10 reasons to visit The White Temple in Chiang Rai

by Sonja Faul

The only reason I took a winding 3-hour bus ride from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai was to see The White Temple. Was it worth it? Yes, definitely yes! This is my favourite temple in Thailand. Here’s why:

1. It’s absolutely stunning!

Apart from the colour, The White Temple looks like a traditional Buddhist temple on the outside. But as soon as you take a closer look, you start to see strange things…



2. The shiny guy on the bench

You can’t miss him on your way in!


3. The Predator

You can find it at the entrance of the temple.


4. The masks

You can find a variety of masks, some funky, some scary, on the trees just before the turnstiles and the trees next to the gift shop. My favourites are Gollum, Batman, and Hellboy.



5. The entrance

This is my favourite part, the entrance of The White Temple. It’s dark, macabre and disturbing, everything I look for in a great piece of art…



 6. Skull traffic cones

If there were a competition for the coolest traffic cones in the world, these skull cones would win! What I wouldn’t give to have one in my house…



7. Skulls on gates

As you can tell by now, I love skulls! If you look very closely, you can find them along the fence and on the gates.


8. Dragons everywhere

You had me at dragons. Enough said!



9. It’s free

There is no entrance fee! Apart from the transport costs to and from the temple, this excursion is completely free.


10. The gift shop

If you did not take enough photographs, you can pop in the great little gift shop to buy a trinket to remember The White Temple by. There is everything from magnets to notebooks to artworks at very reasonable prices.


Getting there

It’s the main attraction in Chiang Rai, so getting to the temple is fairly easy. The best (and fun) way to get to the temple is to take a public bus. They are blue, shabby-looking and full of locals. For only 20 THB, the 14 km ride is a steal.


To get back to town, you can catch the bus again or share a ride in a songthaew.

Remember to keep your eyes open for all the details…


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