When traveling in Thailand, you can note that the statue of Buddha is found in almost all the temples. From all corners of Phuket you can see the Big Buddha, which reaches a height of almost 500 meters. Its large size allows it to be noticed from afar. A white marble monument guards the entrusted temple, sitting majestically in the lotus pose. Believing residents and tourists come to the big Buddha to ask for health and well-being for themselves and their loved ones.
How to get to the attraction?
The statue is considered one of the most visited on the island, so it is not difficult to find. There is no need to find the Big Buddha on the map. Locals will always tell you which direction to go. There is no public transportation to the place, despite the fact that there are functioning buses and songteo.
The easiest way to get to the big Buddha in Phuket without problems is to take one of the tour programs with a bus. In this case you can not only see with your own eyes the monument, but also learn a lot of interesting facts about it. The only thing, choose a tour that includes a minimum of excursions. Otherwise, in addition to the complex will have to visit other attractions of Phuket.
It is also possible to hire a cab and a tuk-tuk, which will take you to the temple for money. A half-hour ride will cost 600 baht one way.
Important tip! Agree with the driver on the way back as well. Finding transportation upstairs is difficult enough.
The most desperate travelers make the ascent to the Big Buddha in Phuket on foot. The whole trip will take at least 2 hours, but during this time you can enjoy unusual views of the local surroundings and nature. On the way there are small cafes with viewing platforms, which is good to rest and gain strength.
Location of the Big Buddha on the map
To reach the statue, get to Chalong Ring, turn north toward Wat Chalong and follow the signs. The road on the side of the mountain is quite steep, but in good condition. The main thing is not to miss the turn to the landmark, or you will have to go back.
There are elephant farms along the way. If you have time, it is worth visiting at least one of them. Especially friendly to tourists little elephants, which are just asking to treat them to a banana or an apple from his hands.
History of the construction of the Big Buddha
The construction of the Big Buddha in Phuket began in 2002. The statue on Mount Nakaked is not an ordinary monument, but an entire temple complex consisting of several levels. Initially, the architects did not even plan to erect an image of Big Buddha. The idea came already during construction.
It was intended as a place of rest with a view of the harbor, as well as a prayer room. Funding for the construction was undertaken by members of the ruling and business elite. Some of the money was taken from donations from tourists and locals.
This place was not taken for nothing to erect the temple. According to legend, a huge serpent lived on Mount Nakaked, after which the hill was named. It is believed that the monk himself came here to pray, and during secret meditations, light emanated from him. It is worth noting that it happened only once, but the event is passed down by word of mouth, identifying the mountain with the shrine.
It is believed that the statue was built in honor of Bhumibol Adulyadej, King of Thailand, who died in 2016.
Description of the Big Buddha Temple Complex
At the foot of the mountain there is a magic gong and a monument to Rama V. According to the legend, the pure of heart should hear a melodious chime at this place. It comes from a tree hung with numerous bells with notes. You can also leave your wish on the branches, if you buy a bell in a souvenir shop beforehand.
The structure includes three levels:
- Adjacent area.
- Statue of the Big Buddha.
You can also visit various sites related to Buddhism.
Around the temple there are shops with souvenirs and street food. In the middle of the complex there is a special room where beginners will be taught meditation. An impromptu tutorial will show in detail how to master the simplest poses for reconnecting with religion. The history of the monument is on large posters in the middle.
Parking and toilets are on the ground level.
Note that there are a lot of monkeys here. They are always trying to steal something from inattentive tourists. The monkeys won’t turn down sweet rolls and fruit and let you take some pictures.
Meeting a Monk
An obligatory part of a visit to the temple includes an address to a Buddhist monk. After a short talk the visitor will be tied a red rope on his hand as a talisman. It is believed that a torn rope is a sign of a series of troubles and misfortunes in a person’s life, which will pass by because it has taken a blow. It may also indicate that a wish made in the temple will soon come true. You can get to the monk from 9 a.m. daily until sunset.
How to get a monk’s blessing:
- Take a queue, which is always quite large because of the abundance of tourists.
- Leave your shoes at the entrance.
- Approach the monk and kneel down.
- Women hold out their left hand and men their right hand.
- After the clergyman ties the rope, you must get up and leave.
A donation of 100 baht is said to be required, but this is optional. At first glance, one gets the impression that the local monks are forced to pay money, but then one realizes that without doing so, no one will pay attention.
Other important rituals
During a visit to the Temple of the Big Buddha, you can make a wish by dropping exactly 37 coins by the number of bowls into the special vessels. The main thing is to think silently about what you want and not share your thoughts with others.
The temple building offers to purchase tiles, which will later be installed on the facade of the building. It is necessary to write a wish on it. The cost of a large tile is 300 baht, a small one is 100 baht. Everything here is based on honesty and trust. Tiles can be taken from the table and donations can be left in the designated area.
In the temple, visitors will be able to see coconut shells. Residents of Phuket consider them one of the best massage tools. The procedure is quite painful, but effective. After leaving a donation, you can get yourself some shells with instructions.
Features of the temple
The height of Mount Nakaked is 400 meters. Non-Buddhist tourists can enjoy the view from the observation decks. From here you can see the whole of Phuket and other small islands.
The third level, where the Buddha is erected, is also something to see. Although it is a large statue on the outside, it is possible to go into the middle. The only thing to remember here is that they come in exclusively barefoot. No one will make a remark, but it is still not worth it to show your ignorance. But as soon as you set foot on the snow-white tiles, you want to get rid of your shoes immediately. The only thing that may cause inconvenience, the white surface is very hot in the sun, so the lift will be “scalding.
Description of the Big Buddha statue
Visitors to the Big Buddha Temple especially enjoy taking pictures against the backdrop of the large statue. To get to it you have to overcome a long staircase. The monument is built of many white marble bricks. Shimmering in the sunlight, they create a glow effect. The stone Buddha is 45 meters high and about 25 meters wide. Under the statue is a room where tourists are not allowed. It is in an unfinished state and requires finishing.
The Buddha is not the only erected stone figure on Mount Nakaked. There is also a smaller statue of the Golden Buddha. The special coating has nothing to do with the precious metal. It was built in honor of Queen Sikirit. The monument is four times smaller than the Big Buddha, but no less beautiful. Various stone images of Buddhist monks, goddesses and gods stand around.
Dress code when you visit
It is believed that you can visit the holy places only in clothes that tightly cover the exposed parts of the body. Do not wear shorts, short skirts, tops. If a temple guest does not come in accordance with the specified dress code, he will be given a free sarong. When you leave, be sure to give it back to the minister of the temple.
Working hours of the temple
You can visit the temple to see the statue of the Big Buddha daily from 6 am to 7 pm. There is no gate that closes the complex. Nevertheless, the number of visitors decreases closer to sunset. You can focus on the souvenir shops and stores.
Admission to the temple is free
Experienced guides advise to come here at sunset to see the sunset. However, it can be a little chilly at this time at altitude.
Despite the fact that tours to the Big Buddha in Phuket are regular and the fame of the place is spreading more and more around the world, the construction of the landmark does not stop. Even at the present time, parts of the temple are being erected. This happens because of the lack of regular funding.
Today the complex is considered one of the most visited in Thailand and is included in almost all travel guides.