The White Temple or Wat Rong Khun arose from the imagination of Artist Chalermchai Kositpipat which began construction in 1997. Wat Rong Khun is truly a place to put on your “must see” list if you are planning to be in Chang Rai for any length of time. The temple is pure white on the outside with imaginative sculptures and architecture covering the landscape. Departing from the traditional use of gold in temple art, Chalermchai uses pure white with mirrors to symbolize the Lord Buddha's purity and shinning wisdom. The inside temple walls are decorated with superheroes, movie stars and cartoons juxtaposed with traditional Buddhist motifs to symbolize escaping desire, greed and passion and moving along the "right" path through Buddhist teachings.
On May 5 of last year, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck Mae Lao, located 17 miles southwest of Chiang Rai. and it was reported that Wat Rong Khun sustained significant damage. The photos and video in this blog is an update on the status of the Temple. The Temple still shows signs of earthquake damage but not enough to keep you away. It is still an awesome destination to experience the culture of Thailand through Chalermchai Kositpipat art.
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