One of the main shrines of Pattaya is considered the hill of the Big Buddha, which is an amazingly beautiful temple. It is on the list of the main attractions of the city and is a constant place of pilgrimage of Thais. What impresses visitors the most is the huge statue, glistening in the sun, radiating amazing calm and serenity.
Temple and observation deck on Pratamnak Hill
Every city has its own iconic landmark. It often becomes a business card, well-recognized in brochures, posters and tourist booklets. Pattaya has several of them, but the primacy belongs to the Big Buddha Hill. The complex was built very recently, in 1977, but has already gained world fame. The local shrine occupies a central place between the two beaches and is on the list of the most visited tourist sites.
There is also an observation deck on the hill, visitors do not miss the opportunity to view the statue of the golden Buddha in Pattaya and glimpse the surrounding area, enjoying the open views. Entrance to the temple is free, you can come here as part of a tour group or on their own, the grandeur and tranquility, spilling around, does not need a guide to explain.
Big Buddha Statue
It occupies a central position and is already visible on the approach to the hill. The road to it is guarded by sacred dragons Nagas, their nine heads facing those entering, and the bodies gradually go up, curving signifying the edges of the majestic staircase, the embodiment of spiritual perfection. The staircase is small, with only 120 steps, but each step is considered a step toward truth.
In Thai life, great importance is attached to religious symbolism, so you should not neglect the rituals of others, especially since they are not at all burdensome.
Before visiting the statue, one must undergo a spiritual cleansing. To do this, shoes are left at the entrance, and inside the small temple a minister reads a mantra over the entrants, sprinkles holy water, and ties a special colorful string on his hand. After performing the ritual, the way is free, and you can go to the central part.
The statue is made according to the canons, where large earlobes, elongated fingers of hands, traditional lotus pose, peaceful expression with a slight smile are obligatory. The height is 15 m, width – 10. Originally the statue was white; later it was repainted in gold, symbolizing sublimity, immortality, and prosperity. The harmony and proportionality of the figure amazes, it seems that it will come to life at any moment.
At the foot is an altar with traditional candles, scented sticks, and offerings.
Peculiarities of visiting the Big Buddha Temple in Pattaya
There is an entire complex on the hill, including several smaller statues. They stand, sit, and lie around the perimeter of the main court, symbolizing the days of the week and the major virtues. On a separate stand is a pencil case with sticks, numbered from 1 to 28. To get a prediction, you need to strong it and check the number of a falling out of the wand with the table, knowing your fate. Under the canopy is the foot of the Buddha, a peculiar sign of the development of Buddhism.
The gallery of bells is interesting. Everyone can strike the bell with a wooden beater and make an intangible wish. By the way, there is a lot to do with wishes in the temple.
For example, it is believed that he who:
- hit the hole in the belly of the fat god Hotei with a coin, he’ll get rich quick;
- correctly counted all the steps of the ladder when climbing, will receive a blessing;
- who let the birds out of the cage corrected his karma;
- lit a candle and brought a donation, will be able to achieve his goal;
- The person who lost the string tied on his wrist during the purification rite will get what he wants.
Tourists planning to visit the temple should remember the rules of dress. Monks have the right to refuse entry to those with short skirts or shorts, exposed shoulders, and exposed legs above the knees.
Big Buddha Hill on the map
Since the landmark is one of the most significant, it is necessarily marked on tourist maps. You should look for it almost in the center of the city, closer to the southern edge. Interactive maps have been installed in the city, Pratamnak Hill is marked with a red dot. The map is able to show the shortest route to the shrine.
How do I get to the Golden Buddha Temple?
Sometimes it is called in the European manner, Big Buddha, but in Pattaya they will understand what it means if you ask a question in any language, as long as the name of the deity is pronounced.
- For the first time, if you choose to visit the shrine on your own, it is better to use a local cab. A tuk-tuk will take you practically to the foot, from where you can immediately see the direction of travel along the towering central statue. It is also convenient to go by rented car, referring to the guidebook or by bike.
- From the center of Pattaya you can even get to the Big Buddha on foot, just check the signs or ask any resident.
The Golden Buddha Temple in Pattaya covers the entire daylight hours, from 7 am to 10 pm, with guided tours from the morning.
A visit to the temple complex helps you get into the atmosphere of Thailand. After sightseeing, you can comfortably settle in a gazebo on the observation deck and enjoy the magnificent scenery and views of the city buildings.