Tourist’s guide to Big Buddha – a large temple complex in Phuket

Big Buddha (Phuket) – one of the main attractions of Thailand, which is considered a symbol of the island. This place is fanned with legends and myths: local residents say that once Buddha himself flew here and made the mountain a place where energy flows converge. Thais believe that if you listen, you can feel the whole spirituality of this place.

Big Buddha (Phuket)

General information

Big Buddha (Phuket) is not only a huge marble statue that rises on Mount Nakaked (more than 400 m above sea level), but also a full-fledged Buddhist temple, which everyone can visit. The temple territory consists of three levels: the first is a parking lot and souvenir shops, the second is a large gazebo, in which there are stands with introductory information and sculptures of mythical heroes. The third level is the Big Buddha statue itself.

A view from the heights of the Big Buddha

The attraction is located in the western part of Phuket, 10 km from Hong Kong International Airport. You can see the Big Buddha from the popular beaches of Kata and Karon and from nearby towns.

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Short story

There are 3 main versions of the emergence of this magnificent temple. So, local residents will surely say that the statue was built in order to isolate the city from evil thoughts and not always friendly foreigners.

City authorities say that the main goal was to build a larger and more interesting statue than on the neighboring island of Koh Samui (there the height of the figure is only 12 meters). Believers hold the idea that this is one of the places of power on which the temple was destined to be built, and Mount Nakaked was not chosen by chance – according to legend, it was here that Buddha meditated.

Ruler of Thailand Rama IX
Frame IX

Historical sources say the following: the Big Buddha temple in Phuket was erected in honor of the ruler of Thailand, Rama IX. We can say that the sanctuary was built throughout the country: the country’s authorities, and local residents, and travelers donated for the construction of the temple. In total, about 30 million baht was spent (a little less than a billion dollars). The construction of the temple was started back in 2002, but has not been completed so far.

The photos of the Big Buddha statue in Phuket are really impressive: a majestic marble sculpture sitting on top of a mountain.

What to see in the complex

The very road along which you can climb the mountain is already a tourist attraction. Throughout the well-paved track you can see cafes, shops, leisure corners (gazebos, benches), Buddhist mini-sculptures carved from wood.

The following objects can be distinguished on the territory of the temple complex for inspection:

Plumeria flower

Thailand’s usual trees grow in the garden: cassia Baker (looks very much like sakura), banyan tree (tall trees with a large crown), Thai tree (instead of needles traditional for our country, it has horsetail leaves). Among the flowers, ginger, plumeria, stone rose and bougainvillea should be noted. There are many monkeys in the garden who are asked not to feed themselves.

In the garden you can see a number of wooden carvings and small sculptures. There are many places to relax: unusual bamboo arbors, benches and umbrellas. Big Buddha Garden has no beginning and no end – it smoothly passes into the forest.

Near temple grounds
Information about Steve Jobs

As for the temple complex itself, it is also not completely completed, however, the main symbol – Big Buddha, is already sitting in its place. Near the temple, you can see a monument to the King of Thailand, Rama V, and a huge gong that can be rubbed for good luck. Near the entrance to the sanctuary are stands that show interesting facts from the lives of famous people (Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein and others).

The entrance to the temple is decorated with thousands of golden bells in the shape of hearts and leaves, which are hung by tourists. By the way, here Buddhist monks can luckfully tie a red thread that protects from the evil eye.

Temple inside

The temple inside is also not finished yet, but the main idea of ​​interior designers is already clear: as much gold as possible, which symbolizes the sun and the absence of dark shades. The hall is not distinguished by a high ceiling or amazing statues – while this is an ordinary Buddhist temple. According to tradition, Buddha sits in the center, and marble elephants seem to come out of the columns. At the exit of the temple are donation boxes, and there is a book of visitors in which you can write your name.

A statue

As for the main symbol of the temple, the height of the Big Buddha statue in Phuket is 45 meters. It is made of Burmese white marble.

