The Sukhothai Traimit Golden Buddha is the largest golden image of the Buddha in the world.
It’s huge, weighing in at 5.5 tons, and just under 5 metres tall, and is around 700 years old.
It sits in the beautiful Wat Traimit in Bangkok, not far from Chinatown.
This Buddha image has an interesting history. It’s true age is not really know, though die to its style, it is thought to have been cast somewhere between 1238 in 1438 in the then capital of Thailand, Sukhothai. After the demise of the Sukhothai Kingdom, and the rise of the new power from Ayuthuya the Buddhe image was moved to the new capital. In 1767, Ayuhhuya was destroyed by Burmese invaders, so to conceal its true value from enemies invading, the Golden Buddha was covered in plaster.
As it had done for its history, the Buddha followed the new power down to the new capital of Bangkok and was housed in a Choti-naram temple in the Yanawa District. When Choti-naram temple was deserted in around 1931, the Ecclesiastical Commission moved the Golden Buddha Image to its current location at Traimit Witthayaram Temple.
In the 1950s a special hall was constructed to house the Buddha. Whilst moving it by a crane, a cable snapped, and the image fell to the ground. Fearing bad luck, the workmen ran off leaving it on the ground.
The next day, when a monk from the temple came to inspect the image, he realised that underneath the cracked plaster was pure gold. For the first time in 200 years the true value and importance of the Golden Buddha was revealed.
The image is now thought to be worth nearly £30 million!
You can visit the Golden Buddha at Wat Traimit temple near the metro stop of Hua Lamphong in Bangkok. There is a map at the bottom of this post.
Photographs of the Golden Buddha and Wat Traimit
Useful Tools for Booking Your Sabbatical
I always use Skyscanner or Agoda alongside Google Flights to make sure I’ve got the best price. I use Google Flights to save a route and monitor price changes and a combination of Skyscanner and Agoda to get the cheapest tickets.
If you are in the UK I would also highly recommend signing up for Jack’s Flight Club to get incredible flight deals sent to your email inbox every week.
When booking accommodation I always start with Booking.com as they generally have the best range and prices. I also regularly use Airbnb for longer stays and apartments in cities (use this link for £25 off your first stay). For a different experience try signing up to Housecarers for free house-sitting opportunities (get 10% off membership with this link).
Travel insurance might seem like an unnecessary cost, but when a flight gets cancelled, injury occurs or you damage a piece of gear you’ll regret not paying in advance. I’ve used World Nomads for two sabbaticals and (after badly damaging a hire car in Laos!) found the claim process to be simple and transparent.
Getting from the airport to your destinations is an added stress after a tiring flight, so take the guesswork out and pre-book with JayRide.com. Their prices often beat the local taxis and I've found them to be reliable and easy to use.