In northern Thailand is one of the region’s most visited temples – Wat Rong Khun. Also known as the White Temple, it is a Buddhist temple that, to me, seems a labour of love and devotion. Located 15 km / 9 miles outside the city of Chang Rai, the original temple was worn down and in need of repair. That is where Chalermchai Kositpipat stepped in. In 1997/98 the local Thai artist rebuilt and opened the entire temple with his own money, offering it to Lord Buddha. He kept traditional aspects of temples styles yet incorporated his own vision as well, the most striking being the use of white instead of gold for the colour. In 2014 there was a major earthquake in the region and Wat Rong Khun suffered some damage and Kositpipat considered closing it. Fortunately he had a change of heart and renovations are ongoing with his grand dream for this striking temple.
A major site in the Chiang Rai region it beckons people both locally and internationally. The crowds can be heavy, though as it is with many points of interest, looking beyond the throngs can show you something incredible. The White Temple has certainly been added to my list of places to visit when I do make my way to Thailand.
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