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 of how to get here and what to expect when you arrive.
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WHERE IS THE WHITE TEMPLE CHIANG RAI?
The White Temple is located 20-minutes southwest of Chiang Rai City, Northern Thailand.
If you plan on doing a day trip to Chiang Rai from Chiang Mai, the journey time is approximately 3 hours one way.
WHITE TEMPLE CHIANG RAI OPENING HOURS & ENTRANCE FEES
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.
The entrance to White Temple in Chiang Rai
WHAT TO EXPECT
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.
Wat Rong Khun Chiang Rai
Photography is strictly prohibited on the inside of 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.
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.
Must Read → 3 Week Thailand Itinerary
The golden temple
WHERE TO STAY IN CHIANG RAI
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:
Luxury: Le Patta Hotel
Mid Range: The Space Hotel
Budget: Mercy Hostel
For all other accommodations in Chiang Mai, Click here to search on booking.com.
AIRBNB CHIANG RAI
Another option for accommodation is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals on the island.
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MORE THAILAND TRAVEL GUIDES
Thailand Travel Guide: 3 Week Thailand Itinerary
Bangkok Travel Guide: 5 Things To Do In Bangkok
Koh Tao Travel Guide: 15 Things To Do In Koh Tao
Chiang Mai Travel Guide: 10 Things To Do In Chiang Mai
Pai Travel Guide: 10 Things To Do In Pai
Krabi Travel Guide: 5 Best Beaches in Krabi
LONELY PLANET THAILAND
One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Thailand Guide!
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