Sightseeing the exquisite art at Wat Rong Suea Ten, the Blue Temple
Chiang Rai considered as another famous destination in Thailand, in particular in 2018 followed to the tourism campaign of Tourism Authority of Thailand “Go Local” to enhance and promote the tourism in the sub-major potential districts. Chiang Rai is beneficial with the lovely natural attraction, the outstanding characteristic of the lifestyle, the local recipe of the northern cuisine, especially it is the home of art where the place is a hometown of lots of famous artists of the country that considered the national artists among them.
Talking about the landmark in Chiang Rai, unsurprisingly many will think about “the Black House” of master Tawan Dachanee or “Wat Rong Khun” (the White Temple) of master Chalermchai Kositpipat, certainly. However, there’s a new attraction that is so fabulous in its look and becomes a trending landmark in this region, recently. And the place that we mentioned to is Wat Rong Suea Ten, the must-not-miss destination that we encourage you to put in your wish-list, definitely.
About the Temple
Wat Rong Suea Ten is a Buddhist temple located in Rong Suea Ten Village, Rim Kok sub-district of Mueang district in Chiang Rai. The temple stands on the riverside in the east of Chiang Rai Municipal Office and not far from the town. The highlight of this temple is “Ubosot” the sermon hall that is considered another top-class Buddhist art in Chiang Rai. The building is so fabulous in its beauty with the unique architectural of the art, although it reminds to Wat Rong Khun. Since the designer and builder of this fantastic structure is a pupil of master Chalermchai Kositpipat of the White Temple named “Puttha Karbkaew”. Puttha Karbkaew or Sala Nok is a local artist based in Chiang Rai that had a chance to learn the art with Chalermchai Kositpipat through the construction of the famous Wat Rong Khun or the White Temple. And then, he involved building the sermon hall at Wat Rong Suea Ten, the temple in his hometown that he uses his skill to create the magnificent structure within the holy place. His work does not only benefit in the religious purpose but also the exciting sightseeing that lures lots of tourists both Thai and international to visit the temple at Rong Suea Ten community. The ubosot at Wat Rong Sue Ten given a name by the foreign visitor as “the Blue Temple” since the building is predominant in the bright blue color where the house to enshrine the fantastic pearly white Buddha statue. So, Wat Rong Suea Ten is one of the top list destinations to visit in Chiang Rai, indeed.
Background of Wat Rong Suea Ten
“Wat Rong Suea Ten” nestled in Rong Suea Ten Village in Rim Kok sub-district, Mueang, Chiang Rai on the riverside of Mae Kok River. The location, in the past, used to be the abandoned temple which is between 80 – 100 years ago. According to the story told by the old people say that there was not crowded neither people and house in the area of the village; instead, there was the wildlife especially the tiger. And it was regular for the villagers would see the tiger jump across the channel resulting in it named that area “Rong Suea Ten” which means “the Bouncing Tiger Watercourse,”. And the village located nearby was called “Ban Rong Suea Ten” village, too.
For the temple, Wat Rong Suea Ten was built to be the place for the local Buddhist in the village to come for merit-making as there’s no any temple within the community at the time. The villager had to go to the temples in other area causing to the resident was scattered and resided to somewhere else. Hence, the citizen of Rong Suea Ten village collaborated to restore the temple in which to be the spiritual center of Rong Suea Ten’s villagers and be a venue to practice any religious ceremonies in special occasion. And the temple named “Wat Rong Suea Ten” followed to the name of the community.
What Interesting at Wat Rong Suea Ten
The temple is prominent obviously by the sermon hall that designed and created by Chiang Rai native artist named “Puttha Karbkaew” or well-known among locals as “Sala Nok” (Sa-la in northern language means skillful artisan). After he finished his education, he had a chance to involve the project to construct “Wat Rong Khun” with national artist Chalermchai Kositpipat. As Chalermchai’s student Puttha had absorbed the way and style of art of Chalermchai until to be called “the favorited one.”
1. The Sermon Hall
The sermon hall of Wat Rong Suea Ten was constructed dated October 27, 2005, with the size of the building is 13 meters wide and 48 meters in its length. The building was completed on January 22, 2016, with the total period of the construction is 11 years.
Sala Nok or Puttha the artist who creates this exotic and fabulous Buddhist architecture identifies the sermon hall at Wat Rong Suea Ten as a heavenly dwelling. His work is the praise to the Lord Buddha in both sculpture and painting. Anyone who has right mind and deed, once visits the temple and enter to this sermon hall shall practice the three studies, maintain the virtue and causing to focuses mind (meditation), and wisdom, respectively.
