Buddhism dominates the Thai landscape and way of life, and as such, visiting Buddhist temples, statues and shrines across the country is a major part of any trip to Thailand. Whether you want to simply hit the major spots in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, or explore some lesser known gems of Buddhist culture, Thailand has a whole selection of beautiful statues of the Buddha that are worthy of a visit. Whether gold-plated or rustic, big or small, each Buddha statue has its own significance. Read on to find out about some of our favorite Buddha statues in Thailand so you can plan to visit these beautiful sites during your trip.
Wat Muang, Ang Thong Province
Officially named the “Phra Buddha Maha Nawamin of Wat Muang”, this mammoth gold Buddha statue is one of the largest in the country and arguably the most impressive. The seated Buddha sits at 92m high and his wide crossed legs span a whopping 63m! There is a further small Buddha statue in front of Phra Buddha so you get two for the price of one!
Emerald Buddha, Wat Phra KaeW, Bangkok
Despite being at the other end of the spectrum in terms of size (this one is just 66cm!), the Phra Kaeo Morakot or Emerald Buddha is one of the most famous in Thailand and probably the most revered. The emerald nature of this statue comes from the fact that it has been crafted from natural jade and the gorgeous statue is clothed in golden robes and is seated in a shrine in the heart of The Grand Palace.
Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho, Bangkok
Another particularly famous Buddha statue is the Reclining Buddha (Phra Buddhasaiyas), situated in Wat Pho in the capital. Phra Buddhasaiyas is large and impressive at 46m long and is a must for any trip to Thailand. Not only does Wat Pho feature this dominating structure but there are rows of other seated Buddha statues and 394 gilded Buddha images spread throughout the temple complex.
Phra Noon, Wat Lokayasutharam, Ayutthaya
Phra Noon is another reclining Buddha but this one is much more rustic and lies outside, within the grounds of Ayutthaya. The statue has been constructed from bricks and cement which have clearly aged, but the Buddha is clocked in a large saffron-orange robe that adds to the richness and reverence of the statue.
Buddha Head, Wat Mahathat, Ayutthaya
While this statue is nothing more than a head, its unique location makes it a popular tourism attraction thanks to its extremely photogenic nature. The Buddha head is situated at the base of a banyan tree in Ayutthaya and is entwined in roots that make the head float mysteriously in the tangle. The Burmese army destroyed many of the Buddha statues in Ayutthaya but this is one of the few that remains which makes it so famous.
Five-Buddha Statue, Wat Phra That Pha Kaew, Phetchabun Province
The Five-Buddha Statue in the Phetchabun Province is quite unlike any other statue of Lord Buddha in Thailand and is a real sight to behold. Each statue is seated in the lotus position and descends in size as they lead towards the temple entrance. The largest Buddha is adorned with gold trimmings while each of the other four and pure white. Wat Phra That Pha Kaew is a remote temple with a gorgeous green backdrop which serves to highlight the beauty of the temple and the statues before it.
The Big Buddha, Phuket
Nestled in the Nakkerd Hills near Phuket, The Big Buddha (or Phra Phutta Ming Mongkol Akenakiri) is a popular attraction for both Thais and tourists alike who come here to admire the simple yet serene statue. The concrete structure is 45m tall and is covered in white Burmese marble which adds to the statue’s beauty and reflects the sun to give the Buddha a constant glow. Not only is the Buddha statue worth a visit in and of itself, but the views you receive across Chalong and the stunning sunset behind are both breath-taking too!