The Big Buddha in Phuket is Iconic
A towering monument to religion and a stunning view of Phuket island. What’s not to love!
When you think of Phuket, and you probably think of one thing- partying! Bangla Road is rightly famous the world over for its bars, clubs, good weather and good times. Nightlife in Phuket is no slouch – and there’s nothing wrong with that! But dig a little deeper and there’s another side to Phuket that is waiting to be discovered.
Soaring 45 metres tall at the top of the Nakkerd Hills behind Chalong, the Phuket Big Buddha is a towering monument to the Buddhist faith. It makes a great day trip from the main beaches of Patong and offers a fascinating glimpse into another side of the island.
What’s it like to visit?
Carved from white marble and sitting serene atop a gleaming lotus-shaped plinth, the Buddha floats above Phuket. You approach from below, winding your way up steep steps from the car park and passing a small museum charting the 2004 construction. Arriving at the viewing platform you’ll need to crane your neck to fully appreciate the size of the statue- bring your wide angle camera lens, you’ll need it!
While the Buddha is great to visit at any time of day, the marble appears to glow at dawn and dusk giving a magical feel to the place. If you can bear the early start then a visit as the site opens at 8am is our top tip as the air is still cool and the site is quiet. Keep your eyes peeled for the local monkeys who also like to get up early and are usually keen to steal anything they can get their hands on!
Make sure you give yourself enough time to enjoy the 360 degree panorama from the viewing platform- yes, the views from the top are incredible. On a clear day you can see as far as Phang Nga bay and beyond.
What should you wear?
The Buddha is an important religious monument, so visitors are asked to dress conservatively. Women should cover shoulders and knees and men should avoid wearing anything featuring logos that may cause offense. If you find yourself at the Buddha without suitable clothing though, don’t worry. The visitor’s centre is happy to lend you a sarong to wrap around your shoulders or waist.
Where to Eat and Drink
There are no restaurants at the Big Buddha, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a good meal on your trip! The seafood restaurants at Chalong Pier are highly recommended and drivers will wait for you for an hour or so if you want to stop off on the way past.
How to Get to The Big Buddha
The easiest way to get to the Big Buddha is with your own transport. Renting a motor bike in Thailand should be handled with care because you can get scammed easily. If you’re confident riding a scooter and have a licence then hire one, jump on and enjoy the winding 6km road up to the statue. If you don’t fancy riding a bike then you can hire a red Songthaew truck and driver from any of the main beaches; budget around 500 baht each way from Patong including waiting time.
To get to the Buddha from the hostel take the main road south and east across the island to join the 4021 highway on the east coast. Turn north for 1km then turn west onto Soi Yot Sane 1, signed to the Buddha and the Phuket Bird Paradise Show.