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Three Countries In Ten Days: Glistening Wat Traimit Of Bangkok

December 25th, 2009 by

There are certainly tons of things to see and do in Bangkok.  A lot of tourists find themselves in this bustling capital city because a number of things.  Some people head to Bangkok to catch up with their history and enrich themselves with the potency of Thailand’s innate culture.  There are also others who are shopaholics and just go to this favorite tourist destination simply to fill their bags with exciting shopping finds.

Wat Traimit of Thailand

In our case, my partner and I went to Bangkok to do a bit of everything.  It is certainly nice to buy some neat stuff for ourselves but we always feel that we should never let go of the chance to visit favorite tourist destinations so that we can learn more about the cultures of the places that we visit.

As for Bangkok, it would be a shame to pass up the chance to visit the famous temples of wats.  One of these famous temples would have to be Wat Traimit or the Temple of the Golden Buddha.  It is definitely easy to visit this temple given that it can easily be accessed from a number of hotels in Bangkok like the Amari Watergate Hotel Bangkok.

Prior to our visit to Wat Traimit, we were able to talk to a travel agent that was conveniently located at the lobby of our hotel.  We were also able to get a couple of brochures about this temple.  Based on our readings, we learned that the Golden Buddha, which is the main pride of Wat Traimit, is about 900 years old and it was cast in the popular Sukhothai style.  Based on historical data, this golden image was first brought to Ayutthaya before finding its permanent home in Bangkok.

Directions to the Golden Buddha

It was also told that the Golden Buddha had to be covered in plaster in order to mask its true value during the time when the Burmese were on the verge of taking over Thailand.  This camouflage was forgotten.  Two hundred years later, the image was still covered in plaster and was believed not to be worth a lot.  The turning point happened in 1957 when the image, which was still covered in plaster, slipped from a transport crane and fell on a pool of mud.  It was left in that state all night but in the morning, a monk went back to check on the image and discovered a glint of yellow peering through the crack on the image.  The monk was flabbergasted to discover the image made of pure gold underneath the plaster shell.  After this discovery, a lot of Buddha images were carefully scrutinized and their outer layers were peeled off.  The public thought they these might have been masked in plaster as well just like the Golden Buddha.

Nowadays, this golden image continues to delight a lot of people.  It is currently housed in a small chapel in Wat Traimit.  Locals claim that it is now considered as the world’s largest Buddha image that is made of solid gold.  It measures about ten feet high and weighs more than five tons.  Aside from this main Buddha image, there are also smaller Buddhas that can be found within the temple grounds.  These Buddha images are also golden in color but not really made of gold.  Those who would like to bring home souvenirs can purchase postcards and other trinkets in the souvenir shop.

The Golden Buddha at Wat Traimit

Truly, the Golden Buddha image at Wat Traimit clearly embodies the richness of Thailand’s culture and high regard for tradition.  May these images and symbols be preserved so that future generations may still enjoy them.  Come to think of it, it is only in understanding our past that we can comprehend our present and move forward to our future.

HELPFUL INFORMATION

Name of Temple: Wat Traimit “The Temple of the Golden Buddha”
Type of Temple:  Buddhist Temple
Address:  Traimit Road, Chinatown
Directions:  The Wat Traimit of the Temple of the Golden Buddha can be found within Chinatown just west of Hua Lampong Station and west of the crossroads of Krung Kasem and Rama IV streets.  You would need to walk on Traimit Road and search for a school on the right side with a play area.  Wat Traimit can be found on top of a flight of stairs that overlooks the school.
Contact Number:  +66-2623 1226
Operating Hours:  9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Entrance Fees:  Baht 20 (Visitors have to pay this at the booth near the building that houses the image of the Golden Buddha.  Foreigners need not worry as there is also a currency exchange counter within the temple grounds).

4 Responses to “Three Countries In Ten Days: Glistening Wat Traimit Of Bangkok”

  1. karen brandon Says:

    Bangkok is a place where we could see more travelers. Where many people are found, obviously more theft will take place. So it is necessary to get the travel advice from our friends and neighbors before planning our trip.

  2. David Jackson Says:

    Very informative blog, indeed! Really loved it….Yes, I did hear the legend behind the Temple of the Golden Buddha at Wat Traimit. I would not have gone but for this informative and helpful website that I found.

  3. Kitci Wong Says:

    @Karen Brandon — Yup, I definitely agree. Thanks for the comment :)

  4. Ramin Assemi Says:

    Very nice article!
    It’s pretty safe to assume that the locals are right in their belief that the image is the largest Buddha image in the world made of solid gold – I think it was in 1991 that they made it into the Guiness book of world records for precisely that reason :-)
    On special occasions and holidays, entry to the tempel is free (which isn’t a big deal considering the cheap ticket prices anyway), but what’s more interesting is that literally thousands of Thais go there to pay respect to the Buddha image, pray, make offerings and get blessings, which can be quiet interesting to experience first hand.

    Kind regards,
    Ramin

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