Phuket’s Big Buddha is one of the most important and revered landmarks on the island. The huge image sits on top of the Nakkerd Hills between Chalong and Kata and, at 45 metres tall, can be seen from as far away as Phuket Town and Karon Beach.
The lofty site offers the best 360-degree views of the island, with sweeping vistas of Phuket Town, Kata, Karon, Chalong Bay and more. Reachable via a winding, 6-km road leading from Phuket’s main roads, it’s a must-visit island destination.
The Big Buddha statue
Close up to the Phuket Big Buddha itself, the atmosphere is very peaceful. The only sounds to hear are the tinkling of small bells and the fluttering of yellow Buddhist flags in the compound, with soft background dharma music.
Known among Thais as the Phra Puttamingmongkol Akenakkiri Buddha, the main statue was built in 2004 and is 25 metres across at the base. The whole body is made of reinforced concrete, layered with beautiful Burmese white jade marble that shines in the sun. The views and the actual image itself are breathtaking.
Next to the main Phuket Big Buddha is a smaller Buddha statue, which is gold in colour, though actually made of 20 tonnes of brass. There are also several much smaller statues of Buddha and of revered monks.
On a good day, more than 1,000 people visit the site, many donating money for the Phuket Big Buddha’s maintenance and to write messages on the purchased items for good luck and in memory of passed-away loved ones.
What to wear?
As the Phuket Big Buddha is a religious site, it’s considered disrespectful to arrive in beachwear, short skirts and T-shirts with offensive texts or images. If you feel you have dressed a little too daringly, you can always ask for a sarong to cover up with. It’s free of charge from the site centre.