Known to be at least 700 years old, the actual origins of this magnificent Buddha have been lost to history. The interesting part of this story is that this 5.5 ton pure gold statue was at one time covered in plaster to hide it from invading enemies of Thailand. The temple in which it was located became deserted early in the 1930's , when the East Asiatic Company began to acquire the land around it. In 1955,wishing to own the land on which the Buddha was located, the East Asiatic Company made a deal to relocate the statue. They misjudged the weight of the statue and the lifting ropes broke. Since a huge thunderstorm was brewing, it was decided to leave the Buddha statue where it fell overnight and try to move it again the following morning. The next day, passing monks noticed some of the plaster was flaking off. Upon further investigation they discovered that the Buddha was constructed of pure gold. It is considered to be the most valuable public attraction in Thailand.
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.