Chiang Rai White Temple (Wat Rong Kun) Review
Chiang Rai White Temple or Wat Rong Kun is easily recognised by travellers due to its white colour as well as its unique design. Many travellers refer the temple as Thailand’s White Temple because it is first popular white temple in the country.
It is opened in 1997 and it is privately owned by Thai famous artist, Chalermchai Kositpipat. The story behind this temple is unique. The original Wat Rong Khun was in dire situation and Chalermchai Kositpipat who is originated from Chiang Rai decided to rebuild the temple with his own money with his new design.
The artist has spent more than 40 Million Baht to rebuild the temple. The temple is a successful story of the artist’s unique, contemporary and unconventional design. Many critics believed that it is impossible to build the temple based on his creative design but the proved everyone wrong.
When the temple opened its doors in 1997, everyone was amazed and thrilled by the design, architecture and the creativity of the temple. It has become an icon of Chiang Rai and Thailand.
There are no entrance fees to this temple but we heard they might charge 50 Baht this year. We are unable confirmed about the new entrance fees but even it is, it is worth every penny.
The structure and the symbolism of the temple are different than the usual temples. After we did some research online, we got to know more and understanding of this temple.
The temple is currently still in construction and repairing work. During the 5 May 2014 earthquake in Mae Lao, the tremors shaken and damaged the temple. After a group of engineering team inspection, the temple structure is not damaged and the building is deemed safe.
That’s why you still can see repairing work on the temple and they are building more structures in the compound. When completion, the white temple will have a total of nine buildings.
What we like about Chiang Rai White Temple (Wat Rong Kun)
This is a privately funded temple by famous artist Chalermchai Kositpipat. He is a local from Chiang Rai and to transform from his design to reality is a big task.
The design and architecture is unique and there are hidden messages on every section. Every inch of this building is carefully created with intensive details.
Within the temple, you are not allowed to take any photos as there are quite a number of controversial paintings with popular comic heroes. Please respect the wishes of the temple so please do not take any photos of the paintings within the temple.
We love the creativity and also the commitment of the artist to showcase his work and bring joy to the guests. It is not an easy task to create and maintain such a magnificent building like this with its own money. On the other hand, he is creating tourist attraction on his own without any incentives. Such noble act is much needed in our own country.
If you are in Chiang Rai, you can also visit the Singha Park which is located nearby.
Chiang Rai White Temple (Wat Rong Kun) Address:
MueangChiang Rai, Pa O Don Chai, Mueang Chiang Rai District, 57000, Thailand
Phone: +66 53 673 579