Colours of Chiang Rai: Visit Art Masterpieces and Inspiring Temples with Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle

Golden Triangle, Thailand

Chiang Rai is a city of home for Thailand’s most fascinating and beautiful temples (wat in Thai means temple) and the hometown of the most famous artists and other Buddhist architectural works in the city are some of the masterpieces.

“While Chiang Mai is known as the cultural capital of Thailand, there are equally stunning temples and unique architecture that are prominent in the Chiang Rai region. Interestingly, these fantasy-like works of art also have a commentary on current affairs,” explains Naipaporn Panlamoke, Assistant Camp Manager.

A curated experience by Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, guests can explore the vibrant culture of Chiang Rai through its most striking sights. As part of the Colours of Chiang Rai destination experience, the Camp’s guide take guests to various venues of significance that are strikingly colourful with enriching tales.

Red – At this Chinese temple, Wat Huay Pla Kung (also nicknamed the “9-tier temple”), a dragon-flanked staircase leads you to a nine-storey golden pagoda, while a massive white statue of the Buddha offers blessings where another Guan Yin image in carved wood is installed at the centre.

Blue – Wat Rong Sua Ten, also known as the Blue Temple, is an intricate masterpiece wrought in blue and gold that remains hidden from most tourists.

“Designed by Chalermchai Kositpipat’s student Salanok, the Blue Temple is the latest addition to Chiang Rai’s colour-coded architecture,” shares Naipaporn. Painted sapphire blue inside and out, Wat Rong Suea Ten is not as big as the Black House and the White Temple.

Black – Take a tour of the Black House (Baan Dam Museum), a cluster of 40 black “houses” displaying a private collection of provocative art from late national artist Thawan Duchanee, who was born in Chiang Rai and left a lasting impression on the Thai art scene.

 “The complex consists of 40 Northern Thai temple-like buildings, each one adorned with animal remains that the modern Buddhist artist collected,” explains Naipaporn. Black House is not just about its dark colour scheme but also the dark theme: skin, skulls, horns, bones and other animal parts represent the inevitable end that everyone must face – one of the many interpretations of this unique architectural display.

White – Wat Rong Khun or White Temple has its own amazing history and is a highlight of any visit to Chiang Rai. 

“Wat Rong Khun was once an old, deteriorated temple until national artist and Chiang Rai native Chalermchai Kositpipat renovated it in an entirely new style,” says Naipaporn. Apart from its heaven-like all-white exterior and intricate carvings, the artist mixes in quirky pop culture in the design such as an installation of hundreds of hands reaching up for the sky at the entrance walkway. “Do not miss a visit Chalermchai Kositpipat’s art exhibition in the temple complex. The gallery houses a large collection of the national artist’s paintings."