Welcome to the 170th edition of Travel Photo Thursday. I just posted my first spring flower shot to Facebook. The magnolia trees are starting to blossom here in Daejeon. Spring is on the loose…YIPEEE…!! On that note I am taking you to Chiang Rai’s famed White Temple, Wat Rong Khun.
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Billed as the most visited temple in Thailand, Wat Rong Khun (or The White Temple), a contemporary Buddhist and Hindu temple, is the brain child of Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, who started the temple complex in 1997. Work continues today, with no immediate signs of completion. We arrived just before lunch, and believe me getting a shot without hordes of people in view was a feat! Notice that the pond in front is home to a large number of gorgeous koi. An added bonus are the awesome temple reflections.
To reach the main temple you traverse a bridge representing the cycle of rebirth with the pits of hell lurking below. Hand begging to escape from hell…(a little disturbing, eh?)
I call these the “White Temple Gremlins”…
At the end of the bridge you reach the Gate of Heaven, guarded by Death.
No photos inside the temple, but what you will see depicted on the walls will probably surprise you. You’ll be surrounded by a mural depicting a horrific ending to the end or the world. The mural includes such popular culture icons as Michael Jackson, the Matrix, Spiderman, and even the Twin Towers with billowing smoke. The first time I saw this mural I think I had to pick my jaw up from the floor on the way out! I was not at all prepared.
This beautiful Buddha statue restores the calm….
Posing with the Naga…
Framed by the trees…
There is also a gothic influence around the site…(A little strange don’t you think?)
You can roam around the workshop and discover what the artists are up to! That’s one big Ganesha!
You can also wander through galleries displaying many of the artist’s paintings; all for sale/no photos You can also purchase postcards and prints.
Before you leave be sure to use what are probably the poshest washroom facilities in all of Thailand…
Have you been to the White Temple? What did you think?
The White Temple is about a 3 hour drive north of Chiang Mai, 13km south of Chiang Rai. As far as getting there you have a lot of choices. You can take the public bus or a mini bus, or as I did, a day tour. If you go on you own, you’ll have to overnight in Chiang Rai. I opted for a day tour, which left Chiang Mai at 7:30 am and returned at 5:30pm. The cost was an affordable 1000 Baht ($30.ooUS) and that included lunch. We also visited another attraction, which will get its own post. A tour can be booked at any of the tour agencies in the old city.
This is the 170th edition of Travel Photo Thursday. You can browse the archives here.