Travel tips you can trust
Golden Buddha Statue
It has a fascinating history and staggering monetary value.
Height, weight and value
The seated Golden Buddha in Bangkok is 3-meters (10-feet) high and weighs 12,000 pounds. At US$1,400 per troy ounce (the rate at this writing), the gold in the statue is worth $250 million dollars.
History in brief
The Buddha was cast in solid gold north of Bangkok during the powerful Sukhothai period.
The Golden Buddha was completely covered in plaster to make an invading army think it was a commonplace cement statue. The ruse worked, but too well. The secret was forgotten for centuries.
In 1955, while the "cement" statue was being hoisted into its new home, the rope apparatus failed and the sculpture heavily fell to the ground. The next day a surprised monk saw gold where a piece of the plaster had chipped off. The removal of the remaining plaster followed.
Considering the Golden Buddha's whopping value, it is relatively unprotected. But whose going to steal a 5.5-tonne object sitting in an upper floor of the Golden Buddha Temple in the middle of a large city?
Location in Thailand
Click blue links for my TIPS and INSIGHTS
World wonder rankings
Other tips & advice