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  • Writer's pictureKirk

Wat Rong Khun - The White Temple

Certainty no shortage of temples in Thailand, and beautiful ones at that. I've already posted on the temples, or Wats as they are called there, in the Chiang Mai area of the country:

But there were a couple of magnificent ones I have yet to post. One is in Chiang Mai, the other here in nearby Chiang Rai. This one is called Wat Rong Khun, but it is almost always referred to as simply the White Temple:

This is actually an interesting project. The temple was in really bad shape but an artist named Chalermchai Kositpipat took on the daunting task of a rebuild. He even did it with his own money to the tune of approximately $30 million!!!

It is a relatively new attraction as it was opened to visitors in 1997. Today it is perhaps the largest attraction in the Chiang Rai area.

It costs 50 baht (about $1.50) for foreigners to visit but it's free to Thai nationals. Personally, I'm a big fan of that structure of charging only foreign people as I believe nationals should have free access to the treasures in their country. Especially if it is one of religious significance.

It's a bargain, of course, for even foreigners, I mean, look!

Chalermchai built this as an offering. It's intended to be an inspiration to the Buddhist followers. Nearby, offers places for study and meditation. It is Chalermchai'a belief this offering secures his place in immortality.

I don't know what that is, but it's scary!

This is an absolutely stunning temple. The artist is very talented. He's actually local talent as he is from Chiang Rai.

As beautiful as this temple is, it is not the most magnificent in the country. That one I've yet to post. But, it was so inspiring I actually wrote some prose to it. Maybe I'll share in the future.

The White Temple is located about eight miles from the city center. I rented a small 125 cc, and drove my "hog" to the temple from the city. Always a joy driving motorbikes in Thailand, especially the cities. There seem to be no laws as you pass cars on either side and always crowd in front at the stop lights.

The place is easily visited in an hour as it is done entirely on the outside. There are other smaller attractions in the area, but this was the only purpose of my visit so I continued on to another adventure from there.

I have a great fondness for this area of Asia, it is the first place I ever visited on the continent years ago. But more so, I love the country of Thailand, especially the more remote area of the mountains (where it's cooler!).

I'll leave you with a short clip if you have any interest in these things:

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