Categories > Guides and Tips

Our Ultimate Guide to the White Temple in Chiang Rai

Our Ultimate Guide to the White Temple in Chiang Rai

If there’s only one place you can visit here in Chiang Rai, we recommend that you choose the White Temple (officially called Wat Rong Khun). The place is truly a stunner and will undoubtedly be one of those unforgettable experiences for you and your family.

Here, you’ll find the stunning temple in its pure white glory and some of the most intricate details carved into the structure itself. There are tons of things to see and do here so we’re bringing you our ultimate guide to the White Temple to help you out!

Things to Know

Currency: Thai Baht
(Check the current exchange rate)

Language: Thai

Calling Code: +66

Address: Pa O Don Chai, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand 

Contact Number: +6653673579  

Hours of Operation: Monday to Sunday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Entrance Fee: 

  • 50 THB per person

Best Time to Go

The temple is open all year long and as mentioned earlier, accepts visitors from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. However, we recommend that you visit the White Temple either early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

If you visit the temple early in the morning, you can avoid the large crowds that usually flock to this location and you get to see the majesty of the structure when it first gets hit by sunlight.

On the other hand, if you visit late in the afternoon, you can witness how the beautiful rays of the sun give way to dusk. Either way, you’ll enjoy your visit here the most if you drop by early in the morning or late in the afternoon– it’s your pick!

How to Get to the White Temple from Chiang Rai

Grab Taxi: It’s going to be easier for you to get from Chiang Rai to the White Temple compared to you coming from Chiang Mai City. This is the perfect solution for you and your loved ones if you want to get to the White Temple with ease.

Compared to just getting a regular taxi, booking a Grab car via the app ensures that there is no miscommunication on where you’re headed and of course, there’s less chance of you being scammed. 

Plus, getting a Grab car will save you some time compared to taking public transport.

The ride will only take you around 19 minutes but this isn’t the most economical way to get to the white temple. A Grab ride to the temple will cost you around 900 THB one way – just think of it as the added payment you need to shell out for convenience.

Bus: If you’re not pressed for time and are used to taking public transportation here in Thailand, you can also take the bus to the White Temple. Just proceed to Terminal 1 of the Chiang Rai Bus Station (also referred to as Old Bus Station).

You then need to look for bus number 1246 which periodically leaves the terminal at 30-minute intervals from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM daily. You’re on the right bus if you see a banner of the white temple hanging off of it.

The bus ride will take around 30 minutes and will only cost you around 20 THB. This is perfect if you’re travelling as a couple or as a single backpacker but we’d recommend going for the Grab taxi if you have young kids or older adults with you.

What to Do at the White Temple

Drop by the workshop

The White Temple wouldn’t have its intricate designs if not for its team of talented artists. Fortunately for you and the other guests, you can visit their workshop within the temple grounds.

Here, you’ll have the opportunity to watch the master craftsmen work their magic as they create and carve various parts of the temple and imbue them with patterns that you’ll no doubt find impressive. 

Take pictures while they are at work as this is one workshop scene you shouldn’t miss!

The master craftsmen we mentioned earlier and their workshop you can visit while at the White Temple aren’t going to continue operating if there aren’t any donations coming from customers such as yourself. As such, we highly recommend that you do donate!

Once you do, you’ll be given a tag where you can write your own message and even your name. Afterward, you can hang this tag on the trellises or the trees around the temple grounds.

You also have the option to just keep it as a souvenir and show it off to your family and friends once you get back from Chiang Rai.

Marvel at the beauty of the temple

The temple itself is the coup de grace of this site and tourists visit Chiang Rai just to catch a glimpse of it. It wouldn’t be called the “White Temple” for nothing as the temple itself is indeed coloured bright white, especially once the rays of the sun hit it.

You can have your picture taken right in front of the main entrance of the temple to wow your social media friends and your loved ones back home. This is because the temple building, besides being white in colour, is intricately adorned with engraved walls.

We also recommend that you go inside the temple to experience what it’s like inside. However, please keep your voice to a minimum once inside the building as monks regularly hold temple-related ceremonies throughout the day.

Immerse yourself in the museum of paintings

Now here’s something you and your family can enjoy while exploring the white temple. The museum of paintings features different works of art for guests to enjoy but our favourite would have to be the different murals lining its walls.

