Contact: Amphoe Mueang, Chiang Rai Tel. -
Wat Rong Khun
Wat Rong Khun is one of the most significant temples in Chiang Rai. It features an elegantly refined architectural design in white, which will splendidly glow when the sun shines upon. The temple holds many Buddhist didactic symbols that can teach travellers who visit here.
Wat Rong Khun was initially built in 1997. It has been under the construction for nearly 20 years, however, it is still in progress till nowadays. In the past, Wat Rong Khun was only a small temple located on the decadent area of about 3 rai. Later in 2011, out of his faith in Buddhism and desire to create a precious property for Thailand and for King Bhumibol, Ajarn Chalermchai Kositpipat, a National Artist (in Visual Art-Paiting) from Chiang Rai has decided to renovate this temple in his home town according to his remarks “I wish to create a unique Buddhist-related work by my own hands to be one of the greatest masterpieces in the world, in order to proclaim the greatness of my country to the world’s eyes.” Ajarn Chalermchai has designed and built the temple by himself from his own money, together with from the donation which limits the amount not to exceed 10000 Baht each time. This proves that Ajarn Chalermchai really built Wat Rong Khun out of his faith, and devoted it for the sake of art without wanting anything in return.
Wat Rong Khun has an Ubosot, in pure white which looks clean, and elegantly outstanding. The ubosot is delicately adorned with Chofa (gable apex), Bairaka (toothlike ridges on the sloping sedges of the gable), and other refinedly engraved pattern in descending orders. The pediment is embellished with Nagas, together with mosaics of glittering mirrors, which has underlying meanings. The white color implies the pureness of the Buddha. The mirror part reflects the Buddha’s intellect which can shine bright far. The Ubosot is located on the small hill, with such a crystal-clear lake that reflects the shadow of the building. The long bridge to the Ubosot implies the long journey across the ocean of the cycle of rebirth to the land of Nirvana. The top of Ubosot manifests the concept of the threefold training: Precepts, Meditation, and Wisdom, which have been implied in several tiers of the gable. Furthermore, there are surprising murals inside the Ubosot, and the gallery portraying Ajarn Chalermchai’s art works that shouldn’t be missed as well. Wat Rong Khun is opened every day from 6.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The gallery is opened from Monday— Friday from 8 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. / Saturday-Sunday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
To travel to Wat Rong Khun, take the Chiang Rai—Bangkok Highway. If you drive from Bangkok or Chiang Mai, Wat Rong Khun will be 13 kilometers before reaching Chiang Rai town. At Kilometer 816 on Pahonyothing Road (no. 1/A2), turn right at the 3-way intersection leading to Khun Korn waterfall. It takes around 100 meters before reaching the temple on the right. You can take a blue songtaew (covered pick-up truck) from Chiang Rai Bus Terminal, and get off at the trailhead of the temple.
For more information, please contact Wat Rong Khun Tel.0 5367 3579, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Chiang Rai Office Tel. 0 5371 7433 and Toursim Administration Center, Chiang Rai Tel. 0 5371 590.
Note* According to the earthquake in 2014, some spots of Wat Rong Khun have been damaged.