We all love Pinterest. As a female with a severe case of wanderlust, Pinterest so graciously offers me travel boards, of which I use to daydream to my heart’s content about the great World we have waiting in front of us. I pin places I would eventually (in my wildest dreams right?) like to see and photograph myself, and I never thought I’d be visiting one of these ‘ultimate’ locations within two years of having Pinterest. The moment I saw the White Temple (formally known as Wat Ron Khun, but foreigners like me can’t remember names like that) on that random travel board, I just knew I had to get there someday. Did this place fall straight out of Narnia?
I knew the temple was somewhere in Northern Thailand, a place I was not familiar with at all. After further research, I discovered it was located in the smallish city of Chiang Rai, about 2.5 hours from Chiang Mai. I knew for sure Derik wouldn’t be up for driving 5 hours just to see one temple, and luckily a tour that included the Long-Neck tribe, a trip to Laos, and a stop at the White Temple came to my attention. We just had to go, and so we did!
The White Temple is one of the most recognizable temples in Thailand. It’s not your ordinary buddhist temple, for the designer/artist built it to be his life-long art masterpiece. Every little detail of it was carefully thought out and built to visual perfection. The White Temple signifies the journey after death; some souls make it to Paradise, and some are cast into the pit of Hell by the guards at Heaven’s gate. It is is still a work in progress, and our tour guide told us that it will not be finished until 2040. The artist has passed down his knowledge and ‘dream’ of the temple to his son, who will carry on the work when his father cannot anymore.
Travel Tips: Book a tour! The White Temple will only take you an hour to get through, so have other stops planned to visit along the way if you decide to travel up to Chiang Rai. There is no entry fee to get in to the temple. Wraps are provided for women who wear shorts, skirts, or dresses above knee length.