These murals depict different things and individuals that can range from flames to famous people. 

Don’t be surprised to be looking at an orange swirling mural before suddenly gawking at the faces of well-known artists like Keanu Reeves and Michael Jackson in the next wall or panel.

Stroll the temple grounds

The temple grounds are one of the most interesting surrounding areas you’ll ever see within a temple complex here in Thailand. Most grounds surrounding a temple will usually give off a relaxing and calming vibe or feel.

This is not the case for the White Temple grounds, though, as you’ll see different sculptures scattered across the site depicting all kinds of famous characters (such as the Predator from the movie “Predator”) and macabre items like shrunken heads!

Where to Stay in Mueang, Chiang Rai

Pak Ping Ing Jai

Address:  83 หมุ่ 15 Phahonyothin Road, Pa O Don Chai, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand

Phone: +66826172536   

Pricing: $

Book Now

If you’re looking to stay in an affordable hotel that is only a few minutes away from the White Temple, then this is it! Pak Ping Ing Jai can offer you and your family resort-like accommodations without breaking the bank.

Their accommodations range from small homes to larger ones that can accommodate a bigger family. You don’t have to worry here if you brought along more than 3 kids and some additional family members.

We also think that you’ll fall in love with the surrounding area of this hotel as it makes you feel like you’ve been transported to a peaceful Thai countryside without really having to travel for many hours just to get that relaxing rural vibe.

Latisha House

Address:  บ้านร่องขุ่น 51 Soi 1, Pa O Don Chai, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand

Phone: +66 64 952 5954   

Pricing: $

Book Now

Latisha House is literally a “house” turned into a guest accommodation for you to have options when you visit Chiang Rai. The rooms are no match against the more upscale hotels in the area but it does have an ace up its sleeve– its location.

This is because Latisha House is located just a stone’s throw away from Wat Rong Khun. 

Imagine being able to go back to your hotel after your trip to the White Temple and stepping out at night just to take pictures of the temple and see its unique lighting once the sun sets.

777 Food and Bed

777 Food and Bed's Homepage
Image Source: Tripadvisor

Address: 73, Pa O Don Chai, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand 

Phone: +66897598707   

Pricing: $

Book Now

Doowall Hotel  

Address: Pa O Don Chai, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai 57250, Thailand 

Phone: +66 80 289 4544   

Pricing: $$

Book Now

Among the hotels near the White Temple, Doowall Hotel is a bit more upscale and pricey, but as we all know– you get what you pay for. 

The rooms offered by this hotel are modern, spacious, and well-maintained and will give you a spectacular view of the Northern Thai countryside. You can also enjoy some of the best local dishes through the hotel’s luxurious but affordable cafe and restaurant.

However, what we really liked about this hotel is that they provide you and the other guests with snacks and water 24/7. All you have to do is request from hotel staff and enjoy snacking like there’s no tomorrow. 

Life Hotel Rong Khun

Address: 202 12 Phahonyothin Road, Pa O Don Chai, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand  

Phone: +66 84 192 8999   

Pricing: $

Book Now

Here’s another budget hotel option you may want to consider when visiting the White Temple. Life Hotel Ron Khun is a small, simple yet well-maintained hotel that suits your travelling needs.

The rooms here are modern and spacious and can provide you with a great view of the surrounding area. It’s also near other establishments such as convenience stores and restaurants, making it a good choice if you want to do some shopping after your tour.

Where to Eat in Mueang, Chiang Rai

Lanmanee Food Court 

Lanmanee Food Court's Homepage
Image Source: Wisoot Kraisri    

Address: 116 ม.1 บ้านร่องขุ่น เมือง Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand    

Phone: +66 81 594 9419 

Pricing: $


This food court is located right beside the parking area of the White Temple and can offer you a wide range of food choices depending on your preference or mood. You can opt to go for multiple side dishes and mains and also try out their different fruit shakes.

Upstairs, you can go all out and try out their buffet. If you and your group are still a bit full and don’t want to eat anything heavy, you can just chill on the ground floor of the food court and order some snacks or coffee.

We don’t see how any other restaurant can beat this food court as it is quite literally beside the White Temple, the food selections are varied, and the prices are pretty affordable. You should definitely give this restaurant a shot when in Chiang Rai!

