Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Chiang Rai: Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple)

Jason complained that my previous post on Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Temple has too many words in it.
But in my opinion, these magnificent buildings need some explanation on their greatness.
Thus, for this post, I have categorize them.
Please skip that particular session if you don't feel like reading today. :)

After we have arrived at Chiang Rai, we stopped by the famous Wat Rong Khun. I was completely blown away by this magnificent architecture. 


Wat Rong Khun (Thai: วัดร่องขุ่น), also referred to as “The White Temple”.
Unlike Thailand numerous ancient and historical temples, this unconventional temple is fully covered in white. It also represents the most beautiful example of modern Buddhist art in Thailand

General Information 
Location: 10km South East from Chiang Rai 
Construction began: Year 1997 
Construction ends: Scheduled to be Year 2070 
Built Area: 7 Rai ( about 3 Acres) 
Design by: Thai artist , Chalermchai Kositpipat 
Will consist of 9 buildings:
The Ubosot (The main building)
The Relic Hall
The Image Hall
The Preaching Hall
The Meditation Hall
The Monk’s Cell
The Door facade of the Buddhavasa
The Art Gallery
The Golden Toilets

The Story Behind
The original Wat Rong Khun was in a very bad condition and work commenced to build a new Ubosot in year 1996. Unfortunately, the work was slow and the temple was running out of funds. At this time, Chalermchai Kositpipat offered take over the building and expenses were paid out of his pocket as personal offering to the Lord Buddha. Thus, the construction of Usobot began again in 1997. His work has received so much acclaim that he decided to rebuild the entire Temple as a tribute to His Majesty The King and for the greater glory of Thailand and its people.

The Design
Wat Rong Khun is unique from other temples that it has been constructed entirely in a radiant white color with sparking reflections from mirrored glass mosaics embedded in the white plaster.
The white colour represents the pureness of Buddha. 

Before the bridge, there were sculptured hands at the bottom, reaching up from Hell. 


The Bridge
Leading to the Ubosot, it represents crossing over from the cycle of rebirth to the Abode of Buddha, on the way of enlightening. 

The Ubosot

Inside the Ubosot
There were several interesting and modern images painted on the walls: Spiderman, Batman, Keanu Reeves, Bumblebee Transformer, and even Osama Bin Laden's face.
A mix of traditional Thai Buddhist art and contemporary scenes. 
( Talking about unconventional temple, haha)

The Golden Toilet



Things You Should Know
  • No photographs were allowed inside the Ubosot.
  • Do not go too close and touch the sides. (don’t worry, a guy stationed there will always remind you of that :P )
  • Unlike many temples, Wat Rong Khun refuses to accept donations of more than 10,000 baht and the donors cannot have their names recorded on the buildings.
  • It is ranked #2 of #27 attractions in Chiang Rai at Tripadvisor

With this post, I salute the sacrifices made by Khun Chalermchai along with his followers in creating this masterpiece of art, The White Temple.

"Only death can stop my dream, but cannot stop my project" 
~ Chalermchai Kositpipat



My Chiang Mai & Chiang Rai Travelogue:

13 comments:

estee gee said...

this is soooo beautifully taken. I was shocked and awed. Makes me wanna go and see it for myself! 

Cheryl Chan said...

Thank you! :)

Yes, you should. It is very beautiful.

Aggie said...

OMG the White Temple is so beautiful (although the hands from hell are very creepy)

Can I use one of your photos on Elements as Photo of the Day please?

Cheryl Chan said...

Sure :)
and Thanks. Haha

HitomiNeko said...

woow ~ all these temple architecture look so cool! the ones with hands from hell looks scary haha

xoxo Hitomineko xoxo
http://hitomineko-hn.blogspot.com

Choi Yen said...

Been here, those sculptures really impressed me~ 

Cheryl Chan said...

Haha, I should have post the photo of hand with middle finger.
Caption from my colleague: "He's dead and still cursing the world" xD

Cheryl Chan said...

Yes! My boyfriend has been wanted to go there, but Chiang Rai is not accessible by plane, have to go by 3 hours bus journey from Chiang Mai. Still planning to go again :)

FiSh SzeHui said...

wow! first time seeing white temple :) so beautiful! lesser words yet so attractive post for me..

Latest: BBQ with Wine

Cheryl Chan said...

Thank you :)

Jlee5879 said...

Wow, simply amazing!
http://jleesblog.com

Cheryl Chan said...

Thanks :)

Chor Win Lee said...

The architecture really impressive. the design is special and unique. 

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