White Temple (Wat Rong Khun)
Wat Rong Khun is a white Buddhist temple located near Chiang Rai in Thailand. It was designed by Chalermchai Kositpipat, a Thai artist and designer. Wat Rong Khun is very beautiful: it shines brightly in the sun, reminiscent of the castle of the Snow Queen or a fabulous sugar house. Many travelers to Thailand make a special trip to the north of the country to see this sparkling snow-white wonder.
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Video: White Temple in Thailand
The completely white walls and sculptures of the Buddhist iconic building are made of alabaster and inlaid with exquisite mirror mosaics. It is believed that the best time to see the White Temple is before sunset or at dawn. In the soft pinkish-golden light of the sun, Wat Rong Khun looks especially spectacular. Just as magical is the reflection of the Buddhist temple in the smooth surface of the nearby ornamental pond.
The white temple in Thailand is unique, which is why it has long been a Thai national landmark. Wat Rong Khun is a popular tourist attraction, and many buses with Thai and foreign travelers, schoolchildren, students and Buddhist monks pull up to it daily. Tourists should be prepared for the fact that near the White Temple is almost always crowded, and to get there, you have to stand in line.
Construction of the temple of Wat Rong Khun began in 1997 and is still going on. Although this Buddhist temple is not permanently inhabited by monks, its construction was approved by the Buddhist Sangha of Thailand.
In early May 2014, an earthquake struck the north of the kingdom with a magnitude of 6.3. The tremors caused significant damage to Wat Rong Khun. Not only were the frescoes and sculptures partially destroyed, but also the roofs and supporting walls of the building. Immediately after the earthquake, Chalermchai Kositpipat made a statement that the White Temple could not be rebuilt. Later, however, the structure was restored and the work is still going on.
In addition to beautiful photographs and vivid impressions, many tourists take as a memento of a visit to the White Temple postcards stamped Wat Rong Khun. There is also an open store selling various souvenirs and paintings by Chalermchai Kositpipat.
The artist’s designs
The author of the White Temple project, Chalermchai Kositpipat, built it with his own money and became the sole owner of the unusual architectural structure. The artist received offers from other sponsors and the Thai state, but rejected them because he did not want outside interference in the realization of his creative ideas.
Chalermchai Kositpipat collected the funds to create Wat Rong Khun Temple over the course of two decades by selling his own paintings. As a convinced Buddhist, the artist believes that the White Temple is his guarantee of eternal life. The artist’s dream is to build a large Buddhist center where meditation can be taught to all Dharma practitioners as well as anyone interested in Buddhism.
The White Temple is a temple of the Buddhist tradition and the contemporary design. Despite the numerous religious symbols and images of the Buddha, the traditional Buddhist canons are only partially respected in the design of the White Temple. There is a lot of surrealistic painting and symbolic interpretations of Buddhist teaching.
Wat Rong Khun is located on an area of 3 hectares and consists of three buildings – the White Temple, the Picture Gallery and the Golden Palace. According to the plans of Chalermchai Kositpipat, the Buddhist temple complex in the future will be expanded to nine structures. There are plans to erect a chapel, a monastery, a pavilion, a museum, a pagoda, a hall where Buddhist monks can hold sermons, and a room for rest.
Wat Rong Khun itself represents Nirvana, or the state of bliss that can only be attained by going through the suffering of earthly life and the cycle of rebirths. The white color of the temple, according to the author of the project, symbolizes the purity of Buddha, and the mirror inserts on the walls – his wisdom, which illuminates everyone in this world. On the temple roof installed stylized sculptures of four animals, which, according to Buddhist traditions, represent the main elements of the world: elephant – earth, swan – air, snake-naga – water, and lion – fire.
To get to Wat Rong Khun, one must cross an elegant bridge that signifies the transition to Paradise from ordinary life. At the beginning of the bridge is an outlined circle with large fangs facing the sky. This is the symbolic mouth of the mythological demon Rahu, who swallowed the celestial luminaries during eclipses.
The road to Paradise or the Buddha’s abode lies through Hell or Purgatory, so before entering the bridge visitors are greeted by the symbolic hands of sinners, the Narakas. There are many, and some of the hands hold alms bowls, as if asking for help and salvation. This sculptural image of several hundred hands makes a very strong impression.
In addition to the snow-white temple, there is a beautiful golden palace, the walls of which are decorated with intricate bas-reliefs and ornaments. It is a real work of art, with bright flowerbeds in front of it. However, the luxurious golden building is intended for… the toilet and is no less popular with tourists. You need to change your shoes before entering it. It is not easy to break through the eternal line inside this palace toilet – so many tourists want to take pictures here! Therefore, for “special needs” behind the White Temple, they built regular toilets.
The whole area around Wat Rong Khun is very nicely decorated. Neat paved paths are continued around the buildings, benches are placed under the trees and ornamental plants are planted. It is pleasant to walk slowly and rest from the heat of the day in the dense shade of trees around the White Temple.
On the green lawns you can see some unusual sculptures depicting Buddhist mythological characters as well as the Buddha himself. The plumeria trees planted next to the temple have colorful, laughing masks on them. And around the White Temple there is a small pond, where they grow decorative goldfish, which visitors are happy to feed.
In the area of Wat Rong Khun, there is also a beautiful golden well that no tourist who comes to see Wat Rong Khun can ignore. According to tradition here, he who throws a coin and hit the center of the well, can count on the fulfillment of a wish. Many travelers also leave special leaves on the temple trees with the words of prayer. There are several such trees near the White Temple.
