White Temple Chiang Mai: A Must-See Attraction in Northern Thailand

If you’re planning a trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand, make sure to add the White Temple, also known as Wat Rong Khun, to your itinerary. This stunning temple is one of the most popular attractions in the area and for good reason. The temple is a masterpiece of Thai art and architecture, featuring intricate carvings, sparkling mosaics, and stunning sculptures.

The White Temple is located just outside of Chiang Mai and is easily accessible by car or public transportation. When you arrive, you’ll be struck by the temple’s gleaming white facade, which is covered in intricate carvings and sparkling glass. As you explore the temple’s grounds, you’ll discover a variety of stunning sculptures, including a giant white Buddha statue and a series of eerie hands reaching up from the ground.

Inside the temple, you’ll find a variety of stunning murals and artworks by the temple’s creator, Chalermchai Kositpipat. These artworks depict a range of religious and cultural themes, including scenes from Buddhist mythology and contemporary pop culture. Whether you’re a fan of art, architecture, or religion, the White Temple is a must-visit destination in Chiang Mai.


The White Temple, also known as Wat Rong Khun, is a privately owned art exhibit in the style of a Buddhist temple located in Chiang Rai, Thailand. The temple was designed and built by the renowned artist Chalermchai Kositpipat in 1997 and has since become a popular tourist attraction in the region.


The idea for the White Temple came to Chalermchai Kositpipat after he visited the original Wat Rong Khun temple, which was in a state of disrepair. Kositpipat decided to rebuild the temple as a way to honor his country’s culture and heritage. The new temple was designed to be a fusion of traditional Thai architecture and modern art.

The temple’s exterior is covered in white plaster and features intricate carvings and sculptures that depict Buddhist teachings. The interior is just as impressive, with murals that cover the walls and ceiling, depicting scenes from popular culture such as Star Wars and The Matrix.

Earthquake Damage

In 2014, the White Temple was damaged in an earthquake that struck the region. Kositpipat immediately began work to restore the temple, and it was reopened to the public in 2016. Today, visitors can see the temple in all its glory, with its stunning white facade and intricate artwork.

In conclusion, the White Temple in Chiang Rai is a must-visit for anyone traveling to Thailand. Its unique blend of traditional Thai architecture and modern art make it a one-of-a-kind attraction that is sure to leave a lasting impression. Whether you are an art lover or a history buff, the White Temple is a place that you simply cannot miss.


The White Temple in Chiang Rai boasts a unique and striking architecture that sets it apart from other traditional Thai temples. Designed by renowned artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, the temple’s exterior radiates white, adorned with thousands of sparkling mirrors that reflect the sunlight.

Design Elements

The temple’s main building, the ubosot, is reached by crossing a bridge over a small lake that is filled with koi fish. The bridge is flanked by hundreds of outstretched hands that symbolize unrestrained desire and the cycle of rebirth. Visitors crossing the bridge are encouraged to leave behind their desires and temptations to achieve happiness.

The temple’s interior features intricate murals that depict Buddhist teachings and modern pop culture icons such as Michael Jackson, Hello Kitty, and Superman. The murals are painted in a neo-traditional style that blends elements of traditional Thai art with modern techniques.

The temple’s three-tiered roof is adorned with golden naga serpents that symbolize protection and the king’s power. The temple gate, or gate of heaven, is also decorated with golden naga serpents and features intricate carvings that depict scenes from Buddhist mythology.


The White Temple’s design elements and symbolism are deeply rooted in Buddhist teachings and Thai culture. The temple’s white exterior represents the purity of the Buddha’s teachings, while the mirrors symbolize the Buddha’s wisdom and the path to enlightenment.

The outstretched hands on the bridge represent unrestrained desire and the cycle of rebirth, while the temple’s murals depict the consequences of desire and the importance of meditation and mindfulness.

The temple’s golden naga serpents represent protection and the king’s power, while the gate of heaven symbolizes the journey to enlightenment and the end of suffering.

Overall, the White Temple’s unique architecture and symbolism make it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Northern Thailand or Southeast Asia. Whether you’re interested in art, culture, or religion, the White Temple is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Visitor Information

If you are planning to visit the White Temple in Chiang Mai, there are a few things you should keep in mind to make your trip as smooth as possible. Here is some essential information to help you plan your visit.

Entrance Fee

The entrance fee for foreign visitors to the White Temple is 50 baht, while Thai nationals can enter for free. The fee is used to maintain and develop the temple, so it is a small price to pay for the experience. You can pay the fee at the entrance gate.


