Wat Rong Suea Ten, the Blue Temple

Wat Rong Suea Ten, the Blue Temple

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The Blue Temple in Chiang Rai

Wat Rong Suea Ten (วัดร่องเสือเต้น) aka the Blue Temple is in Rong Suea Ten Village in the Rimkok District, on the north side of the Kok River. The temple is close to the famous Chivit Thamma Da Coffee House. Chiang Mai already has its White Temple, Wat Rong Khun. It now has its Blue Temple.

Since its opening in 2015, the Blue Temple has become more and more popular as a tourist attraction. On one side of the temple, there are food and drink stalls. The temple is very popular with local tourists.

Tourists at a temple
Tourists at the temple on a busy day

What does “Rong Suea Ten” mean?

Rong Suea Ten means the groove or ditch of the dancing tiger. There were tigers in this area in the old days, and they used to jump across a watercourse. So the villagers decided to call their village Rong Suea Ten. That is the story as it appears in the leaflet available at the temple. The Thai word “ร่อง” means groove or ditch, “เสือ” means tiger and “เต้น” is the verb for dancing.

Buddhist temple Wat Rong Suea Ten
The back of the viharn
White Buddha statue against blue background
Buddha Statue outside Wat Rong Suea Ten

History of Wat Rong Suea Ten

At the place of the current temple there was a ruin of an abandoned temple, which was at least 80 years old. In 1996 the villagers decided to construct a Buddhist place of worship on this particular location. Construction of the Temple started in October 2005. Blue happens to be my favorite color. It makes the temple aesthetically very pleasing to the eye

Blue chedi and viharn Wat Rong Suea Ten
The chedi and the viharn

Phra That Ked Kaew Chula Mani

The chedi behind the viharn is called Phra That Kew Kaew Chula Mani. Construction started in 2012 and finished in 2014. The structure is 20 meters high. This chedi contains relics from the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand, Sangaraja Sakolmaha Sangkha Prinayok. It is a beautiful chedi.

Buddhist temple Wat Rong Suea Ten
The back of the viharn

Inside the viharn

The interior of the wihan is exquisite. Two spectacular dragon statues guard the entrance. The design of these dragons has been inspired by the work of national artist Tawan Duchanee (1939-2014). He is the creator of the famous Black House, another interesting attraction in the Chiang Rai area.

The Buddha image in the viharn is more than six meters tall and dates back to 2008. It’s called Buddha Rajamongkol Bodhi Trilokanat.

Blue Buddha statue Wat Rong Suea Ten
Buddha statue in the viharn

Phra Upakut at the Blue Temple

In front of the viharn is a statue of a monk sitting in a lotus flower in the middle of a fountain. This is Phra Upakut, one of the most revered monks in Theravada Buddhism. You will meet Phra Upakut in his characteristic pose at many temples in North Thailand. He looks skyward with one hand on his bowl and the other slightly in the bowl.

Monk statue phra upakhut Wat Rong Suea Ten Temples Chiang Rai
Statue of Phra Upakhut at the Blue Temple

Construction is ongoing

The Blue Temple is under development, just as Wat Rong Khun. They are continuously adding buildings and statues. At this moment entrance is free. Since the first time we visited the Blue Temple in 2016, it has changed considerably. During my last visit I saw they are constructing a gate at the back of the compound.

Wat Rong Suea Ten is in our list of Things to Do in Chiang Rai.

References of this article

All the information for this article comes from the temple’s leaflet. I have visited the temple numerous times and go there regularly.
Bald man at a temple Wat Rong Suea Ten
Frans Betgem at the temple in 2021

Where is Wat Rong Suea Ten aka the Blue Temple?

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