Tips for Visiting the Big Buddha in Phuket Thailand

The Big Buddha in Phuket Thailand

Building Phuket’s Big Buddha began about 10 years ago as a labor of love and will cost roughly 30 Million Baht ($850, 000) when it’s completed. Now, ten years later, it has become a revered monument by both locals and tourists. More than 1,000 people make the 6km trek up the mountain every day to see the huge Buddha that’s still under construction. It is taking so long because of its scope, as well as the fact that it is being funded by donations alone.

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Phuket’s Big Buddha

The entire body is constructed with reinforced concrete and layered with beautiful Burmese white jade marble that sparkles in the sun. He sits on that mounted in peaceful repose and can be seen from both land and sea.

TIP: The hill is not very wide, a wide-angle lens will be best to capture the Buddha.

There is a small gold Buddha statue positioned nearby constructed out of 22 tons of brass– devoted to HM Queen Sirikit while the large Buddha is devoted to HM King Bhumibol.

360°and Beyond

Phuket’s Big Buddha is one of the island’s most important and revered landmarks. The huge statue sits on top of the Nakkerd Hills between Chalong and Kata. It is 150 feet tall and is easily seen from many parts of the island as well as the bay it stands watch over.

It offers the best 360-degree views of the island’s beaches and the island’s three bays. Chalong Bay is directly in front of the Buddha, and on a clear day, you can see to Phang Nga Bay– unfortunately, today wasn’t that day.

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Kata Bay and Kata Noi Bay

Take a few steps around the Buddha and up a short staircase to a terrace where you’ll get a great view of Kata Bay and Kata Noi Bay. You might even recognize Promthep Cape and the Nai Harn Windmill.

The best spot to see the third bay from the air is actually from the restaurant on the way up. There, you’ll be able to see the pristine sands of Karon Bay and many of its’ beautiful resorts. The best place to see the beach PERIOD is by standing on it.

The Three Wise Monkeys

The popular representation of the “three wise monkeys” comes from a 17th-century carving over a door of the famous Tōshō-gū shrine in Nikkō, Japan. However, the idea itself was most likely brought there by Chinese Buddhists.

“Look not at what is contrary to propriety; listen not to what is contrary to propriety; speak not what is contrary to propriety; make no movement which is contrary to propriety”. 

Whether you prefer the long or abbreviated version, it is a very good way to live your life.

The tinkle of small bells can be heard blowing in the warm breeze. You can purchase a bell as a souvenir or string it along with the others under the Buddha for remembrance, similar to the Love Locks found on permanent monuments worldwide.

The Nature of a Monk

All are welcome to receive a blessing from the monks, where you receive a piece of fruit and a bracelet made of twine to wear. My husband and I have lively discussions about why someone who isn’t Buddhist would try to be blessed. We disagree that it’s a contrary practice. I think it’s a way to understand your surroundings. Neither teaching contradicts how we should behave towards our fellow man. I find the mountains a good source of positivity, and I look for blessings wherever I can. As I learned from Wat Chalong, even the Buddhist Monks will fight if they feel it’s appropriate, but for the most part, all the Buddhists I’ve met in Thailand seem at peace with the little (compared to Americans) that they have.

Do you agree or disagree?

There are many spots to take in the surroundings as well as the large golden footprint said to belong to Buddha himself.

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Beneath Big Buddha

You can really see that there is a lot of construction going on. There is also some respite from the 90-degree weather up top in the cool underpinnings of the massive Buddha, where there is a place to pray, some altars, and literature about the statue and its relevance in Buddhist theology.

Opening Hours

From 08:00 – 19:30. If you want to catch the sunset from one of Thailand’s best spots, try to be there before 18:30.

What to Wear

It’s usually hot, but avoid wearing beachwear, short skirts, tank tops, and T-shirts with offensive texts or images. Be prepared to remove your shoes if you want to enter the temple. If you feel you have dressed inappropriately for a religious site, you can always ask for a sarong to cover up, but one will probably be offered to you before you get the chance. It is free of charge at the entrance, but donations are always accepted.

The road to the Big Buddha is off Chao Fa Road East near Chalong. There are many red-and-white signs indicating where it is. Turn down Soi Yodsane and follow the indications for the next six kilometers up the hill. You can’t miss it.

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  1. Yudith

    The pictures are beautiful. Buddha statue layered with white jade marble must look amazing, no wonder it is a touristic attraction. I would love to visit. The mountain and ocean view in the photo is awesome as well.

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