The Phuket Big Buddha is a 45-metre-tall white marble statue visible from anywhere in the southern part of Phuket with a jaw-dropping and breathtaking panoramic views. Phuket Big Buddha is one of the main highlights of the island, providing you with an incredible experience through the tinkling of small bells and the fluttering yellow Buddhist flags. A soft background dharma music plays all day to suck you into the sacred and lively moment within the temple. The Phuket Big Buddha is accompanied by a smaller Buddha statue, gold in color and made of 20 tons of brass.
Phuket Big Buddha started in 2002 as the foundation stone was laid by General Phijit Kulawanich, Privy Councilor, on May 22, 2002. The official name is ‘Phraphutthamingmongkhol-akenagakhiri Buddha’ that translates as “Happiness on top of Nakerd Mountain”. The road to the statue is well paved and easy to ride despite many curves; however, drive slowly and carefully on the way down. When reaching the top of the hill, you will find ample and well-organised parking. As you approach the site, a security officer will check your attire, and if your shorts or skirts are too short, you will be required to wear a sarong, provided for free.
Few steps to the west, another short staircase will take you to a terrace from which you’ll get a beautiful view of Kata Bay and Kata Noi Bay. You might even recognise Promthep Cape and even Nai Harn Windmill. The best spot to see the third bay is to stop at the restaurant on the way up. From up there, you’ll get from there a magnificent panorama of Karon Beach.
A recently added sweeping staircase now leads to the Buddha monument. There are 94 steps to reach the Big Buddha and climbing them is relatively easy. Note that the stairs are only to climb up; you are not allowed to walk them down. There is a separate way down on the hillside, and a security guard sitting there all day makes sure people respect this rule.
On the way down, you will walk through a temple where monks sit all day to give blessings and hold occasional ceremonies, mostly for local visitors. Here too, people donate money for the temple and buy amulets. This place also serves as a museum narrating the history of the Big Buddha construction.
The Big Buddha statute at Phuket is one of the highly revered landmarks on the island. It is the most important and popular tourist attraction on the island, and the huge image sits on the Nakkerd Hills between Kata and Chalong. The statue sits at 4 meters from ground level, making it visible even far from Karon Beach and Phuket Town. A 360-degree view of the island is available at this lofty site, with the waters sweeping the vistas of Phuket Town, Chalong Bay, Karon, Kata, and more. The statue is reachable from Phuket’s main roads through the 6-km easily accessible pavement.
Tips to the Travelers :
1. Shoes are never allowed inside any temple, so be sure to leave yours outside with all the others.
2. All are required to cover their shoulders and wear pants or skirts that extend down to their knees.
3. Best day to visit is a weekday. On weekends and Thai public holidays the grounds can get very busy.
4. Certain level of respect is expected, Speak in a quiet tone within the temple and don’t touch the statues or other Buddhist relics.
5. Free Entrance and plenty of Free parking for cars and motorbikes.
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