Wat Pa Dong Rai in Thailand


Thailand is full of beautiful and majestic temples that have been crafted by talented locals. This giant floating lotus temple in Udon Thani, Wat Pa Dong Rai or Santiwanaram Temple stretches out to the middle of a lake. It’s tucked away in this Northeastern province of Thailand and is an hour drive from Udon Thani.

More beautiful temples around Thailand:


Floating temple in a lake


This floral temple was built in 2019, giving the structure its modern appeal; the building ascends 19 metres above lake-level. The reason behind the white lotus architecture is that these flowers are seen as a symbol of purity in Buddhist belief.

Wat Pa Dong Rai Is Temple With A Giant Floating Lotus
Image credit: @ly_jia 

Lotuses are also seen as a symbol of resilience in Buddhist culture. The flora typically grow out of mud under murky waters – which is comparable to the human life cycle – as followers believe suffering is an integral part of life. 

Once the lotus is fully grown and above water, it is said to have reached its matured form; thus achieving enlightenment.

Wat Pa Dong Rai Is Temple With A Giant Floating LotusImage credit: @arch_ohnattanan

Buddhists believe that deities reside within sacred sites, like Wat Pa Dong Rai. Therefore, like many Thai temples, Naga – mythical serpent and considered a divine creature in Buddhist legends – statues stand guard and protect the site from negative energy and beings. 

Nagas play a role in Buddhist lore as they were said to shield the Buddha whilst he was meditating in a storm, ensuring he was safe.

Wat Pa Dong Rai Is Temple With A Giant Floating LotusImage credit: @nookk_26js

The temple is relatively new, and not yet quite popular amongst locals and tourists.

Wat Pa Dong Rai Is Temple With A Giant Floating LotusImage credit: @thailandinsider

Whilst the sun is setting, the evening lights shimmer with reflective and colourful radiance. 


A unique floating temple


Northeastern Thailand is overlooked by locals and tourists alike, so it’s the perfect destination if you’re looking for a quiet holiday sans crowds of selfie-sticks. This temple can be on top of your list of places to visit. 

Wat Pa Dong Rai Is Temple With A Giant Floating LotusImage credit: @yinky_ny

Like many temples, they require visitors to wear garments that cover your knees and shoulders. It’s also common courtesy to maintain the peace in a site of worship – especially if someone is praying there. 

Wat Pa Dong Rai (Santiwanaram Temple)
Address: Ban Chiang, Nong Han District, Udon Thani 41310
Telephone: +66 6 4679 6582
Website | Google Maps


Cover images adapted from (Clockwise from Left): @katkulavee@arch_ohnattanan, @bheem_bheembhuri

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