Wat Rong Khun, more well-known among foreigners as the White Temple, is an unconventional Buddhist temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand. Designed in 1997 by noted Thai painter-turned-architect Chalermchai Kositpipat, this magnificent temple is a bizarre blend of traditional Thai architecture and the surreal. The main building is painted white to symbolise Buddha’s purity, and is covered in mosaics of mirrors, sparkling in the sun. All around the complex are intricate sculptures of demons, skulls, severed heads handing from trees and other bizarre objects.
Chalermchai wishes Wat Rong Khun to become a learning and meditation center for people to practice dharma and gain benefit from the teachings of Lord Buddha.
Wat Rong Khun is still a work in progress and will be for years to come. It is planned to comprise nine buildings including the ubosot (chapel), pagoda, hermitage, crematorium, monastery hall, preaching hall, museum, pavilion, and rest room facilities which will be built on an area of about 3 acres.