The White Temple In Chiang Rai – Visitor’s Guide


The White Temple in Chiang Rai (Wat Rong Khun) is not the average temple that one would usually come across!

In fact, this unique temple is one of the most recognizable temples in Thailand and known for its contemporary, unconventional, privately-owned art exhibit in the form of a Buddhist temple.

I have put together this complete guide on how to get here, how much it costs to enter, and what to expect when you arrive.

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The White Temple is located 20-minutes southwest of Chiang Rai City, Northern Thailand.

Click here to see the location on Google maps.

If you plan on doing a day trip to Chiang Rai from Chiang Mai, the journey time is approximately 3 hours each way.

white temple chiang rai map


The White Temple in Chiang Rai (Wat Rong Khun) is open 7 days a week from 8 am to 6 pm and the entrance fee is 50 Baht per person.

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White Temple in Chiang Rai

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I arrived at Wat Rong Khun Chiang Rai at 10 am and I was surprised to see that there were already crowds of people on the temple grounds. I was a little shocked, to begin with, as I don’t like visiting touristy spots where there are herds of people.

However, I spent an hour or so exploring the entirety of the temple grounds at Wat Rong Khun and had a blast regardless of the number of tourists.

The White Temple Chiang Rai stands out among most, through its white-coated exterior and plastic glass embedded into the rendering that sparkles brightly in the sun.

It is said that the white color signifies the purity of Buddha and the glass symbolizes Buddha’s wisdom. The temple was designed by Chalermchai Kositpipat, a famous visual artist and architect from Thailand.

It is definitely different to other temples in Thailand and you can easily notice it when comparing Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.

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Photography is strictly prohibited inside the White Temple in Chiang Rai, so I will try to explain what to expect as best I can in words.

The big open hall inside Wat Rong Khun has contemporary illustrations, comic book artworks, and symbols of Buddha painted on the walls from top to bottom.

Must Read → 3 Week Thailand Itinerary

Without giving too much away, I could have spent an hour inside the main temple admiring the detailed artworks.

Also inside the Wat Rong Khun complex is a number of other Buddhist temples, a golden wishing well, beautiful gardens, and an art gallery filled with more incredible illustrations from Chalermchai Kositpipat.

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The golden temple


Chiang Rai has hundreds of accommodations to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in Chiang Rai to suit budget backpackers and luxury travelers.

See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:


When visiting Chiang Rai, here are some essential items I recommend taking with you:

Must-Have Travel Essentials

Hidden Money Wallet

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Keep your cash and other valuables safe with this anti-theft hidden money wallet!

Reusable Water Bottle

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The GRAYL GeoPress is the best reusable bottle that allows you to purify water from anywhere!

Travel Backpack

Nomatic 20L Bag

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Quick-Dry Travel Towel

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The most compact, lightweight, and quick-dry towel for traveling!

Portable PowerBank

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Keep your phone, laptop, and accessories charged while you’re on the go with the Anker PowerBank!

More Thailand Travel Guides


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If you have any questions, please drop me a line below this post and I will get back to you as soon as I can. For a quicker response, be sure to join Jonny Melon’s Travel Tribe on Facebook and post your questions or recommendations to our awesome community.

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Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or it’s your first trip overseas, here are some useful travel resources to help you kick-start your next adventure!


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