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In the northern part of Thailand is the quiet town of Chiang Rai, famous for its jungle trek adventures and indigenous hill tribes. During my never-ending overnight bus journey to Luang Probang, Laos, we traveled through Chiang Rai and witnessed one of the most elaborate and beautiful temples I have ever seen in Southeast Asia. Wat Rong Khun, or as tourist mostly call it ‘The White Temple”.

White Temple
Wat Rong Khun, ‘The White Temple’

A millionaire artist and famous Thai Buddhist painter, Chariemchai Kositpipat, built this contemporary Buddhist temple in 1997. He funded the project himself and spent the rest of his life building the temple as an offering to Buddha.

This gorgeous white temple is covered with tiny mirror chips all over which makes it glitter in the sunlight.

The White Temple
Gorgeous Reflections in the Water

Hundreds of sculpted hands are reaching from hell beneath The Bridge of Bliss. The bridge symbolizes the Buddhism Bridge of the Cycle of Rebirth; the way to reach happiness is by eliminating cravings and temptations.

The White Temple Bridge
Hands reaching from Hell. The Bridge of Bliss.

After crossing the Bridge of Bliss you reach the Gates of Heaven guarded by the statues of Rahu (one who controls men’s fate) and Death (one who controls men’s life).  After crossing the bridge you reach the Abode of Buddha. Inside you will witness a beautiful Buddha alter and mural paintings. Unfortunately you can not take photos inside so you will have to take a journey there for yourself and see!

White Temple Statue
Statue at the entrance to the Gates of Heaven
The White Temple Rahu
Rahu (the One who controls men’s fate)

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