The White Temple
Wat Rong Khun, better known as the White Temple, is a Buddhist temple and one of the most recognizable temples in Pa O Don Chai, Mueang District, Chiang Rai Province, Thailand.
Created by Chalermchai Kositpipat
The White temple was created by master Chalermchai Kositpipat, the national artist who designed, constructed, and opened it to visitors in 1997.
Buddhist teachings in contemporary context
He envisioned the temple as a place of worship and an artistic masterpiece that reflects Buddhist teachings in a contemporary context.
The white exterior symbolizes the purity of the Buddha. The entire temple complex, including its buildings, sculptures, and walkways, is adorned in white plaster with sparkling mosaic accents.
Unlike traditional Thai temples, which are often adorned with gold and vibrant colors, Wat Rong Khun offers a modern interpretation of Buddhist art.
The bridge leading to the temple represents the journey from the cycle of death and rebirth to the realm of enlightenment. The hands reaching up from the bridge symbolize desire, greed, and worldly distractions that must be overcome to achieve enlightenment.
Wat Rong Khun is not a traditional temple in the sense that it is constantly evolving. Construction and renovation work have been ongoing since the temple's inception in 1997, with new structures and artworks being added regularly.
A Large Number of Visitors
Wat Rong Khun is open to visitors, who can explore its grounds and marvel at its unique architecture and artwork. However, visitors are expected to adhere to certain rules and etiquette, such as dressing modestly and refraining from photography inside the temple.