The White Temple in Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai is usually the last stop on most backpacker routes through Thailand before heading into Laos. Along with an incredible night market you can visit Wat Rong Khun, or the White Temple as it’s known to us, which is actually a privately owned art exhibit that was created from the ruins of the original temple by Chalermchai Kositpipat and opened to the public in 1997.

Wat Rong Khun

As you cross the small lake you see hundreds of hands reaching towards you which symbolise unrestrained desire. You then arrive at the Gate of Heaven with two statues: Rahu, who decides the fate of the dead, and Death himself. The main building, the all-white ubosot, is covered with pieces of broken mirror and shines brightly, even on cloudy days.

As you enter inside you are surrounded with a fiery mural to symbolise the destruction man has caused to this planet. The flames and demon faces are broken up by images of terrorists attacks alongside idols such as Neo from The Matrix, Superman and Harry Potter. The rest rooms building represents the body (while the ubosot represents the mind), it’s painted completely gold to symbolise how people focus on desires and money, when we should in fact focus on the mind.

Leaving Thailand

Once you’ve seen the White Temple and shipped a box of cheap shopping home after a couple of trips to the night market it’s time to book yourself a ticket on the slow boat and follow the Mekong into Laos! You can find out how here.

You can view the full album here.

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10 thoughts on “The White Temple in Chiang Rai

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    1. Amazing, I hope you make it there soon! And I’m the same, always wishing the time away until I can get back on the road 😀 I’ll check it out right now, I’ve always wanted to visit Egypt!

      1. Please go to Egypt soon! The whole place is wayyy too amazing to be true! It’s not that dangerous to visit though. Just use your common sense like avoid the crowd and stuff and you will be safe. Once you hit the land of the Pharaohs, let me know 🙂

      2. I will! I’ve been to some pretty dangerous places, or at least places that have a bad reputation, and have always been fine! The only trouble I’ve ever had was in my own country, in London!

      3. To be honest London is the sketchiest place because I don’t expect it there and yet bad stuff always happens. Last year I went through Central America which everyone said was bad but it was actually fine! Only sketchy place was San Pedro Sula in Honduras, apparently the murder capital of the world, but we were careful and nothing bad happened!

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