Wat Rong Khun

Located just 15 kilometers south west of Chiang Rai town, Wat Rong Khun is a breathtaking temple that captures the attention of all who visit. With its pure white exterior and intricate glasswork, this temple is a true work of art that combines traditional Buddhism with modern elements.

Wat Rong Khun is one of the most visited attractions of Chiang Rai thanks to its unique look. If you plan to visit the Chiang Rai area, we highly recommend adding this White Temple to your list of destinations.

Discover the Beauty of Wat Rong Khun – The White Temple

Visitors are immediately drawn to Wat Rong Khun’s stunning appearance, with its clear white exterior that shines in the sunlight, creating an almost dream-like quality. The temple’s creator, Chalermchai, explains that the white color symbolizes Buddha’s purity and the glasswork represents his wisdom and teachings, shining out into the world and universe.


History of Wat Rong Khun

Wat Rong Khun’s history is just as intriguing as its appearance. In the late 20th century, the original temple was abandoned and in disrepair due to a lack of funds. This is when local painter Chalermchai Kositpipat stepped in, using his own money to redesign and rebuild the temple as a center for meditation and Buddhist teachings. Since its reopening in 1997, Wat Rong Khun has become one of Chiang Rai’s most visited attractions.

Structure of Wat Rong Khun

The bridge of “the cycle of rebirth”

Walking through the temple, visitors are guided by symbols and teachings at every turn. The bridge leading to the main building is particularly memorable, featuring sculptures of hands reaching out in different gestures, symbolizing the suffering of the world and the desires that torture humans. Crossing this bridge symbolizes leaving behind worldly desires and moving closer to a pure, Buddha-filled world.

At Wat Rong Khun, every detail is intentional and holds a life lesson. The architecture encourages visitors to focus on their inner world and find peace, making it a truly unique and inspiring destination for those visiting Chiang Rai. So, if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind cultural experience, add Wat Rong Khun – the White Temple to your travel itinerary today.


Look to the side of the lakes, you will also find two elegant Kinnaree (a mythical Budism creature, half human, half bird) guarding two sides of the bridge.


Stepping into the Gate of Heaven


To reach the Ubosot of Wat Rong Khun, visitors must cross the bridge of the cycle of rebirth and pass through the Gate of Heaven guarded by the statues of Death and Rahu. These mighty creatures hold the power of deciding man’s fate, making the entrance to Wat Rong Khun a surreal experience.

The Ordination Hall: The Usobot

The centerpiece of Wat Rong Khun is the ordination hall, also known as the Usobot. This main building is built in a pristine white color and decorated with sparkling glass fragments. The hall showcases elements of Northern Thai architecture, including the 3-tiered roof and the Nagas (Thai mythical serpents) on the boards.


Vibrant Murals Depicting Good and Evil

Unlike traditional temples, the walls of Wat Rong Khun’s ordination hall feature contemporary representations of good and evil. Visitors will be amazed to see modern characters like Batman, Spiderman, and Doraemon, along with spaceships and other iconic images from popular culture.

Getting There

Visitors can reach Wat Rong Khun in 20 minutes by taking a private taxi, which costs around 300 to 450 Bath. For a more budget-friendly option, visitors can take the bus from the night bazaar in the center of the town, which costs just 20 Bath per person.

Entrance Fees and Practicalities

The entrance fee for Wat Rong Khun is 50 Bath per person for both adults and children. The temple is open daily from 8 am to 6 pm. It is important to dress appropriately before visiting the temple, as it is still considered a sacred place. Donations to maintain the temple are always welcome.

Tourists’ Reviews

“Spectacular!” says I G, a visitor who traveled to Wat Rong Khun with their family in January 2023. “The white temple has a great feature design, amazing view, and the sparkling glass decoration was its finishing touch. It is truly spectacular!”

Linda Y, who visited the temple in November 2022, says, “The White Temple is not really a Buddhist temple, but a privately owned evocative art exhibit. The genius behind this ongoing work of art is Chalermchai Kositpipat. No photography is permitted inside the main building, the ubosot, but it is entertaining and quite unique.”

Discover Wat Rong Khun through the lens of WhyNow – Great Big Story: The Architectural Wonders of Thailand’s White Temple.

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