Within Chinatown stands Wat Trai Mit, also known as Golden Buddha Temple and indeed famous for its immense Buddha image, the world’s largest. The statue contains more than 80% pure gold and weighs in at five and a half tons.
The Golden Buddha was cast in the 13th century. At some point thereafter, the icon was covered in plaster and lacquer, perhaps to hide its actual value from thieves and looters. The true worth and importance of the Golden Buddha wouldn’t be revealed until 1955, when the statue was moved to its present location at Wat Trai Mit. As workers hoisted the statue into place, their ropes broke and it crashed to the ground. Where plaster had chipped off, gold shone underneath.
The statue now resides in a new chapel within the temple compound, sitting high atop a four-storey, marble-clad ziggurat. A museum on the temple’s third floor further relates the intriguing history of the Golden Buddha.
Wat Trai Mit is at the eastern edge of Chinatown near the intersection of Charoen Krung and Mitthaphap Thai-China roads. From Novotel Bangkok Ploenchit Sukhumvit, You can commute by metered taxi, it takes about 20 to 30 minutes, every day from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.