Located on top of Nagakerd Mountain between Kata and Chalong, the Big Buddha is one of the most popular tourist spots in Phuket. The statue is cherished for its intricate detailing and splendid size.
It is the only temple in Phuket to be built on such a high elevation. It is also the third-largest statue in the whole of Thailand after Phra Buddha Mahanawamin and Mahaminh Sakayamunee Visejchaicharn.
Driving Up to the Big Buddha
Phuket Big Buddha is located in the Chalong district of Phuket and is easily accessible from almost everywhere in Phuket. To reach here you just have to follow the signboards on the Chalong circle.
The road leading to Big Buddha is off Chao Fa Road East near Chalong. You can reach there through the Phuket town local bus and can even take a scooter or a car.
For a more adventurous experience, you can alternatively hike up to the site. The path is around 8 km long and well signposted so you will not get lost. Through hiking, it will take you about an hour to reach there.
The road to the statue appears very simple to ride. However, there are many curves on the road, therefore, you should drive very carefully. There are several parking spots in the area where you can safely park your vehicle.
Upon reaching the entrance, you will be checked by a security officer for your dress.
Don’t forget to read the section on Big Buddha Phuket Dress Code later in this article to avoid any trouble.
Location: 106 Soi Cherngtalay 14, Srisoonthorn Road, Bang Tao Beach, Cherngtalay, Thailand, 83110
About the Big Buddha, Phuket
The Big Buddha statue is visited by at least 1000 devotees every day on average in spite of its under-construction status. The construction is financed fully on the donations given by the devotees.
Each devotee who donates to the temple gets to sign a marble for 300 or 1,000 baht, depending on the tile’s size. The tile is then placed in his name which is believed to bring good luck.
It is the base of the statue that is still under construction. Besides that, the statue is nearing completion.
The impressive shine of the statue is due to the Burmese white marble. The white jade marble reflects when the sunlight falls on it.
Due to the feel-good vibe, Phuket Big Buddha was later officially named Phraphutthamingmongkhol-akenagakhiri which translates to “Happiness on Top of Nakerd Mountain”.
You can find several buddha statues holding bowls around the Big Buddha. These are alms bowls in which the devotees are expected to donate some money generously. The money is later collected by the monks and utilised towards the upkeep of the surrounding.
The View from Up There
The elevated position of the temple allows a birds-eye 360-degree view over most of South Phuket especially the Phuket old town, Promthep cape, Kata and Karon beach, and three majestic bays namely- Karon Bay, Chalong Bay, and Nai Harn Bay.
To enjoy the breathtaking panoramic view, you will have to climb a whooping 94 steps to reach the top.
A fun fact here is that you cannot use the same stairs for going up and down.
For coming down from the top you will have to take the different stairs on the hillside.
On your way down, you will spot a temple where several monks sit. They bless all the visitors and also make a special prayer on request. It also serves as a museum as the monks can be seen narrating the history of the temple’s construction.
You can also make small donations here and buy souvenirs in the form of amulets.
Big Buddha Phuket Dress code
Although there is no specific dress code for the Big Buddha, you are expected to visit in covered clothes. Revealing clothes such as skirts, shorts, and sleeveless dresses are not allowed inside the temple.
The restrictions are purely for the purpose of respect and are strictly followed. So much so that visitors who come in revealing clothes are giving Sarong to cover themselves appropriately without any charge.
The temple is open for visitors from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 pm. The best time to visit here is before 10 or after 5 pm in the evening as during these hours the crowd is less.
There is no entry fee to enter the temple. However, you are expected to give some donations in the alms box or donation tiles.
Looking for more modest temples?
Despite the imposing size and rare intricacies, visiting the Big Buddha could be a very overwhelming experience for people who don’t like crowds. Don’t worry, you have several other options. You can consider these must-visit wats in Phuket that are sure to give you a more relaxing experience.