Khao Soi Mae Pimpon    

Khao Soi Mae Pimpon's Homepage
Image Source: Supalarp Pasurawanich 

Address: Soi 1, Pa O Don Chai, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand    

Phone: +66 81 603 3614 

Pricing: $$


Khao Soi Mae Pimpon is located just across the temple and if you want fresh local food that won’t drain your wallet, then this restaurant is a pretty compelling choice! You should try their Khow Soi and Chicken Pad Thai as it’s one of the best ones in the area.

For those in your group who may be feeling a little too tired from the heat, order some fresh coconut juice here– they’re refreshing and pretty much a healthier option than drinking soda. 

We also recommend that you order their curry and beef dishes. Their curry is just the right amount of sweet and spicy while their beef is one of the most tender meats you’ll ever try here in Chiang Rai.

Jeab’s Thai Food Buffet    

Jeab’s Thai Food Buffet's Homepage
Image Source: Do Carol Thuong

Address: Pa O Don Chai, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand   

Phone:  +66 81 472 9010

Pricing: $


If you walk just 5 minutes away from the White Temple, you’ll reach Jeab’s Thai Food Buffet, another fantastic restaurant within the area that serves amazing and affordable local cuisine! 

Their buffet is only worth 100 THB but it delivers unlimited amounts of good food. These include Khao Soi, shrimp crackers, edamame, and some noodle and curry dishes. 

You can also bring a vegan family member or friend along as they have vegan options to offer here. Plus, the buffet offers unlimited servings of refreshing fruit for when you get too tired from all that walking around temple grounds.

Chiang Rai Panya 2558

Chiang Rai Panya 2558 Homepage
Image Source: Khemjira 

Address: Pa O Don Chai, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand    

Phone: +66 65 726 3856  

Pricing: $

Chiang Rai Panya 2558 is more of a coffee shop than an actual restaurant– but what a coffee shop it is! Their coffee is great, their snacks are affordable but most importantly, they support children with special needs.

Here, they allow special needs children to help out with running the cafe. If you’re feeling a bit generous (and we certainly hope you are), you can leave a generous tip to help improve the lives of the special needs children here.

Simply put, this cafe is one you shouldn’t miss for its great coffee and for having its heart in the right place.

Rong Khun Kitchen By Uncle Eid  

Address: 137 หมู่11 Pa O Don Chai, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chang Wat Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand    

Phone: +66 89 664 0731  

Pricing: $

Rong Khun Kitchen By Uncle Eid serves up some of the best local dishes near the White Temple. We can’t help but speak highly of their Thai dishes such as their papaya salad, seafood stir fry, and pineapple fried rice– food items you should definitely order.

You can also enjoy a great view of the rice fields surrounding the area while having your meal here. Sip some of their hot flavourful coffee before going back to the White Temple to explore the site some more.

What to Expect from Chiang Rai Weather

Cool Season: From October to February, Chiang Rai experiences its cool season. During this period, nighttime temperatures can plummet to around 10 to 15 degrees Celsius so you’ll have to bring some clothing for the cold nights here.

The coldest months in Chiang Rai are December and January and rain during this time should be very rare. In fact, this is the perfect time to appreciate Chiang Rai’s clear blue skies and the area’s surrounding greenery!

Hot Season:  On the other hand, the hot season in Chiang Rai covers the months of March to May. During this time, temperatures can reach up to 36 degrees Celsius, specifically during the month of May, the hottest month of the season. 

We recommend that you visit refreshing tourist sites here such as waterfalls and have a relaxing traditional lunch under the shade of a bamboo hut. You should also consider wearing clothing with light materials and colours to lessen the impact of the heat.

Rainy Season: The months of June to September cover Chiang Rai’s rainy season. The wettest month during this period is the month of August so it’s best that you bring an umbrella with you when heading out for your destination around the province.

Rains during this season will usually pour down in the afternoon in short bursts of one (1) to two (2) hours. Use this information to your advantage and schedule your tours and activities before or after this daily downpour.

Apps to Download for Your White Temple Tour

Grab: Ride-hailing, food, grocery, and delivery services

iOS | Android

Line: Call and messaging, file sharing

iOS | Android

Klook: Book tours, attractions, tickets, restaurants, hotels, and other activities

iOS | Android

Agoda:  Book hotels, flights, and other activities

iOS | Android

Google Translate: Translate various languages

iOS | Android

Related topics