In the south of Phuket resides a literal giant. A giant said to guard the island and watching over each and every one, visitor and resident alike. This giant however, is very friendly, made of white jade, going by the name, Big Buddha!
The tall, 147 ft high Buddha (Phra Phuttha Mingmongkhon Akenakkhiri) is the primary landmark of Phuket. From many parts, even towards the south of the island, this impressive statue can be seen, and many visitors to the island come here at least once during their stay.
The temple complex is free of charge to visit and hosts an exhibit of the history of the Big Buddha, and usually a monk is present to bless the visitors.
A donation is much welcome, as to finance the further construction of the pedestal.
The big Buddha is not the only highlight however. The view is breathtaking, too!
From up there where the Big Buddha resides, you are blessed not only by his presence, but also with a beautiful view of the Chalong Bay. That alone would be a reason to visit the area, surely.
How you get there?
From the large roundabout in Chalong you have to drive towards Wat Chalong / Tesco Lotus. After a few miles, there is an entrance on the left-hand side, which is also signposted.
You have to follow this winding and partly steep road for about 3-4 miles up the hill. Passing elephant camps and various viewpoints you cannot miss the Big Buddha.
Should you come from the road going from the airport and southwards, then you have to turn right about a mile after Wat Chalong (also signposted). From there it is the same direction as just described.
Viewpoints on the way to the Big Buddha
On the way up to the Big Buddha, or going back from there, you will pass several vantage points, that sometimes even are equipped with a restaurant and/or a café by the wayside, should you want to linger for a moment. As already mentioned, the views over Karon Beach and Chalong Bay are fantastic!
No matter which direction you look towards, you will definitely be blessed with a view beyond comparison!
Fancy touring the temple complex?
Once at the top, you can park your scooter or even the car for free. If you then feel for taking the tour of the temple complex, your journey starts from this point. Throughout the tour, you will learn something about Buddhism, monks and Thai history in general. The entrance area is decorated with many figures, pictures and other altars, definitely a view to remember!
While you are visiting the temple complex, you can also be blessed by a monk, or meditate in their presence.
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