In a nation of temples, Thailand's Wat Rong Khun stands out. Known as the White Temple, Wat Rong Khun is located in Northern Thailand near Chaing Rai. The project of well known Thai artist Chalermchai Kosipipat, and the temple was funded by Kosipipat's selling of his paintings. Construction began in 1998 and though originally planned to be finished in 2008, currently has no set date of completion.
Kosipipat wanted to create an elegant temple to honor Buddha's purity, but the temple is distinct in both its look and symbolism. Among other sculptures it includes a rather frightening sculpture of hands reaching up form the Buddhist version of hell and murals of world wide destruction, featuring Superman and spaceships.
The building is also unlike other Thai temples as it is all white, with glass and mirrors embedded into the outside to make it shine and sparkle in the sunlight. However, Kosipipat ultimately designed the White Temple to specially to be viewed in moonlight when it looks distinctly like a ghostly otherworldly apparition straight out of a Thai version of Tolkien.
An ornately decorated gold building to the left of the temple houses a public restroom, which is rumored to be the most beautiful restroom in Thailand.