Wat Rong Khun - The White Temple
Trip Start Nov 02, 2011
171Trip End Ongoing
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Wat Rong Khun or the White Temple has got to be the most bizarrely strangely, beautiful, Buddhist Temple I have ever seen, it is stunning and the intricate detail and work involved in it is unbelievable, it really has to be seen to be believed and appreciated.
The temple is white with detail being set in silver and mirrors which makes it glisten and shine in the sun and leaves you mesmerized on first sight. Apparently it's color is to symbolize a more pure and contemporary feel from the usual gold, and it definitely achieves being unique. It is on the outskirts of Chiang Rai, around 13 kms away, and as it was on route to get the slow boat from the Thai-Laos border to Luang Prabang, it was perfect
On arrival everyone piled out the minibus and set off to explore, camera's in hand, I was given a white robe to wear over my shorts and was free to walk around trying to soak it all up, entry is completely free which is a refreshing change and was very much appreciated. I made my way to the magnificent tusks at the entrance which are huge and was amazed by the detail involved in the building with it's elaborate design, is a true one off.
Figures of demons and protectors, along with ghoulish hands reaching from the pits of hell, alms bowls in their hands, everything about it is incredible and like nothing I have ever seen before. Water under the moat on entry shoots up in displays, then it's on from hell and into heaven and the inside of the temple itself which as always was simple and spiritual ensuring utmost respect.
Behind the main temple is another bridge and tall white pagoda which is currently smooth and plain in design however, it's planned for work to be carried out in the future. The White Temple is still a work in progress, the designer is Chalermchal Kositpipat a native Thai artist who started construction in 1996 however, completion is not expected until 2070. He plans on work being carried out by others also making it his greatest work of art ever. On the outskirts it has walkways to keep you out of the sun, decorative trees and other ornaments and the toilets are a massive gold building similarly designed nearby.
I have to admit that visiting here has been a wonderful experience, a real one off and part of my exploring that I will never forget, I have to admit I'm completely in awe of this place which has been a real privilege to come and see.