The Blue Temple is immediately recognizable for its brilliant shade of rich sapphire. The temple walls, roof, and surrounding statues are all covered in this gorgeous hue, an unusual decorative choice in a country where most temples are made of gold.
This color is symbolically associated with purity, wisdom, and the lack of materialism that Buddhists aspire to. The Blue Temple is known in Thai as “Wat Rong Suea Ten”, or “Temple of the Dancing Tiger”. Another ancient temple once stood here, and tigers are said to have roamed freely over the grounds when it was abandoned nearly a century ago. The stairs to the main entrance are guarded by naga serpents, whose tails ripple with detailed scales and twist and whirl around in entrancing elegance. The temple windows are protected by an angelic figure, posing proudly on a pedestal with feathered wings spread wide, a staff grasped behind its back. Brightly colored Yakshas, or female nature spirits, wait nearby to keep the temple safe from evil.