khun, to give it its full title, has the uncanny quality of appearing to be bigger and more important the longer one spends here. Bigger because everywhere you turn there are new features to see, from the shoals of white and silver carp under the fountains to the incredibly lifelike statue of the much revered local monk, the late Prakoo Sawai, facing every visitor.

  • Buddha statue at Wat Rong Khun

    The White Temple encourages us to think as well as gaze. You approach the entrance past a sea of 500 hands clawing at the air, punctuated by the occasional face in torment— “The Beauty of Anguish.” Does this portray sinners craving redemption? Chalermchai, in his wisdom, leaves us to guess. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the central hall with its unique, potentially shocking, murals. A skull is in place over the entrance where you might expect a serene Buddha. New York’s Twin Towers are depicted—one on fire, one with an airliner fast approaching. Spiderman and an easily-recognizable George W. Bush are seen amid images of warfare.

    Local schoolchildren, some with remarkably good English, act as unofficial guides here…an example of the great good the White Temple has created for the community. There is no admission fee for the thousands of visitors who flock here daily; local traders sell souvenirs, coffee and snacks; and land values have risen all around. A contrasting golden building nearby is the “Hall of Masterwork,” where more of Chalermchai’s vivid imagination can be admired, also free of charge.

The Legend : Chiang Rai Office
124/15 Moo 21 Kohloy Road, Amphur Muang, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 53 910 400
Fax: +66 (0) 53 719 650
Email: info@thelegend-chiangrai.com
The Legend : Bangkok Office
133/14 Ratchaprarop Road, Ket Rajthevee, Bangkok 10400 Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2 642 5497, +66 (0) 2 254 3069, +66 (0) 2 247 5373
Fax: +66 (0) 2 246 5679
Email : info@thelegend-chiangrai.com