There is a temple in Thailand, in the Chiang Rai Province that stands out from all other temples in the country. This stunning architectural masterpiece is known as the Wat Rong Khun and it was built by the artist Chalermchai Kositpipat. His intention was to build a temple where people can practice meditation and learn about Buddha and his teaching. All around the world is dubbed as The White Temple because it is built from white plaster mixed with thousand little glass pieces inside that sparkle in the sun.
It is different from the other Thai temples first of all because it’s white and not golden like it should be traditionally, and it was built by an artist who used his own imagination to create his own visual understanding of the Buddha teachings. To date, the temple is not finished and Kositpipat is still adding parts to make it even more stunning. It is considered more like an art exhibit because there are so many unusual things to be seen inside and around the temple which make the visitors’ tour even more interesting. The main building is known as the ubosot and it can be reached by crossing a bridge installed upon a small lake. The bridge is dubbed as the cycle of rebirth and in front of it is one of the most bizarre art pieces in the place. Hundreds of hands are reaching out trying to grab something. This piece represents the suffering souls in hell who were greedy during their lifetime. After crossing this remarkable scene the visitors stand in front of the ubosot and have to cross the “Gate of Heaven” to enter. The most unexpected and fun part begins when they go inside. There are many murals that depict famous people and fantasy characters. Michael Jackson, Harry Potter, Neo from The Matrix, Captain Jack Sparrow, Hello Kitty, Elvis, Superman, and even Freddy Krueger are gathered together on the walls which makes the temple even more unusual. Kositpipat decided to add his favorite characters in the temple because they are also a part of who he is. His plan is to add more buildings around so they will be nine when he finishes the place completely. One of the planned buildings will be reserved for Buddhist monks who can use it whenever they come to visit the Chiang Rai Province. On 5th May 2014, the temple was damaged by an earthquake and Kositpipat wanted to close it indefinitely for safety reasons. But, after a team of engineers came to inspect the place and confirmed that the structure was not that damaged from the quake, he continued with work as before. Some buildings are still not open to the public like the ubosot, but the owner allows visitors to come and see it from the outside. Hopefully, he will finish his project as planned and it will be even more exciting to visit. images: commons.wikimedia.org