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White Temple Thailand Light Fest 2019
November 22, 2019 - December 22, 2019
Thailand is pulling out all the stops from 22 November to 22 December when the inaugural Wat Rong Khun Light Fest will light up northern Thailand’s already very bright White Temple with a world-class multimedia laser extravaganza.
Dubbed one of the kingdom’s most recognised Thai temples, Wat Rong Khun will soon become even more recognisable. In an illuminating effort to attract more tourists to the northern Thai city of Chiang Rai, its famous landmark White Temple will be the subject of a 100-million-Baht multimedia show involving over 100 lasers, the latest innovation in 3D Mapping, virtual reality techniques, water curtains and an elaborate light and sound spectacle. Already attracting some 10,000 visitors a day, the White Temple Thailand will now also open for business at night during four weeks in November and December.
A collaboration between home-grown talent Chalermchai Kositpipat – the artist who designed the White Temple Thailand – and the Thai marketing communications company Index Creative Village, the Wat Rong Khun Light Fest will feature five highlights:
Ubosot or the main prayer hall where, according to the organisers, you can cross the bridge from the horrors of hell to the gleaming of heaven – or back, if that’s what you prefer. The lake that the bridge crosses is filled to the brim with outreached hands in despair. They symbolise uncontrolled desire and could well be an homage to 1960s B-movie horror titles, while opening up potential to show your children what will happen to them if they don’t get off social media.
Visiting Thailand in spring? Get ready for the country’s most famous celebrations of Songkran 2020 or Thai New Year.
The Wishing Well which, with its description limited to “sparkles being so beautiful as if all your wishes are granted”, remains a bit of a wild card.
The Bell Tower where the 3D Bodhi Tree, under which Lord Buddha meditated to reach Nirvana, will take the concept of enlightenment to a multi-million Baht level when it lights up.
The Crematorium, a face-off with life’s truths of ageing, disease and death, somehow seems like one of the less uplifting highlights.
Ganesha Tower, advertised as the highlight of the highlights, promises water curtains through which the spectacular multimedia show will be revealed. The number of seats for this is limited to 1,000 per show. You have been warned.
When in Chiang Rai, also check out our Things to Do in Chiang Mai, Thailand’s Rose of the North.
Hoping to turn Chiang Rai and its White Temple into a memorable destination, and with the light show expected to attract an extra 300,000 Chinese-speaking tourists, the organisers seem poised for success on that front.
History of the White Temple Thailand
The White Temple Thailand, officially called Wat Rong Khun, was reconstructed by Chiang Rai native Chalermchai Kositpipat after the temple had fallen into disrepair by the late 1900s. He funded the repairs himself and regards his lifework as an offering to Buddha who, he expects, will grant him eternal life in return. Parts of the White Temple were damaged during a 2014 earthquake but an engineering team later confirmed that its main buildings were structurally unharmed.
When is the Wat Rong Khun Light Fest
The Wat Rong Khun Light Fest is planned to open on 22 November and run till 22 December, 2019. There will be two daily shows scheduled at 6:30pm and 8:30pm with each lasting one hour.
Ticket prices for Wat Rong Khun Light Fest 2019
Tickets are expected to range in price from 400 to 1,150 Baht and can be purchased via Thai Ticket Major.
Other things to do in Chiang Rai
One of the city’s oldest temples is Wat Phra Kaew containing ancient artifacts that date back to the late fourteenth century, and is famous for its ornate golden stupa. If blue is your colour instead of white, then visit the Blue Temple or Wat Rong Suen Ten where Buddhist learning mixes with modern Thai art. And to round up our whistle stop of colours, the Black House – or Baan Damm Museum – is where you can indulge in art of the macabre type.
Other recommended places are the Mae Fah Luang Art & Culture Park – a beautiful, award-winning botanical garden next to a museum of Lanna artifacts – and the Hill Tribes Villages, a settlement of indigenous hill tribes with their own particular cultures and ways of life.
Where to stay on your visit to the White Temple Thailand
To find the best accommodation in Chiang Rai, try our booking portal which searches and compares multiple websites to find you the best deals on hotels and flights:
For more information on Wat Rong Khun Light Fest
Check for updates on their Facebook page.
Image: Strolling through hell. Image by Stefan Fussan