The White Temple in Chiang Rai is not the average temple that one would usually come across. In fact, the White Temple Chiang Rai is a contemporary, unconventional, privately owned art exhibit in the form of a Buddhist temple. Also, known as Wat Rong Khun, this unique temple is one of the most recognisable temples in Thailand.
WHERE IS THE WHITE TEMPLE CHIANG RAI
The White Temple is located 20-minutes south-west of Chiang Rai City, Northern Thailand. If you plan on doing a Chiang Rai day tour from Chiang Mai, the journey time is approximately 3-hours one way.
PIN LOCATION OF THE WHITE TEMPLE CHIANG RAI
The entrance to the White Temple Chiang Rai
WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE WHITE TEMPLE CHIANG RAI
I arrived at Wat Rong Khun Chiang Rai at 10am and I was surprised to see that there were already crowds of people in the temple grounds. I was a little shocked to begin with as I don’t like visiting the touristy spots where there are herds of people, however, I spent an hour or so exploring the entirety of the temple grounds at Wat Rong Khun and had a blast!
Wat Rong Khun is open 7 days a week from 8am to 6pm and the entrance fee is 50 Baht per person.
The White Temple Chiang Rai stands out among most, through its white coated exterior and plastic glass embedded into the rendering that sparkles brightly in the sun. It is said that the white colour signifies the purity of Buddha and the glass symbolises Buddha’s wisdom. The White Temple Chiang Rai was designed by Chalermchai Kositpipat, a famous visual artist and architect from Thailand.
White Temple Chiang Rai – Wat Rong Khun Chiang Rai
THE WHITE TEMPLE CHIANG RAI
Photography is strictly prohibited on the inside of the White Temple Chiang Rai, so I will try to explain what to expect as best I can in words. The big open hall inside Wat Rong Khun has contemporary illustrations, comic book artworks and symbols of Buddha painted on the walls from top to bottom. Without giving too much away, I could have spent an hour inside the White Temple Chiang Rai admiring the detailed artworks.
Also inside the Wat Rong Khun complex is a number of other Buddhist temples, a golden wishing well, beautiful gardens and an art gallery filled with more incredible illustrations from Chalermchai Kositpipat.
Golden temple inside the Wat Rong Khun Chiang Rai complex
Chiang Rai has hundreds of accommodations to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of my personal favourite places to stay in Chiang Rai to suit budget backpackers and luxury travellers. See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Le Patta Hotel
Mid Range: The Space Hotel
Budget: Mercy Hostel
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