Published/Last edited or updated: 11th June, 2019
In case Chiang Rai felt it was coming up a bit short in the unusual temple range then recently completed Wat Rong Suea—commonly known as the Blue temple—tops it up nicely.
What’s more it has a convenient riverside location just across the Kok River from the downtown area and is fortuitously placed right next to the sumptuous Ban Chivit Thamma Da Coffee Shop and Restaurant.
As the name suggests, this bright blue Buddhist temple is a spectacular creation. The elaborate main worshipping hall comes with amazingly intricate gold-painted trimmings but if you’re impressed by the exterior wait until you see the inside! A kind of semi-translucent white, seated Buddha—lit by blue spot lamps—also reflects the blue shades from the walls, ceiling and columns of which every square inch is covered in more intricate gold and silver designs.
It does lack an Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson or any superheroes but the walls are lined with gold-framed tableaux depicting scenes from the life of Buddha. Scattered around the exterior of the main hall you’ll find more elaborate carvings and a bright blue-coloured—of course—stupa.
There’s the usual collection of coffee stands and stalls selling religious paraphernalia in the car-park. If you exit onto the main road then a short distance further east a lane leads down to the rather plush Ban Chivit Thamma Da Cafe-Restaurant which shouldn’t be missed if you’re in the area.
Overall this is an interesting diversion and worthy newish entry into Chiang Rai’s coloured-coded, temple catalogue.
Wat Rong Suea Ten is a bit of a hike from the town centre on foot but by bicycle or motorbike cross the Kok by the bridge on the prolongation of Soi Klang Wiang and take the first major road on the right, Thanon Maekok. Follow this east and before hitting the junction with Highway 1 you’ll see the temple on your right. By public transport, tuk tuks in town quoted us 80 baht each way.
Based in Chiang Mai, Mark Ord has been travelling Southeast Asia for over two decades and first crossed paths with Travelfish on Ko Lipe in the early 1990s.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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