The White Temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand
The White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) is a surreal looking temple located 13 km South of Chiang Rai, a city in the North of Tailand. The construction of the White Temple started in 1997 and still goes on to the present time (it’s said that it will go on till 2070!). BUT…Unfortunately, on 6th of May 2014 the White Temple in Chiang Rai was affected and damaged by an Earthquake of 6.3 Richter scale and the interior of the temple is closed to the public for an unknown period of time. But you CAN VISIT THE EXTERIOR AND THE GARDEN which are the most interesting parts anyway!
It’s sad that such a beautiful temple, after so many years of working on it, it’s now damaged with cracks and broken towers.
I was lucky to see the White Temple in Chiang Rai before it was damaged by the earthquake, so please enjoy the PHOTOS TAKEN BEFORE THE EARTHQUAKE, when the White Temple was intact, in all its beauty.
The magnificent White Temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand it’s rich in detailed carvings and little mirrors.
The entrance of White Temple
The entrance in the White Temple and its surrounding gardens is free!
The path leading to the White Temple is surrounded by horror scenes and sculptures, like skulls and hands reaching up the the visitors.
At the entrance of the White Temple in Chiang Rai hands reach up to you with hope and desperation
Details of the chaos and horror in front of the White Temple
If you are going through Hell, keep going
Once you pass the horror path, the way further in the White Temple is guarded by Demons. Climb up with courage and discover a temple like you’ve never seen before!
The White Temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand, is not an ordinary Buddhist Temple, no no. It’s an unconventional, contemporary work of art. This makes it unique in the world and I think is a MUST when you visit Thailand.
Demons guarding the entrance at the White Temple
The Guards at the entrance of the White Temple
Inside the White Temple
Inside, you think you see a simple Thai Temple with people praying peacefully in front of a Buddha Statue, but if you turn around, there are mural depictions from Matrix, the attack on the Twin Towers from 9.11, the red angry bird, a Hello Kitty, Superman, Spiderman, scenes from Star Wars and even Michael Jackson! Strange for a Buddhist Temple, isn’t it? I managed to take 2 photos (shame on me, because photographing is forbidden).
Spiderman depicted on the walls of the White Temple
Angry Bird and Hello Kitty on the left edge, Twin Towers under attack
The Garden of the White Temple
Of course the garden is the same weird. Creatures and heads are hanging from the trees or raising from the ground.
Predator rising from the ground in the garden of the White Temple
Heads hanging from the trees in the garden of the White Temple: Batman, Hellraiser, Hellboy, Jack the Ripper
“No drinking” sign in the garden of the White Temple
The Toilets at White Temple
If you drank to much water and nature calls, there is a beautiful golden toilet building, which blends perfectly with the architecture of the White Temple 😀
How to get from Chiang Rai to the White Temple?
The White Temple is located 13 km South of Chiang Rai.
To get from Chiang Rai to the White Temple:
- take either songthaew (covered pick-up trucks) – wave at them
- or take bus from the Chiang Rai Old Bus Station located in town’s center (platform 7 or 8). It costs 20 bahts (50 cents) per person and the trip takes around 20-30 minutes (the lady at the Information Counter said there are buses every 30 minutes, but we waited at least 45 minutes in our bus before it finally left). When the driver drops you off, cross the double lane street and walk for about 1 minute.
To get back from the White Temple to Chiang Rai
- wait on the opposite side of the street from where you were dropped off and wave to a bus or a songthaew (covered pick-up trucks) which goes back to the city.
Amazing post! Thanks for sharing.
Fantastic photos – what an amazing place to visit.
Truly spectacular–and very thought-provoking too! Thanks for sharing the fabulous photos of a wonderfully fascinating place. Hope I get to see it in person sometime, but for now it’s amazing just to look at your pictures of this incredible temple.
Thank you 🙂 it’s a very nice place, I am happy that I’ve been here because it’s kind of “one time only” travel. I don’t think I will ever go there again.
I hope you get to see it in person some day, Thailand is a fascinating country and it’s worth visiting at least once in a life time 🙂
Have a great day Kathryn!
This is now on my “to visit” list. Wow. Just wow. And the architects choices about pop (western) culture intrigue me. Why? What’s he (she?) thinking? Thanks for the pics!
Oh my God this place is beautiful and I like the details you captured. Very inspiring.
Thanks for sharing this. I never heard of it, and doubt I would have seen it without your photos!
Great photos. It seems like a very interesting place. There must be millions and millions of fine details. Very different from anything you’d come across in Minnesota or elsewhere in the U.S.
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The detail in this post is quite incredible. I’ve seen the White Temple often before but never quite like this. Many thanks! 🙂
This temple is scary. 😀
Hi Corina, nice to meet you. I can’t believe we missed going to the white temple! Oh well, it’s a good excuse to go back to Thailand 🙂
I am in awe of your photography!
the earthquake was destroy already..so sad
oh, thank you for telling me, I didn’t know. It’s really sad what happened 😦 😦
Wow! What an amazing building. Never seen anything like it. You’ve captured it well! 😄
Yes, it’s impressive 🙂