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Big Buddha Phuket The Ultimate Travel Guide

Big Buddha Phuket: The Ultimate Travel Guide

Here in Thailand, most of the locals are Theravada Buddhists and this plays a crucial role in the cultural heritage of the country. As such, artefacts and references to the Buddha, a religious teacher from Asia in the 5th BC, can be found everywhere.

A major tourist spot in Thailand is the Big Buddha of Phuket, a towering statue of Marabija Buddha that draws thousands of tourists annually. 

With so much to do and see here, you need to make sure that your visit to the Big Buddha is worth your time and effort. Below are some of the things that you need to know about before heading to this major tourist attraction in Phuket.

Interesting Facts about the Big Buddha of Phuket

1. The Big Buddha in Phuket was a result of the idea of four friends

The Big Budhha in Phuket has a pretty interesting backstory. It all started when a group of four friends discovered the beautiful view of the area where the statue is currently located.

Instead of just creating a regular tourist attraction or viewpoint, these friends decided to do something special for the locals and that is to build a giant statue of the Buddha. In 2004, the construction of the statue began with the help of foreign and local donors.

2. Its make and size are pretty impressive

Aside from the religious significance of the Buddha, the statues here were also dedicated to certain royalties. The Big Buddha itself was dedicated to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej while the smaller brass Buddha statue is for Queen Sirikit.

Thanks to the said donations, the statue was built using gleaming white marble, an expensive material that perfectly represents the divine nature of the Buddha. Its size is also impressive, which spans 25 metres at the base and is 45 metres tall.

3. Construction is ongoing so donations are still accepted

Tourists can still contribute to the construction and maintenance of the site and if you’re up for it, then consider donating for at least 100 THB. This amount will be enough to purchase the smallest tile or help with maintenance and every little bit helps!

While the statue of the Buddha is already complete, the construction of the staircase leading to the statue is still ongoing. Here, people can donate around 300 to 1,000 THB depending on the tile size they want to purchase.

Things to Expect at Big Buddha Phuket

While the biggest draw of this tourist attraction is the colossal marble statue of the Buddha himself, there are certain portions of the site that travellers should pay attention to. Listed below are some of them:

A challenging road leads to the site

The road going to the statue of the Big Buddha may have many curves but we found the ride to be quite easy. Going back down the same road, though, should be done slowly and carefully.

The good news is that when guests reach the top of the hill, they will be welcomed by a well-organised and adequate parking area. Another thing we observed is that a security officer will be on standby to check on the guests’ attire, but more on that later.

There’s a picturesque sweeping staircase leading to the statue

There’s a picturesque sweeping staircase leading to the statue
Image Source: friwis on Tripadvisor

Thanks to the donations of local and foreign patrons, a sweeping staircase has recently been added leading to the Buddha’s statue. Please take note though that the said stairs should only be used going up to the monument.

You might ask “So how does one get down from the platform where the statue is located?”  Well, a path located to the side of the platform can be used going down and a security guard is on duty there all day to ensure that guests comply with this policy.

If you ever forget to get your selfie or picture taken while near the statue, then there’s no need to worry. Going back up the staircase is allowed and is quite easy as there are only 94 steps leading back up to the monument–yes, we counted!

The Big Buddha is surrounded by breathtaking views

The hilltop where the statue is located also has a stunning view of the surrounding area of Phuket. Tourists will be treated to a bird’s eye view of the three large bays spanning the island’s shore.

If you’re lucky and the skies are clear, you can spot Phang Nga Bay which is located just beyond Chalong Bay which directly faces the monument. To the west, another staircase leads to a platform with an amazing view of Kata Noi Bay and Kata Bay.

From here, travellers may even spot Nai Harn Windmill and Promthep Cape- if the weather is clear that is. The third bay, Karon Beach, can best be viewed by stopping by a restaurant on the way up to the monument.

The temple also serves as a museum

The Big Buddha of Phuket also has a temple that visitors can drop by on their way down. Here, monks gather to hold ceremonies and give out blessings, specifically for locals. 

Tourists can also purchase amulets from the temple. For those feeling a bit more generous, donations can also be made for the upkeep and maintenance of the temple.

What we think is the biggest draw of this temple though, is that it also functions as a museum. This temple cum museum depicts how the Big Budhha of Phuket was constructed which we think is a great way to learn more about the local culture.

