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Chiang Rai, Thailand's Outlandish Attractions-Black Temple/White Temple

Far East Travels Podcast
2016-06-27
12:21
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First I better check the map to make sure I take the right turn off. OK I think I’m ready to go. Wait a minute, one more look at the map just to be sure. What was I thinking, maybe if I hold it this way I’ll remember? Well let’s just get going and figure out on the road. Hmmm, this just somehow doesn’t look right…..Better pull over and check the map again. Finally on the right track to Wat Rong Khun or “The White Temple”. Even though people refer to it as a temple it’s not really that at all. More exhibit than temple the artist who created and funded it’s completion Chalermchai Kositpipat, believes the white temple is an offering to Lord Buddha and we’ll ensure him an immortal life. When you first enter the area where the main building or ubosot is located you are immediately confronted with the weakness of human desire, greed and temptation symbolized by hundreds of outreaching hands. Crossing the bridge over the small lake takes you to the gate of heaven where you are met by two creatures who decide the fate of the dead. Make it past there and the countless tourists with selfie sticks and you arrive at the ubosot made with fragments of glass in the style of a traditional Thai 3 tiered roof temple. Photography is prohibited inside the main building which features murals with cultural icons like Michael Jackson, and fictitious characters including Freddy Kruger, Harry Potter and Hello Kitty. As well as scenes depicting nuclear war and terrorist attacks. If the intent is to highlight what’s wrong with the world the artist has made his point with this exhibit. Excerpts from "Chiang Rai, Thailand's Outlandish Attractions-Black Temple/White Temple".

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