This spectacular white building is called Wat Rong Khun or The White Temple. It’s a Buddhist temple located in Northern Thailand just outside the city of Chiang Rai. Designed by Thai visual artist Chalermchai Kositpipat in 1997, The White Temple is an awesome blend of traditional Thai architecture and both beautiful and grotesque surreal elements. It’s as much a work of art as it is a building devoted to learning and meditation.
“To reach the temple you have to walk over a bridge over a moat filled with innumerable sculptures of out-reaching arms, apparently symbolizing desire. Once inside, you will be greeted not by traditional Buddha life scenarios but by contemporary scenes and icons of popular culture. Instead of paintings of heroes fighting demons, the artist decided to take contemporary manifestations of good and evil and put it into a Buddhist context. Murals of Batman, Superman, Predator and even Keanu Reeves as Neo from The Matrix are seen in the interior.”
Although it’s already an incredibly impressive sight, Wat Rong Khun is still a work in progress. The temple sits on 3 acres of property that will eventually include a phra ubosot (prayer room), pagoda, hermitage, crematorium, monastery hall, preaching hall, museum, pavilion and rest room facilities.