How to Get to the Big Buddha in Phuket

How to Get to the Big Buddha in Phuket

Getting to the Big Buddha is as fun as a visit to the site itself! There are a number of ways to get there and below are some of your options. 

Of course, choose what best suits your needs and what your current physical condition can handle.

Mode of TravelInstructionsDetails
HikingStart in Patak Road in Kata Bay

Walk along the road in Patak Road

After about ≥1 km, turn right to a steep dirt path

Continue along the steep path to the Big Buddha Road

Turn right again and walk for  ≥1 km until you reach Big Buddha
Taking this route to the Big Buddha will take around 2.5 Kilometres

Bring a bottle of water to prevent getting dehydrated during the hike
MotorbikeTake Route 4024 in Chalong

Drive for 1 km until you get to Soi Yot Sane 1

Turn right at Soi Yot Sane 1

Follow the road (3 km east of 4024) and the signs until you arrive at the Big Buddha
Make sure you have a full tank of gas before going to the Big Buddha on a motorbike

Ensure that your motorbike has enough climbing power especially if you’re sharing your ride
TaxiA taxi ride to the Big Buddha will usually take around 45 minutes

The fare for a taxi ride to the site will cost around 300 THB

These taxis will be willing to drive you to the site and back but we recommend that you agree on the total price of the fare and the wait time.
CarCar rentals will cost around 500 THB to 1,000 THB

There is enough parking space for guests once they get to the site

Where to Dine at Big Buddha Phuket

After all that hiking and sightseeing, we’re certain you’d like to cool down and enjoy a hearty meal and cold drinks. Fortunately, there are two nearby (and might we add, fantastic) restaurants that you can try out.

First, we have the Nak-Kerd Sea View Cafe, a cafe with a laid-back vibe coupled with some delectable Thai cuisine. What’s more, guests here will surely love the fantastic view of Karon Beach from its location.

We really liked the simple setup of this cafe with bamboo tables and thatched roofs that exude an easygoing atmosphere. They serve traditional Thai food such as rice omelette and fried noodles but we highly recommend their Pad Thai as it is to die for!

Another nearby restaurant to try out is the Star Mountain Sunset Restaurant. It offers some refreshing drinks and local main dishes such as pork, seafood, soup, and salads. 

However, you shouldn’t miss out on trying their coffee and different smoothies as they are some of the best refreshments on this side of Phuket.

The restaurant also has a cosy atmosphere that visitors will surely appreciate. On top of all this, it also provides a great view of the surrounding landscape- perfect if you want to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and its urban lifestyle.

Nak-Kerd Sea View CafeR8M6+2CQ, Karon, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83100, Thailand+66 87 888 92079:30 AM to 7:00 PM, Monday to Sunday
Star Mountain Sunset RestaurantR8J5+4VV, Wichit, Phuket, Thailand+66 89 287 75779:00 AM to 9:00 PM, Monday to Sunday
Woman Dancing

5 Essential Tips When Visiting The Big Buddha in Phuket

1. Follow the appropriate dress code for visiting temples

There is no strict dress code when visiting the statue itself but since tourists are bound to pass by the temple, it is best to wear appropriate clothing. Guests are also discouraged from speaking too loudly or worse, screaming out of excitement.

The assigned security officer will check the clothes worn by visitors and those wearing too shirts, skirts or pants, or sleeveless shirts are not allowed in. No need to worry though, as they will provide a sarong to cover yourself up free of charge

2. Prepare a small amount for donations

2. Prepare a small amount for donations

Good news for tourists on a budget as the Big Buddha in Phuket doesn’t charge any entrance fees for visitors. However, as mentioned earlier, you should still prepare a small amount as a possible donation to the statue and its temple.

3. Carve around 2 to 3 hours out of your trip to visit the Big Buddha

Guests should allow around two to three hours when visiting the Big Buddha to take in all the sights and experience everything the site offers.

4. Visit the Big Buddha around sunset

It’s best to visit the Big Buddha in Phuket from 6:00 PM to 6:30 PM or during sunset as it is cooler during this period. 

5. Do not take selfies with the statue

It is okay to take pictures of the Buddha but selfies with the statue are not allowed as this is considered disrespectful.

The Big Buddha

Address: Karon, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83100, Thailand
Contact Details: +66818913827
Operating Hours: Daily 6:30 AM to 6:30 PM
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