Sky blue color is the predominant shade of the construction and furnished with the delicate lines in gold which make this sermon hall is so exquisite and elegantly beautiful. The sky blue refers to the dharma (the doctrine) of the Lord Buddha that widely expands universally. The important Buddhist doctrine which is the logical truth metaphor the bright clear sky. The building represents itself well as the Buddhist art that projects the teaching in Buddhism, excellently.
2. Elegant Naga
At the front of the sermon hall are two elegant Naga stand by to welcome all the visitors to enter the sacred building. The sculpture is the pieces of art that Puttha applies from the work of master Tawan Dachanee, another renowned Chiang Rai born artist and the national artist who created the magnificent “the Black House”. Tawan Dachanee is famous in the art created from horn and ivory. Puttha brought about the outstanding character of the master artist to create the figures of Naga serpent. Partially, the teeth part of Naga presents the delicate curvy line and sharpness influencing in the presentation of the Naga statues is so fantastic, aflutter, and dignified.
3. Mural Painting
The interior part is not less in its beauty with the stunning mural painting all over the inside wall and ceiling. The pictures tell the story of Buddha with the delicate and aesthetic lines that is the signature of the painter. The painting is outstanding with the blue and indigo shade to make it looks so mellow to see and also distinctive from other interior decoration of other temples elsewhere. Even though the lined design is not marvelous and nicety as Chalermchai’s work at the White Temple but the art at the Blue Temple here is still top in mind of the beautiful religious art that you should not miss. In particular, the place would be satisfied for the photographer since the extraordinary blue building provides lots enough photogenic corners for you to snap.
4. Phra Phutta Rajamangalabodee Triloknat
Additionally, another attractiveness of Wat Rong Suea Ten that we can’t skip mentioning is the main Buddha image inside the sermon hall called “Phra Phutta Rajamangalabodee Triloknat,” a pearly white Chiang Saen Type One Buddha statue with 5 meters gap between the lap and 6.5 meters high. Although the image is new, the numerous auspicious and precious things and amulet packed within the significant Buddha image is worshipful. The sacred things packed inside the statue, for example, Phra Rot Lamphun, one of the top promising and famous votive tablets in Thailand that contained inside this Buddha for up to 80,000 units! Also, the precious gemstone that buried under the pedestal of the statue. Furthermore, the head part of the holy sculpture also stores the Buddha’s relic that was given by Somdet Phra
Nyanasamvara the late Supreme Patriarch of Siam that his holiness graciously named the Buddha image Phra Phutta Rajamangalabodee Triloknat,” which means “the Lord Buddha is propitiousness as the great king, the protection of the three realms”. Unsurprisingly, the visitors who come to the temple here besides to witness the charismatic charm of the sermon hall, also they come to pay homage to the Buddha image the principal sacred object inside the church for prosperity, too.
5. The White Standing Buddha
Apart from the excellent appearance of the sanctuary, at the rear of the building is the enormous white standing Buddha image in the attitude of persuading the relatives not to quarrel which rises at the same height of the building. Making the sculpture to be more attractive with a brilliant background in bright blue and gold.
6. The Blue Pagoda
Next is the exquisite pagoda called “Phra That Kedkaew Chulamanee Ha Phra-Ong” which is the 5-spired pagoda with 20 meters in its height. The pinnacle is where the house to enshrine the Buddha’s relic given by Somdet Phra Nyanasarmvara, the late Supreme Patriarch. This significant chedi structure is another must-not-miss worshipped object of the temple.
Last but not least, it could say that Chiang Rai has an amazing variety of quality religious architecture that can show the world as the home of the topmost artists of the country, indeed. And Wat Rong Suea Ten is another temple in this lovely province in the northern territory of Thailand that we recommend any tourist should add in your itinerary in Chiang Rai. Unless, you would miss one of the highlights of this region, definitely.
How to visit the Blue Temple “Wat Rong Suea Ten.”
The temple opens every day from 7.00am through 8.00pm. The tourist who plans to attend this temple can travel by car from the city town of Chiang Rai. On the Paholyothin Road drives on the way heading to Mae Sai and pass Pho Khun Five Points intersection. Then, cross over the bridge and stay on the left lane and you will meet the traffic light. So, make the left turn and continue in about 100 meters more and you will see the sign to the temple.