Leaving the boat family and after a night in a border city of Thailand we headed towards Chiang Mai. On the way we stopped at the White Temple in Chiang Rai. A beautiful intricate temple created by Thai artist, Chalermchai Kositpipat. The temple opened in 1997 and isn’t expected to be completed until 2070. Chalermchai Kositpipat is funding the project on his own, using money he has made off of the other works of art he has created and sold. Donations are accepted up to 10,000 baht (~$290) and tickets for non Thai people are 50 baht ($1.45). Larger donations are not accepted due to the possibility of influence and Chalermchai Kositpipat probably will not live to see it finished and is training others to finish his work.
There’s a very specific vision for the temple and it’s grounds (9 buildings total) only a few of which are finished or close to being finished. The building includes pop cultural references and even an art gallery displaying some of the work. They are intricately detailed and absolutely stunning. We were given forty minutes to explore the grounds and even though most of it isn’t finished it still didn’t feel like enough time.