When visiting Southeast Asia, you will see so many different temples, and as much as I hate to say it, sometimes they can all run together. But The White Temple near Chiang Mai is one I will NEVER forget. It is hands down the creepiest temple I have ever visited. Keep reading to see why…
The White Temple (Wat Rong Khun)
Wat Rong Khun, more commonly known as The White Temple, is an unconventional Buddhist Temple in Chiang Rai Provence near Chiang Mai. Designed and created by local artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, it certainly stands out from the thousands of other temples in Thailand, and when you look at the photos below, you’ll see why.
Fair warning, some of the images are a bit disturbing.
About The White Temple
The original temple at Wat Rong Khun was not taken care of and in desperate need of repair. That’s when local artist, Chalermchai Kositpipat, funded and rebuilt the entire property. The entire temple is designed with eerie and downright bizarre sculptures and art. The symbolism is said to be derived from Buddhist and Hindu traditions, but also from pop culture and other influences.
Wat Rong Khun's Structures and Symbolism
It is painted all white to symbolize the purity of the Buddha. To access the main building of the temple you have to cross over the “Bridge of the cycle of rebirth.” In front of that are the most disturbing scultuplres, hands outstretched, faces and skulls that are stretched and various other creepy imagery.
Things to do Near The White Temple Chiang Rai/Chiang Mai
Granted, there are also quite a bit of symbolism and figures you’d seen in a traditional temple as well. With the artist’s flair, of course…
And while you’ll find traditional Buddha statues, you’ll also see Batman, Superman, and other pop culture figures inside. Unfortunately, you cannot take photos inside the White Temple, only on the outside. But the outside is beautiful and where you’ll get the best images anyways:
While it is open to visitors, the temple construction is said to be ongoing and not complete. Chalermchai Kositpipat offered the temple to the Buddha and believes it will give him immortal life… I guess only time will tell!
So, what did you think of the Wat Rong Khun – White Temple? Pretty creepy huh?! Have any questions about visiting? Feel free to leave a comment or send me a DM on Instagram!
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12 thoughts on “Photos from Thailand’s Creepiest Temple: The White Temple in Chiang Mai”
This looks amazing! It’s so striking – I don’t supposed it’s easily accessible from Bangkok?!
It was very interesting! Unfortunately, its not that close to Bangkok. We took an overnight train up to Chiang Mai and then it was over an hours drive away from that.
Is there any history on why this particular design choice was made?
Yeah he has a bunch of far out reasoning for his choices, I read about it on wikipedia or something haha!
It certainly looks creepy!! and your pictures captured it so well
Ah thank you! It was one of the stranger places I’ve ever been haha
Oh my goodness. Why the hands?
I honestly have no clue… the artist is totally nuts!