The White Temple & Black House (Heaven and Hell)

The White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) and Black House (Baan Dam) are located in Chiang Rai, Thailand, and are both extremely unique and fascinating. It is easy to compare the White Temple and The Black House, as they are eerily similar but different at the same time. The locals refer to these two places as Heaven and Hell.

The White Temple was actually created by the apprentice of Thuwan Duchanee, the artist who built the Black House. The temple is like a stunning white vision of heaven. Chalermchai Kositpipat designed the temple to be a contemporary work of art with Buddhist and Hindu influences.  The inside is now open after months of being shut down due to the earthquake. Inside on the walls there are many pop culture references, including the Matrix, Micheal Jackson, Kung Fu Panda, Freddy Kreugur.

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Although the White Temple is more popular for tourists, I preferred the Black House. It feels hidden and mysterious, and has a much darker vibe. It was almost deserted when we arrived. Entering the musty house full of animal pelts, skins, and weird chambers morbidly fascinated me. I can’t quite explain the feeling of that place-it is something that must be experienced for yourself. It is one of the most bizarre and innovative works of art that I have seen, and being there was truly surreal.

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9 thoughts

  1. I got goosebumps looking at those photos of the White Temple. Gorgeous!

    What’s it like moving around Chiang Rai? Is public transportation efficient or would one need to rent a car? My husband and I are foreigners based in Bangkok and are really keen about traveling to Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai soon 🙂

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    1. We actually took a bus from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai which was fairly simple to arrange. If you decide to stay in Chiang Rai, I think renting a motorbike or taking public buses would be fine 🙂

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      1. Awesome, thank you! My husband will be thrilled to hear about the motorbikes. He’s been itching to hop on one since we got here 🙂

        Cheers and happy trails!

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