Wat Rong Khun

Wat Rong Khun, Chiang Rai: Address, Phone Number, Wat Rong Khun Reviews: 4.5/5

Wat Rong Khun
Points of Interest & Landmarks • Architectural Buildings • Religious Sites
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1-2 hours
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7,779 reviews
Very good

Cheddar, UK742 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
This was originally free (or so we are led to believe) and then was 50 bahts for foreigners and now its 100 bahts each for foreigners. It’s pretty expensive in Temple terms.

It is however, a magnificent sight, best visited as early as possible after the 8am opening if you want photos without people in them. In fairness we arrived at about 8.45am and it was still fairly quiet but as we left at 10.30am it was getting pretty busy.

If you are staying in Chiang Rai you can get a blue bus from the central bus station for 20bahts each one way. You can get it back as well but have to find the bus stop! We got a songthaew back and negotiated it at 120bahts to go immediately with just us (although he picked up a couple of locals on the way LOL). We probably could have held out for 100 but who cares for 50p?

Purchased and rebuilt in 1997 by a wealthy Thai artist, this places gleams and twinkles bright white with mirrored tile pieces. There are a number of whiter and a number of gold temples and pagodas but this is not a homage to ancient Thai history as some of the wall murals have real life characters (Elvis, Michael Jackson & Zinidane Zidane) and fantasy characters (Superman, Batman, Harry’s Potter, Minions, Matrix etc etc) painted in them! Outside there are statues/busts/creations including characters from Aliens, Terminator, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Predator etc etc. Don’t be put off though, the architecture and design is stunning and not spoiled by these affectations of modernity.

As mentioned, we spent 1 3/4 hours there for our 200bahts (£5) and thought it was very good.
Written February 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Singapore, Singapore1,317 contributions
Jan 2020
This place is known as Wat Rong Khun to locals and known as the White Temple to foreigners. There was an entrance fee of 50 baht. There were many visitors such that there were long queues at the front of the temple, especially due to Instagrammers shamelessly having photoshoots and holding everyone up. Most visitors seemed solely interested in snapping pictures of themselves with the exterior of the temple and then leaving, since photography was not allowed inside the monastery. Our guide explained to us about how the imaginative architecture and paintings depicted the religious teachings and artist's commentary (e.g. modern representations of good and evil such as references to pop culture and current affairs, processes of death and seeking enlightenment, etc). I would highly recommend visiting the White Temple with a guide or reading up beforehand to truly appreciate this unique temple.
Written January 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Thai Travel Team
Chiang Rai, Thailand2 contributions
Mar 2022 • Family
Beautiful temple, unique and many details of architecture. The artist tries to continue his art work for over 100 years. Many local shops and restaurants nearby. You can take 1-2 hours to visit this place for enjoy art work, shopping and eating. Don't forget to see mural paintings in the chapel ( it's very interesting). I suggest to visit this temple in the morning time because it's quite hot and more tourists in the afternoon. For entrance fee is 100 baht. Please try to wear long trousers or long skirt or polite dress but, if you don't have that, you can rent it on site.
Written March 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Singapore, Singapore394 contributions
May 2019 • Couples
Grabbed here first thing in the morning from our hotel and found that several other tourists had the same thought to avoid the usual tourist crowd by coming earlier. Came in a sleeveless long dress but was told that I must cover my shoulders before I could enter. Had to rent a scarf at a shop just outside that exit and all was good. Definitely not your typical worship temple but there is a monk seated inside (hence the stricter dress code). Ridiculous intricate designs of the sculptures here, and we even found some gold temple at the end that you could also enter.
Written March 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ban Pong, Thailand1,529 contributions
Feb 2022 • Couples
There's no doubt that this temple is certainly beautiful, interesting, and one of the most unique temples we have visited in Thailand, but it still does not justify the dual pricing!!
100b for foreigners and free for Thsis, you don't see any other countries giving different prices for different nationalities, blatantly ripping off tourists!! It's not the price; it's the principle of the dual pricing that really is unfair.
Anyway, architecturally, it is very pleasing on the eye, pure white all around, which is unusual from the normal gold temples.
No photos are allowed inside the temple.
Quite quiet to visit now with not many tourists.
Overall, it is a very beautiful temple and very unique, but I'm sticking to my poor scores for the ripping off of tourists, which you are not forced to pay and in all honesty the beautiful photos are taken from outside where you don't have to pay!....
Written February 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Las Vegas, NV231 contributions
Feb 2020
I've been wanting to see this temple since I started planning my trip to Thailand. It was a must, so we decided to take a day trip to Chiang Rai from Chiang Mai.

