The golden elephant in this photo is one of four elephants emerging from the four sides of the square Phathatkuang, the main chedi (stupa) at Wat Phra Singh in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The elephants appear to support the top of the chedi.
Wat Phra Singh is a Buddhist temple built in 1345. (“Singh” means lion, for the lion figures at the main entrance to the wat (temple). Over the centuries, it has been enlarged and renovated several times.
The entire chedi, including the elephants, is uniformly covered in the same gold color, most likely paint rather than gold leaf. The gold color to the right of the elephant’s trunk is closest to the actual color. The silver color is caused by the intense illumination of the mid-day sun. The reflection from the stupa, paired with the direct radiation of the sun, made the area around the chedi quite hot.
This photo was taken with a Canon 100D. Specs are ISO 100, f/5, 1/400 sec.