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The Unconventional and Untraditional Comes Alive at the All-White Wat Rong Khun Temple

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Glittering temples are a staple of Northern Thailand. Just go to Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai for them. But one stand out amongst the rest. Not because it is aesthetically more beautiful or eye pleasing than the rest (this is left up to your interpretation) but more or less because of its awkwardness and unconventional design. If an all white and modern temple is your thing, then Wat Rong Khun is your temple.

Wat Rong Khun is different from the rest of your conventional temples mainly because of; yes you guessed it, its all white color. Looking as if snowfall has just occurred, the color was chosen by visual artist Chalermchai Kositpipat because it represents the purity and wisdom of the Buddha.

The temple is not old at all. It was first built in 1999 and construction still continues, even until today. From Chalermchai’s estimate, it would take many more years for the temple to be fully completed.

Ever been to hell and heaven and live to tell about it? Prepare for an out of this world journey through Wat Rong Khun. Glaring eyes from two menacing giants watch as you enter the temple and approach grasping hands pleading for help from the floor. Welcome to hell. Climb the bridge and walk towards the main hall, a huge pond with water fountains come to view. This is a representation of Si Tarndon, the river that separates heaven from the ordinary world. As you walk towards the far end of the bridge, you will see various sculptures of Buddha meditating, which should bring some relief. Thank you for taking this hell and heaven journey. We hope you enjoyed the tour.

And you think you’ve seen it all. Well, you haven’t seen the murals yet! No, they aren’t white. This time, it is colorfully depicted. Ever think Superman or Neo from the hit film The Matrix would make an appearance at a temple in Chiang Rai? Sometimes you gotta see to believe.

Northern Thailand is more than the home of this unconventional temple. It is your gateway to the Golden Triangle. Hills and mountains dominate. Glittering monasteries, historical temples and stupas dot the area. And hilltribes show you a way of life that hasn’t been changed in generations. The region will leave you in awe!

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