An Oasis of Peace in Phuket: Wat Phra Thong
Located 20 km away from Phuket town, in Thalang, It is one of the earliest temples in Phuket. The temple was constructed when Phuket was the capital of Thailand.
Wat Phra Thong translates to ‘Golden Buddha Image Temple’ which is the biggest attraction of the temple owing to the interesting story behind it.
The temple enjoys the reputation of being the most interesting of all the other temples in Phuket because of the mysterious half-buried statue.
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
The Story of the Half-buried Buddha
The story dates back to a distant past when a storm hit the district of Thalong and wreaked havoc, especially on agriculture. In the chaos, a farmer’s son tied his buffalo to a peg which was actually a conical shape at the peak of the golden Buddha Statue that was entirely buried.
It was revealed in the dream of the boy’s father that both his son and the buffalo had been cursed to death for being disrespectful to the Buddha statue.
The following day the father along with some other villagers reached the spot and dug the place where his son had tied the buffalo and discovered the Buddha statue underneath.
After that, several attempts were made by rulers of different times to unearth the whole statue but every time a force would deter them. One prominent attempt was of the Burmese army that tried to dig but was stung by bees.
Finally, after several failed attempts to dig the remaining statue, the villagers covered the statue with gold; it remains the same to date.
King Rama 5, a crown prince visited the place and named it Wat Phra Thong.
How to Reach There?
Wat Phra Thong is located on the northern edge of the Thailand town. If you are travelling towards Phuket International Airport, you can spot it just after the traffic light control of Thalang Junction, towards the right. It is at a distance of 13 km south of Phuket International airport.
If you are coming from the east, you will have to take a U-turn and head back south. You can easily take a songthaew or rent a car to reach here.
There is plenty of parking space near the entrance so even if you are taking your own vehicle, it would not be a problem.
Location: 170, Tambon Thep Krasatti, Thalang, Phuket 83110
The temple is open for visitors from 8 am to 5:30 pm. The best time to visit is during the early morning or late afternoon as during that time it is less crowded.
The present entry fee for Wat Phra Thong is around 600 Thai Baht. This is for both locals as well as tourists.