Fodor's Expert Review Wat Rong Khun
One of Thailand's most astonishing temples, Wat Rong Khun stands like a glistening, icing sugar–coated wedding cake beside the A-1 Chiang Rai–Bangkok motorway south of Chiang Rai. Popularly called the White Temple because of its lustrous snow-white exterior, the extraordinary structure is being built by internationally renowned Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, assisted by a team of more than 40 young artists, craftsmen, and construction workers, as a Buddhist act of winning merit. They have been working on the massive project for 10 years, and Chalermchai doesn't expect it to be finished in his lifetime. The glistening effect comes from thousands of reflective glass mosaics set into the white stucco. Even the fish in the temple's ornamental pool are white Chinese carp. A songthaew ride to the temple from Chiang Rai costs about B50.