It is about a 20 minute songthaew ride from downtown and costs 100 THB to get in. It is not really a temple, but more of an art exhibit. You must see this place! It is more beautiful than any picture you will see here. The white and mirror details glisten in the sun and make the entire temple look so radiant. If you're interested, I would suggest reading about the symbolism in the temple as it is very interesting (from the hands reaching from the floor to the hello kitty details inside the building).

We came at around noon, a little after our bus arrived at the station. I suggest coming as early as possible because it gets very busy very easily. It was very crowded when I came.

This should definitely be on your bucket list and was worth the trek to Chiang Rai!
Written February 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Montreal, Canada2,538 contributions
Jan 2020
The White Temple, or Wat Rong Khun, is actually a consecrated Buddhist temple, but also an art installment by well-known Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat. For an idea of his artistic style, think Salvadore Dali meets Antoni Gaudi. The original temple was left in a bad state, so the artist, using his own money, is in the process of redoing the entire thing in a more modern style, but still influenced by the traditional designs. His buildings are ornate, covered with brilliant white paint and mirror pieces, glimmering in the bright mid-day sun. The complete lack of any color makes the temple visually intriguing, and the use of modern symbolism creates conflicting impressions. We enjoy walking through the elegant white halls, marveling at the murals in the main temple, containing icons such as Neo from The Matrix, the Terminator, Michael Jackson.

This is a crowded place - so many of the big tours base thier day tours around a visit to the White Temple, and it's easy to see why, but it gives the entire place a "Disney World" feeling. You get funneled through the entrance gates, along the pathway that leads into the main temple which is complete, and then out again. Guards assure that the flow of traffic remains constant, but it also means you can't take your time and linger over the details.

However, this is only the case for the main White Temple, and note the outlying buildings. You don't even have to pay admission to visit them, including the golden shrine, the monastery off to one side, the grotto at the back, as well as the art gallery, where you can marvel at the artist's other paintings and artwork, some of which were the clear inspiration for this entire endeavour. Even the bathrooms are over the top!

My suggestion is you don't like crowds? Walk around the outside of the complex, where you can still get a good view at the White Temple and its detailed structures. Take a tour of the other buildings on site, and make sure not to miss the museum. Get yourself a Thai tea with the admission money you saved, and call it a day. Your nerves will thank me.
Written June 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tetbury, UK3,290 contributions
Jan 2020
Ten years after our last visit to Wat Rong Khun we decided to take some Australian family members there to see this wonder of northern Thailand. Not only were they dazzled (almost literally) by the beautiful white buildings inlaid with tiny pieces of mirrored glass, and the care that had gone into building and maintaining them - so were we, as it is easy to forget what a marvel the place is.

We took a songthaew from Chiang Rai itself, leaving at quarter past seven in the morning (half an hour's journey) so that we were there quarter of an hour before the opening time of eight, and could take some photos of the temple from across the barriers before visitors were admitted.

There is so much to see - not only the famous main hall and its entrance over the bridge spanning the souls in hell, but the murals inside the hall which include a small depiction of 9/11 just inside the door (don't take photos inside or the guards will scream at you); there are other buildings, quirky items around the grounds, and an exhibition of paintings by the artist/architect Chalermchai Kositpipat.

Because the temple can become busy later, you do have to keep moving and it is difficult to go back and see areas you may have missed, so try and take in as much as possible as you progress through the main complex. You can wander at will in the grounds.

To the east of the temple entrance there is a small arcade of shops (I bought a very reasonable pair of cotton trousers there) and at least one café for refreshments.
Written March 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lynne S
Bangkok107 contributions
Nov 2020
An absolute must to visit if you are in Chiang Rai.
Stunning main building. Fabulous out buildings.
Wonderful attention to detail.
Weird and wonderful oddities around the place too - look closely at things hanging in trees, at paintings on wall inside the main temple.
Great statue/sculpture of the artist himself sitting on a bench near the exit.
Go early in the day before the day trips arrive so you are not in long queues to get round the place. We are lucky to have visited while tourism is not really open again in Thailand so it was pretty peaceful.
Written November 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Nottinghamshire, UK164 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
We find it is always difficult trying to choose sights to visit as there is such a diverse and huge number of temples particularly. For us this has to be the most unusual temple, which perhaps did not hold the reverence feeling of others we have visited. Primarily this was because of the variety of sculptures, which to the uninitiated did not seem relevant to a religious temple. Grasping hands, faces mounted in trees etc. 100 baht entrance fee for tourists, would visit for a short trip but wouldn't make a day or even half day trip to see.
Written February 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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