Although temples are very common in Thailand, you probably have never seen anything quite like The White Temple or “Wat Rong Khun” in Thai. This temple can be recognized by natives from miles away, as its distinctive white features set the unconventional temple apart from other places of worship. Located on the outskirts of Chiang Rai city, Wat Rong Khun attracts millions of visitors each year.
The white temple was designed and constructed by a famous Thai artist named Chalermchai Kositpipat, who allows his deep patriotism and religious devotions to guide him in developing a new form of modern religious art. The unique temple is covered in white paint and has pieces of glass that shimmer in the sunlight as homage to the Buddha’s purity, wisdom, and teachings (Dhamma).
Kositpipat also chooses to decorate the structure with sculptures that allude to Buddhist ideologies, in order to accentuate his and most Thais’ beliefs in Buddhism as a religion and lifestyle. You may enter the main chapel through the bridge that was built over a collection of sculpted hands that are reaching out of the water, begging for help from the underworld. Once you walk over the bridge, you cannot go back as the only way to walk is “upward toward heaven,” or the main chapel through a path that is guarded by sculpted demons.