There are various modes of transportation to the White Temple, including public buses, taxis, Grab, scooters, and private drivers. If you are not comfortable driving a scooter or a car, it is best to hire a driver or take a taxi. It is also possible to take a public bus, but it can be crowded and confusing if you are not familiar with the routes.

Dress Code

The White Temple is a religious site, so visitors are expected to dress appropriately. Make sure to wear clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. You should also avoid wearing revealing or tight-fitting clothing. If you forget to bring appropriate clothing, there are shops near the temple where you can rent or buy clothing to cover yourself.

Toilet Facilities

Toilet facilities are available near the entrance gate and inside the temple grounds. The toilet building is clean and well-maintained, and toilet paper is provided. However, it is always a good idea to bring your own toilet paper just in case.

Overall, visiting the White Temple in Chiang Mai is a must-do experience for anyone interested in Thai culture and architecture. With a little bit of planning, you can make the most of your visit and enjoy the beauty of this unique temple.


The White Temple, also known as Wat Rong Khun, is not just a temple but also an art exhibit. The temple is a masterpiece of design and is a reflection of the local artist Ajarn Chalermchai Kositpipat’s vision. The temple showcases a mix of traditional Thai and contemporary art, and visitors can admire the intricate details and vibrant colors of the paintings, sculptures, and other artwork.


The temple’s interior walls are adorned with beautiful murals that depict scenes from Thai mythology, Buddhist teachings, and contemporary events. The murals are painted in a unique style that blends traditional Thai art with modern techniques. The paintings are not only aesthetically pleasing but also have a deeper meaning, and visitors can learn a lot about Theravada Buddhism by studying them.

Black House

The Black House, also known as Baan Dam Museum, is another art exhibit created by Ajarn Chalermchai Kositpipat. Unlike the White Temple, the Black House is a collection of dark and eerie buildings that showcase a different side of Thai art. The Black House is a stark contrast to the White Temple and is also worth a visit.

Ajarn Chalermchai Kositpipat’s artwork is not just about aesthetics; it is also about merit. The artist believes that creating art is a way of doing good deeds and accumulating merit. Visitors can appreciate the artist’s dedication to his craft and the spiritual significance of his work.

In conclusion, the White Temple and the Black House are not just tourist attractions but also a testament to the creativity and vision of a local artist. Visitors can admire the artwork, learn about Theravada Buddhism, and appreciate the spiritual significance of creating art.


Chiang Rai’s White Temple is a popular tourist destination that attracts visitors from all over the world. The temple is a unique example of epic artwork created by eccentric local artist Ajarn Chalermchai Kositpipat. The temple, officially known as Wat Rong Khun, has been luring tourists north from Chiang Mai since 1997.

Tourist Attractions

The main attraction of the White Temple is the ubosot, which is the main building of the temple. The ubosot is reached by crossing a bridge over a small lake. In front of the bridge are hundreds of outreaching hands that symbolize unrestrained desire. The bridge proclaims that the way to happiness is by foregoing temptation, greed, and desire. The ubosot is designed to represent the cycle of rebirth and the path to enlightenment.

Another popular tourist attraction in the area is the Golden Triangle. The Golden Triangle is the meeting point of Thailand, Burma, and Laos, and is known for its opium trade. Visitors can take a boat ride along the Mekong River and explore the local markets.

Local Eateries

There are several local eateries near the White Temple that offer a variety of food options. Visitors can grab a quick bite to eat at one of the many street food stalls or sit down for a traditional Thai meal at a local restaurant. Some popular dishes include pad thai, green curry, and tom yum soup.

Meditation Retreats

For those looking for a more spiritual experience, there are several meditation retreats in the area. These retreats offer visitors the opportunity to learn about Buddhism and meditation while enjoying the peaceful surroundings. Some retreats even offer overnight accommodations and meals.

Coffee Shops

There are also several coffee shops in the area where visitors can relax and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. These coffee shops offer a variety of drinks, including traditional Thai coffee and tea, as well as Western-style drinks like lattes and cappuccinos.


Visitors can enjoy a traditional Thai lunch at one of the local restaurants near the White Temple. Many of these restaurants offer a variety of dishes, including vegetarian options. Visitors can also grab a quick bite to eat at one of the many street food stalls in the area.

Overall, Chiang Rai’s White Temple is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Northern Thailand. With its unique artwork, spiritual significance, and peaceful surroundings, the White Temple is a place that visitors will never forget.