Peering out into the rolling hills that make up much of Thailand’s landscape, it is easy to see why it’s a country of temples. From the majestic temples poking out from behind stands of tree in rural areas to those found along the congested city streets of Bangkok, visitors don’t have to travel far to find one.
In this article, we are taking you to the Majestic White Pagoda at Banpong temple in Chiang Mai, situated about 20 kilometres southwest of Chiang Mai. If you have ever driven up the Samoeng 1269 Road, you have probably already noticed the magnificent pagoda on the top of the hill. Its construction is now finished and the contrast between the pagoda pure white colour and a clear and sunny blue sky is just incredible.
Before arriving at the white pagoda, you will pass Banpong temple. This place of worship is, in itself, already a very interesting stop. The solid earth tones used In the design blend perfectly with the natural setting of this temple. It is decorated with many golden bells and gongs, and it boasts a perfectly manicured green lawn along with a surprising red wooden door featuring hand carved iron signs.
From this temple, you can choose either to walk up the 900 stepped stairway to the white pagoda, or drive along a very steep road with a lot of hair pin curves. Either way, the trip is worth it!
The moment you enter the white pagoda’s ground, you will have an immediate perception of peacefulness and grandeur. Everything here is beautifully white and amazingly quiet. Panoramic views of Chiang Dao Mountains complete the idyllic scene. On a sunny afternoon, the contrast between the white building and the blue sky is magnificent and inspiring.
As few people visit this pagoda, it is likely you will be able to walk around on your own. Note that this architectural jewel was built around an ancient stupa which had been on top of the mountain for over one hundred years. Take time to observe the white pagoda’s architectural details. Each one is a work of art, such as the Guardian Lions (Singha), the white elephants, and the golden Chinese zodiacs signs, as well as the inside, highlighted with white, gold and blue colours.
You do not need to be a practicing Buddhist to appreciate the architectural significance of this amazing pagoda. But its beauty and peacefulness will for sure inspire respect and esteem.