Wat Traimit (Temple of Golden Buddha), Bangkok

Wat Traimit (Temple of Golden Buddha), Bangkok (must see)

Wat Traimit Witthayaram or the Temple of the Golden Buddha, an otherwise unexceptional temple, is the house of an astonishing Buddha image. Cast in solid gold weighing 5 and a half ton, the Golden Buddha is 3.98 m high and 3.13 m wide from knee to knee. Made of about 83% pure gold, the 15 foot tall seated image is worth millions of dollars at today's gold price.

The statue has a very unusual and colorful history. When Bangkok was established as the new capital, the Chakri Kings encouraged the transportation of Buddha statues to Bangkok by the Chao Phraya River. In the reign of King Rama III (1825 – 1851), a huge statue of Buddha apparently made of brown clay was installed in Wat Phraya Krai near the Taksin Bridge. In 1955, Buddha was moved to its present location at Wat Traimit. When the image was being hoisted into its new home, the ropes broke, dropping the statue. The plastic lacquer shattered on impact revealing a Buddha statue cast in solid gold.

The Golden Buddha was cast sometime in the 13th century and is an excellent example of the gracious Sukhothai style. This powerful image has such a bright, reflective surface that its edges seem to disappear, and it shines with such richness and purity that everyone is inspired by its strength and power. The Golden Buddha was covered in plaster and lacquer in an attempt to hide it from thieves or looters. The strategy proved to be successful and the disguise was so good that nobody knew what was hidden beneath.

The Golden Buddha is now installed at the highest level in Wat Traimit, an impressive building which has become a landmark in Yaowarat Chinatown, Bangkok. The old pulley and ropes used for hoisting the Golden Buddha and the lacquer pieces of plastic that once hid this remarkable treasure are on display in a case to the left. The 2nd-floor exhibits cover the history of the Chinese community in Bangkok and the 3rd-floor museum covers the history of the Golden Buddha image itself.

Today hundreds of devotees visit the temple daily to pay homage and pray at the feet of the Golden Buddha. Even if you are not a follower of Buddhism, you must visit Wat Traimit to see Golden Buddha. You will surely be stunned to see its incredible shine and splendor!

Why You Should Visit:
Few of the Thai temples have two quite interesting museums incorporated – this one does, allowing you to learn more about the story of the Golden Buddha and Bangkok's Chinatown.

Tip:
It will cost you 40 THB to get into the temple and another 100 THB to get into the museums.
This is a sacred place, so your arms and legs must be covered. Be prepared to remove your shoes.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 8am-5pm; ticket counters close by 3:30pm

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Bangkok, Thailand within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Wat Traimit (Temple of Golden Buddha) on Map

Sight Name: Wat Traimit (Temple of Golden Buddha)
Sight Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) containing this sight: Wats and Temples of Bangkok   Places of Worship Walk in Bangkok  

Walking Tours in Bangkok, Thailand

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