Big Buddha statue
Observation deck

At the very top of Nakaked there is a viewing platform with an impressive view of Phuket Island, Promtep Cape and individual islands of land in the sea. There are always a lot of travelers here, so taking a picture will not be easy.

Observation deck
Gift Shops

There are a lot of shops and souvenir shops both near the temple and on the road that leads to the Buddha. Locals sell incense sticks, small figurines of elephants and monkeys made of wood, key rings and other pleasant little things.

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How to get there

Walking to the Big Buddha

There is only one road leading to the Big Buddha. It is well paved, and not only people walk on it, but also cars drive. Walking to the top of Nakaked will reach you in 1-2 hours. Climbing must begin with the beaches of Karon and Kata. It’s not difficult to navigate: there are signs everywhere and accidentally turning the wrong way will not work. People with disabilities can also go up to the temple – a special path is equipped for them.

ATV rental

You can also hire a taxi or rent a quad bike, tuk-tuk and motobike (they stand along the entire route). Renting will cost about 150 baht, which is not cheap at all. Therefore, if possible, it is better to rent a car in advance, which is clearly safer.

The easiest option to get to the Big Buddha in Phuket is to go to the temple as part of a bus tour. All shopping centers, hotels and cafes have tents where you can sign up for one of the many excursions in Thailand. In order not to overpay, go around several places: in popular tourist places, prices can be 2-3 times higher. An average tour costs 300-400 baht.

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Practical information

Steps to the Big Buddha
  1. It’s better to start climbing the mountain early in the morning, while the sun is not yet very baking. Stock up on a bottle of water in advance and grab a card.
  2. Wear comfortable but not too open clothes.
  3. Do not forget about sun protection cream.
  4. When walking along the mountain, be careful! Snakes and other unpleasant animals can crawl out. This happens most often in the evening.
  5. It will take 2-3 hours to inspect the entire Big Buddha temple complex, with another garden – 1 more.
  6. Locals often come to the mountain to be alone with themselves, so in the garden there are many places where you can retire. Here you can wait out the heat and go to the hotel in the evening.
Working hours

The Big Buddha Temple complex is open daily from 8 a.m. to 7.30 p.m. The largest influx of tourists – in the afternoon, because many come here in order to meet the sunset on the sacred mountain.

Address: Soi Yot Sane 1, Chaofa West Rd., Chalong, Phuket, Phuket 83100, Thailand

Cost of visiting
Free entry to Big Buddha

You can visit the temple complex for free, but if you want to make a donation, then everything is provided for this: there are lots of bowls, stones with the hand of Buddha, sculptures in which tourists throw coins. You can also purchase one of the souvenirs – this will also be help for the Big Buddha Temple and for Phuket as a whole.

Parking near Big Buddha

The parking of the Big Buddha temple complex is located on the first level, but has not yet been completed, so there are not many cars (about 300 parking spaces in total). In the future, it will be a spacious playground with 1000 parking spaces. Cost: Free.

Big Buddha on the map of Phuket:

All prices on the page are for December 2018.

Useful Tips

  1. There are a lot of monkeys in Phuket, so when you go up to the temple, take care of your belongings: monkeys can easily carry off a cap, glasses, a camera or a small bag.
  2. Dress code for the temple complex
  3. Remember the dress code. On the territory of the temple complex will not be allowed with bare shoulders or belly, too large neckline, in a short skirt or shorts.
  4. Climbing uphill is not an easy task, especially when there is intense heat. Be sure to bring a bottle of water with you and put on comfortable clothes.
  5. On the territory of the temple complex, plates are sold on which you can write your name and give them to the construction of the temple. So the names of tourists will forever remain in the history of the Big Buddha Temple in Phuket. You can also purchase heart-shaped bells and hang them at the entrance to the temple.
  6. If you make a donation, the monks of the temple will give 37 coins that can be thrown into 37 bowls located on the second level. It is believed that a person who falls into all cups will be happy, and his desire will be fulfilled.

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