Here are some of the most impressive and colorful temples in Thailand:
Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple)
Having been reconstructed in 1997, Wat Rong Khun is a fairly modern temple, and new elements are continuously added to the renowned monochrome building. The designer of the fully-white temple is Chalermchai Kositpipat. His intention was to represent the purity of Buddha through the color white. Unfortunately, the earthquake in 2014 severely damaged the temple, but restoration works are being carried out. The location of the temple, Chiang Rai, is famous for its colorful temples with unique architecture like Wat Rong Suea Ten or Baan Dam.
Wat Rong Suea Ten (The Blue Temple)
The Blue Temple, also known as the Temple of the Dancing Tiger, is another famous temple located in Chiang Rai and is famous for its brilliant sapphire color. Symbolically, the color blue represents Buddha’s wisdom and purity. The temple is a fusion of traditional Thai architecture and modernism, and it preaches traditional Buddhist values. There was an old temple located in the same spot as the Blue Temple but it was in ruins. The locals decided to renovate the building in 1996; the construction began in 2005 and ended in 2016. The temple is considered to be a work in progress.
The architect Putha Kabkaew is a student of C. Kositpipat, the architect of the renowned White Temple, therefore some of the artistic elements are similar.
Baan Dam (The Black House)
Although it looks like a temple at first glance, Baan Dam is not actually a temple but a famous museum located in the Chiang Rai region along with the Blue and White Temples. In Thai, it is known as ”Baan Dam” which means the ”Black House”. There are around 40 buildings scattered on the grounds of the Museum. Thawan Duchanee, the artist who designed the building, combined traditional northern Thai architecture with modern art to create a unique work. The construction of the building began in 1975 and it still continues.
The temple, with its colors and interesting exhibitions, symbolize ”the darkness in the heart of a man”. Filled with taxidermied animals, the Museum has the world’s largest collection of animal remains made into furniture and art installations. Contrasting with the White Temple nearby, the Black House gives off an eerie and dark vibe.
Often hailed as the Temple of Hell and Heaven, both the White Temple and the Black House aim to symbolize Buddha’s teachings, the circle of life and death.
Wat Sri Suphan (The Silver Temple)
Located in Chiang Mai, Wat Sri Suphan is known for its intricate details and glittering silver ornaments. The temple, besides its spiritual importance, has also been a center of education and activity since its foundation in the 16th century. In 2004, it underwent a great deal of renovation. The silver panels and ornaments on the facade were made from melted coins offered by the local community.