We briefly visited Bangkok’s Chinatown – but it was a Sunday so most shops were closed. We quickly walked to Wat Traimit to see its main attraction, the world’s largest massive gold-seated Buddha.
The origins of this statue remain uncertain. It is made in the Sukhothai Dynasty style, and is thought to have been made during the Sukhothai period in the 13th-14th centuries, though it could have been made after that time.
At some point of time, around 1770s, the statue was completely plastered over to prevent it from being stolen. The statue remained among the ruins of Ayutthaya without attracting much attention.
Almost 200 years later, in 1955, The golden Buddha at Wat Traimit was discovered by accident when it was accidentally dropped as it was being moved, revealing, under a casing of plaster, a beautiful solid gold Sukhothai style Buddha. Later, all plaster was carefully removed. In the process, the photos of different stages of plaster removal were taken, and are now displayed in the Temple for visitors. Pieces of the plaster are also on public display.
When we visited, the Buddha had already moved into his new house, which was inaugurated in 2010. We climbed all the stairs in the hot sun, took off our shoes and then paid respect in the temple which as open at three sides, so the air could circulate and cool us down.
Afterwards, we walked around the Temple grounds – and we saw a monk having a small fish meal for lunch. He shared it with a group of hungry temple cats, who politely waited for him to pass them a morsel or bone of fish. I’m sure my cat Sam would not have been that patient!
- Opening Hours: 09:00 – 17:00
- Location: Traimit Road (west of Hua Lampong Station), at the very beginning of Chinatown
- Price Range: 10 Baht to visit the museum located half way to the top of the building. Visiting the Golden Buddha itself is free