Big Buddha Temple is one of the main attractions in Phuket. It is not just a big statue of Buddha, but a real temple complex which rises on Nakkerd Hills in the southern part of the island. So, the temple is situated at the Chalong ring area and is famous for its huge marble statue of sitting Buddha which can be seen from a great distance.

The statue is truly impressive: 45 meters high and 25 meters in width.

The temple construction began in the early 2000s and still goes on. Big Buddha, like most temples in Thailand, is being built for donations only, so the construction end-time is undefined. You can make your donation too and buy some tiles for temple: they are on the tables at the entrance; or you may buy there some souvenirs: bells, marble plates, figurines, mascots and many other things.

How to get to Big Buddha

The easiest way is by a rented car as we did it, or you may ride a bike, or take a taxi. If you start from Patong Beach, then you have to cross Karon and Kata Beaches to get to the Chalong ring and then turn left to the airport. In about 700 m you will see a sign to turn left from where you need follow the arrows for 7 km up to the temple.

If you prefer hiking then follow the signs leading up to Big Buddha through local communities, over the mountain and by the elephant farm. You will hardly get lost. The road is not bad: sometimes it turns into a jungle path, sometimes you walk down a good asphalt road.

If you have nor car neither bike, you can find information and buy a tour to Big Buddha at any travel agency in Phuket.

A cafe at the temple

There is a cozy little cafe on the road to the temple where you can watch a wonderful sunset: the sky colors are slowly melting down into the ocean. You can sit on the grass or at the table in the café if available. The food is quite nice and simple: rice, seafood, chicken noodles, drinks.

Sunset view cafe over Karone Beach
Sunset view cafe over Karone Beach. Photo by Andrew

Information for visitors

You can visit the temple for free at any time. The souvenir shops are open from 8:00 till 20:00. But you should dress appropriately if you want to enter Big Buddha, or use a free sarong (something like a shawl) to cover naked parts of your body.

The best pictures you can take at the sunset at around 17:30 or 18:30 depending on the season.

The temple is built on the mountain top on the big site. It is one of the most beautiful and fascinating view places in Phuket. You can see the southern and eastern parts of the island, the Phuket Town view from one side and the Chalong Bay, Karon and Kata beaches view from the other side.

The temple territory is very nice and well-kept: lots of gazebos and wooden benches where you can have a rest after travelling uphill, enjoy the tranquility and feel the special energy of the place. Besides Big Buddha there are a lot of other golden statues. If you meet a monk in the temple, ask him to bless you and to tie a string around your wrist to attract your luck.

After we enjoyed the sunset at Big Buddha we decided to go back to the car. Walking down the hill found another small café offering a wonderful view over the harbor. Night and silence covered the sea, the sky and the coast like they were frozen in time…

Chalong Bay in the moonlight
Chalong Bay in the moonlight. Photo by Andrew