Temple of the Golden Buddha

Bangkok, Thailand

I visit my first Thai Temple, Wat Trimitr Vityaram Voravihahn, and see the world’s largest solid gold statue.

June 21, 2015

Breakfast in Bangkok was better than expected. Thai and western options were both available.
Mini bananas were very sweet, and I had my fill of hot tea before we left for a busy day. A giant double decker bus arrived for our group, and we piled in, grateful for air conditioning, especially since most of us were in temple-appropriate clothes. Our tourguide, Mr. Woody, was hilarious, and he jabbered through as much of Thailand’s history as he could before we made it to our first stop.
Impossibly old and impossibly heavy, the golden Buddha weighs in at 5.5 tons. It was discovered somewhere in the Thai jungles, covered in a layer of grime. Everyone assumed it was made of concrete, and disregarded it as unimportant. Soon, though, they discovered it was nearly solid gold. No archeologist has been able to pinpoint the statue’s exact date of engineering. Our bus pulled up to the curb of the temple and we walked between street vendors towards the white building.

Street venders posted by the temple entrance

Street venders posted by the temple entrance

We climbed up the steps, admiring the surrounding views along the way. We had to remove our shoes before entering the building, and the breeze felt amazing on our bare feet.

The view from the Wat

The view from the Wat

The Buddha was amazing. Massive and shiny.

The Golden Buddha

The Golden Buddha

The building itself was also impressive, with real gold leaf covered nagas (Thai snake figures) as balustrades and elaborately patterned walls and ceilings.

The cavernous temple

The cavernous temple

After the golden buddha, we hopped back on the bus to our next destination.

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