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White Temple (Wat Rong Koom), Chiang Rai - Thailand

White Temple, Chiang Rai

From a distance Wat Rong Koom (White Temple) is just dazzling and up close it's even more so.  It's been a life's work for the artist that created this temple just outside Chiang Rai and he's still not finished.

The White Temple is a bizarre blend of traditional Thai architecture and the surreal.  The central prayer hall is surrounded by a moat.  From here you enter via a bridge over a pool of grasping white hands.  Skull adorned traffic cones border the road and mock severed heads hang from the trees.  The whole edifice is studded with glass and is blindingly bright.  The inside the prayer hall is painted in traditional Buddhist style but involving characters from popular culture – Batman, Neo from the Matrix amongst others.

It's a surreal place, fusing such disparate styles together but the White Temple is definitely worth a visit – there's nowhere quite like it!

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