Spectacular Photos of Thailand’s White Temple

Alex Kovacheva's images of the Wat Rong Khun are striking for both their elegance and terror.

“In 2013 I was in the middle of a research internship at a Bangkok university,” photographer Alex Kovacheva recalls. “I wanted to make a tour of the country and asked my fellow Thai colleagues for location suggestions. It was then that I first heard about the mysterious white temple called Wat Rong Khun. At this time, the main temple building was a base construction without its intricate decorations as caught in the pictures. Yet, it was clear from the picture I saw then that it will develop into an elaborate piece of art.

“A few years passed by and I finally had the occasion to be there in person. I was visually blown away by the purity of the white color, as well as the mirror particles reflections which are part of all the sculptures. I think I spent hours gazing at the details, thinking how impressive it is that all this came out of the imagination of a single person. As I was taking my photos, all I wanted was to do justice to the awe-inspiring work of all the artists, as well as the main person behind the project, Chalermchai Kositpipat. I personally admired the bold grotesqueness with which human desires were represented; it made me reflect on the dark side each of us has inside. The inside of the temple gave me a sense of peace and calmness.

“However, photos there are forbidden. so I could only capture the dark side of the architecture. Maybe it’s for the better. Some things should stay forever photographed in our hearts.”

But the photographs Kovacheva was able to take are stunning, capturing both the beauty and the horror of this unique location. Check them out in our gallery, and see more of Kovacheva’s work on Instagram, Facebook, and her site.