The interiors of the White Temple
Before entering Wat Rong Khun, according to Buddhist tradition, you must remove your shoes. No photos are allowed inside. The room is half empty. In the middle of the temple is a sculpture of a Buddhist monk. Many Thai temples have similar images. They are made very believable, and visitors have the impression that a living person is sitting in front of them. Many people think that such “living” sculptures are mummies. However, they are actually made of wax and other materials.
The walls of the White Temple are painted by the artist himself and his assistants in golden colors. The main theme of the frescoes of the White Temple is this eternal struggle with evil. In Buddhism, evil is usually represented by the demon Mara, who is credited with trying to throw Buddha himself off the path of enlightenment.
Curiously, the picturesque surrealist paintings include characters from the feature films Star Wars, Avatar and The Matrix. The murals also feature views of modern-day Bangkok, scenes from Buddhist life, Spider-Man, Jack Sparrow, a panda, Michael Jackson, space shuttles, Planet Earth and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack in New York. The author’s murals were badly damaged in the earthquake, and restoration is ongoing.
One wall is occupied as an altar. It depicts the Buddha sitting in the lotus pose. And in front of him are sculpted images of the Buddha.
How to get there
White Temple is located in the northern part of Thailand, near the town of Chiang Rai. By car from Chiang Rai drive 13 km south towards Chiang Mai City. From the old Chiang Rai bus station to the White Temple tourists are taken by shuttle (20 THB). There are also shuttle buses linking Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai to Wat Rong Khun.
To visit the Buddhist temple, according to local tradition, you must have clothes covering your hands and feet. During the low tourist season, entrance to the White Temple is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. And from November to February the temple closes to visitors an hour later – at 18.00. You can admire the White Temple from the outside at any time. Near Wat Rong Khun are open shops for tourists and a cafe where you can eat.
There is no charge for a tour of the White Temple and its grounds. However, if desired, here you can leave donations for the development of the project – the restoration of buildings destroyed by the earthquake and the construction of new structures of the temple complex.
Wat Rong Khun White Temple (Thailand, Chiang Rai) – reviews
Wat Rong Khun temple – Wat Rong Khun, or as it is often called the White Temple, is located about five kilometers from Chiang Rai – Chiang Rai. This small town with a population of no more than 150 thousand.
The road to the white paradise to the cries of the demons
1) The original and unconventional implementation of the concept of Buddhism in the architecture. 2) Availability of a bus route from Chiang Rai.
Oh, how many Buddhist temples I have already toured while in Thailand. Ancient, risen from the ashes and modern, golden and wooden, with wax statues of ascetic monks and Buddhas in various hypostases. But there was still one more, of which I am aware.
Definitely one of my favorite temples in Thailand
Wat Rong Khun in Thailand, or as they say, the White Temple in Chiang Rai. Have you heard of the Buddhist temple that has Spider-Man and Michael Jackson on its walls? No, you haven’t. The White Temple in Chiang Rai (Wat Rong.
The White Wonder of Northern Thailand (PHOTO VIDEO) Chiang Rai’s most unusual Buddhist temple
I will tell you about a temple, called Wat Rong Khun (Wat Rong Khun) he White Temple – its view, which strikes the imagination of anyone who saw him, it is necessarily worth mentioning. Just for the sake of the White Temple, it is worth it.
The Most Beautiful Temple in Northern Thailand
When we traveled through northern Thailand in 2013. Just before Catholic Christmas we arrived in the glorious town of Chiang Rai. There will be a separate post about it. The Wat Rong Khun Temple was on our list of attractions.
It’s an indescribable beauty! Yes, the temple is new and does not carry any historical value, and many Thais consider the place more like a museum, but still. This architectural marvel. A snow-white temple with millions of shiny and.
You have to see it for yourself.
The fact that the White Temple in the city of Chiang Rai is one of the ten most unusual temples in the world, the fact that for the sake of the temple, people specially come to Chiang Rai, the fact that this temple is a kind of antipode for the Black Temple, located.
One of the most unusual temples in Thailand
One day I was sitting and planning my next vacation to Thailand. Selecting hotels, excursions and several times in a row I got the story of the White Temple in northern Thailand. And I was immediately inspired by the idea to go there, but available.
The architecture excites the imagination.
We went to Chiang Rai by scooter on the way to Visarun (a trip to the border for a stamp) from Chiang Mai. The city itself is different from Chiang Mai, it is quieter in the evenings and more green and located.
We would have been put in jail for such a thing.
Good afternoon, dear readers of Otzvik. Before 1997, there was nothing to see in Chiang Rai, tourists did not come here. Well, except that some “overstayers”, the small waterfalls in the vicinity of the city. But in 1997, a Thai artist.
Incredibly beautiful temple
The temple is very beautiful. From the outside it is incredible, white, gorgeous. There are white carp swimming in the pond. It looks gorgeous in the photo. Near the temple there is a small bazaar where you can buy interesting souvenirs. You can bargain for umbrellas for 200 baht.
Atypical Buddhist shrine. Must see!
Went to Chiang Rai in July 2016. Loved this unusual temple. If you are tired of all those monotonous Thai temples, this is just the right option for you. The temple is done in white and is clad.
It’s worth seeing, and here’s why:
The temple is unusual from every angle–first, with its white color, which in the light of the sun is simply dazzling. Secondly, the intimations in front of the temple itself are also worth seeing. I personally had an analogy with the work of Dante’s “The Divine Comedy” because.
Very picturesque place and the originality of the temple form a stunning picture
Went to Thailand in November 2010goda. Uym impressions of the country (its texture, exoticism of the country, massages, girls uh). Went on a bunch of excursions, but I was truly impressed by Bely Temple. I went to the temple on the way to the north of Thailand.