History & Culture

Wat Traimit

In the Chinatown part of Bangkok lies Wat Traimit – home of a large Buddha image. Rising to only 15 feet, in a land where Buddha images sometimes shoot 32 meters into the air, some people might ask what is so remarkable about a Buddha image that is relatively small compared to others. The answer – this Buddha image is solid gold!

Weighing in excess of five tons, the Buddha image at Wat Traimit has a commercial value of between 15 and 20 million dollars. If nothing else, it is worth seeing simply because of its visual impact! Designed in a ‘Sukothai’ style, the image was created in the 13th century and initially covered in plaster. For many years it was not known to be made out of gold and in the 1930s it was housed in an abandoned temple. It was only when the image was being prepared for its move to Wat Traimit in 1955 that the plaster cracked exposing the gold underneath.

Aside from viewing the gold Buddha image, people also visit Wat Traimit to find out about their futures. Rather than speaking to a monk or a ‘Moo-doo’ (fortune teller) people use fortune-telling slot machines in the temple grounds. The machines choose a number for you, and you can pick up a piece of paper that matches the number. The piece of paper explains in English, Chinese and Thai what to expect from the future. Great fun and worshippers at the temple are avid users.

Details: Admission to the Golden Buddha is 20 Baht.

How to get there: Wat Traimit is near the Odeon roundabout which marks the entrance to Chinatown. The closest Express Boat pier is Ratchawong Pier.