The Architectural Wonders of Thailand’s White Temple

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There are 33,000 traditional temples in Thailand. But with its majestic, otherworldly exterior, Wat Rong Khun is unlike any other site of worship. From the ghoulish heads that hang from surrounding trees, to the hands that reach for you as you cross the bridge to the main temple, every part of this site is unique.

image/text credit: Great Big Story

While Wat Rong Khun attracts thousands of tourists from around the world, it received negative attention when it first opened because critics said it wasn’t traditional Thai art. Yet the temple continues to stand defiantly as a symbol of Thai art for a modern world.

image/text credit: Great Big Story

By the end of the 20th century, the original Wat Rong Khun was in a bad state of repair.[citation needed] Funds were not available for renovation. Chalermchai Kositpipat, a local artist from Chiang Rai, decided to completely rebuild the temple and fund the project with his own money.

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To date, Chalermchai has spent THB40 million of his own money on the project.The artist intends for the area adjacent to the temple to be a center of learning and meditation and for people to gain benefit from the Buddhist teachings.

Kositpipat considers the temple to be an offering to Lord Buddha and believes the project will give him immortal life.Today the works are ongoing, but are not expected to be completed until 2070.

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