Wat Rong Khun (The white temple) – Chiang Rai

Wat Rong Khun or more commonly known as “the white temple” is a fairly well-known iconic temple in Thailand, located in Chiang Rai.

We had decided we didn’t want to stay overnight and instead opted for a day trip there from Chiang Mai – a round trip of some 7 hours.

Whilst the temple was quite stunning and unique, I had thought that it would be somewhat bigger.

Although apparently, it is a work in progress and the complex will eventually house nine buildings, though not expected to reach completion until around 2070.

It was also swarming with tourists who seemed to think they were the only people in the world and that everyone should have to wait whilst they took a selfie in the middle of the staircase that made it look like there was no one else there.

I’m sorry but whilst I am guilty of this to some degree


I certainly don’t expect to hold up crowds of people in the middle of a walkway so I’ll be damned if I’m going to stand politely aside while you can not one or two but ten different photos in different poses!

I upset a lot of people that day and I am sure there are many photographs that people are spending extra time on to photoshop out the angry English woman storming through the middle of their shot and glaring at the camera with narrowed eyes.

Oh well.

SO yes the temple is quite remarkable, the reason behind it’s incredibly unique design is that the original temple had fallen into a state of disrepair, and a local artist decided to renovate and completely redesign it out of his own pocket.


The temple is full of Buddhist symbolism and artistic flare.

There are “shrunken heads/demon heads” hanging from a tree


and rather sparkly alien power ranger to cosy up to…


The entrance to the temple is reached via a bridge over hundreds of grasping hands.



The bridge of the “cycle of rebirth” represents the path to happiness by avoiding temptation, greed and unrestrained desire (represented by the hands).



As well as creatures from Buddhist mythology that guard the gates of heaven and decide one’s eternal fate.


The stark white of the temple walls are also embedded with hundreds of pieces of fragmented mirror that glistens in the sun.




After leaving the main building, There is a part of the temple that has a well that people throw coins into to make a wish


and hung all around outside were these silver “luck leaves”.





I am generally quite an unlucky person so it wouldn’t hurt…



A little further passed this area is another, smaller white complex



We were going to explore around Chiang Rai a little more as the temple did not take very long to explore but my sister was not feeling up to the task and so instead we headed back to the bus station for lunch and a stomach lurching coach ride back.

Have you been to the white temple in Chiang Rai?

2 Replies to “Wat Rong Khun (The white temple) – Chiang Rai”

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