A Trip to Wat Rong Khun

A Trip to Wat Rong Khun

In Chiang Rai, I took a trip to the White Temple. I wasn’t sure how to get there because I was in the middle of nowhere and I hadn’t seen any people, let alone taxis. But, I needn’t have worried because the lovely Son, the owner of the homestay, called her driver to take me there.

I imagined the White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) to be located in a forest setting, far from any towns or cities, so I was surprised to find it was a long way from any forest. After driving for around 20 or 30 minutes, we came to a crossroads with rows of shops on either side and on the opposite side – the White Temple. Not exactly, how I imagined it. Still, it was one of the most beautiful temples I’d ever seen.

Wat Rong Khun was built by Chalermchai Kositpipat in 1997 as an offering to Buddha. He says, “Only death can stop my dream, but cannot stop my project. I believe the work will give me immortal life.” The construction work continues and it should be completed by 2070 – a lifetime’s work!

It’s very unique with a white exterior which represents spirituality rather than being focused on material things.

Places to go in Thailand

Every inch of the temple is covered in fragments of mirrored glass which make it dazzle in the sunlight.

The main temple is reached by crossing the bridge of “the cycle of rebirth”.

Places to go in Thailand

On either side, there are reaching arms of those who were tempted by desires in life. The idea is that if you can cross the bridge (go through life) and forego these desires, you will achieve happiness.

At the other side of the bridge, you will come to the “Gate of Heaven” guarded by statues of Death and Rahu.

In front of the main temple, there are more interesting statues as well as other intricate architectural features.

You’re not allowed to take photos inside the temple, but the decor changes. Instead of images from Buddhist mythology, you are now faced with demons and images from the current era. Characters from famous films and modern-day idols like Michael Jackson. It’s all very strange and not something you see every day in a Thai temple.

In the temple grounds, there are other buildings.

All of the buildings in the complex are white apart from this golden one which houses the rest rooms. The gold colour symbolises the body.

Places to go in Thailand

There are other interesting things that may catch your eye.

It’s also a place for people to make merit and remember lost souls.

To make a wish.

To enjoy the nature.

Places to go in Thailand

Or to take a break in the shade.

Places to go in Thailand

If you are ever in Chiang Rai, go and experience the White Temple for yourselves. It really is a beauty!

I had a couple of more things on my itinerary. I took a taxi to town and had lunch right next to Chiang Rai’s clock tower – constructed by Chalermchai Kositpipat again!

Places to go in Thailand

My final destination was Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong.

Places to go in Thailand

As this temple is at the highest point of the city, you’ll get lovely views from up there.

Places to go in Thailand

I got back to the homestay and had an another relaxing evening, my only company were the insects who had come out for the night. After my day exploring, it was soothing to listen to their sounds in the dark night. It made such a wonderful change, my usual night time sounds were the beeping horns on the busy Bangkok roads.

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