A Must Visit: Big Buddha in Phuket, Thailand
Phuket is the perfect paradise for exotic vacation and entertainment seekers. The beaches, the clubs and pubs, sex tourism and all that. Nevertheless, this is where you can escape the hustle-bustle of nightlife and engage yourself more with the local culture. Big Buddha site is definitely the landmark of Phuket you must visit. Not only that it is far from the crowd, but you can also get the spiritual experience you won’t find in the city.
A Brilliant Idea
The idea to create a big buddha statue actually came from a group of visitors exploring a hill. One of them thought that this area would make an awesome viewpoint, just like other famous viewpoints in Phuket. Then the idea developed into a huge plan to build something significant and not only just a viewpoint. Since the majority are Buddhist, they then planned to build a statue of Buddha.
Purely came from donations, they collected around 30 Million Baht for the construction funds. The construction began in 2004 after these people collected permit to go beyond the height limit of the building. They also needed a permit from the royal family of Thai.
Location of Big Buddha in Phuket
The Big Buddha statue was built in a Nakkerd Hill, close by the Chalong Bay. The site itself is pretty easy to find. There are a lot of signs which direct you to the site. If you want to access it through Google Maps, click here. Unfortunately, the site is like an hour and a half car drive from the Phuket International Airport.
Other alternatives are by renting a motorcycle. Walking will not be suitable for elders since the path going up is pretty difficult. Before reaching the top of the hill, you might be hiking the path surrounded by a forest. There is a bus stop nearby Chalong Bay to if you want to take public transportation. Otherwise, Join a travel agent or rent a driver.
Big Buddha Statue
Often called the Big Buddha, this statue actually has an official name in Thai. It is Phra Phutta Ming Mongkol Akenakiri which to be honest I don’t know how to pronounce either. This is the third biggest Buddha statue in Thailand. But the meaning of it is an honorable statue on top of a mountain. The statue portrayed the sacred Gautama in the sitting position.
The statue stands 43 meters (148 feet) tall that you can see it until the southern part of the island. The clean polished white statue is due to the usage of Burmese white marble. The materials also often used to carve other Buddha statues in smaller sizes.
Ther is no entrance fee for visitors but you can donate a piece of white marble to the statue for 300 ($10 USD) to 1000 ($33 USD) baht depending on the size. Keep in mind that you must wear something appropriate to visit this site. Do not wear revealing clothes or even bikinis to this site. After all, enjoy the breathtaking view from the top and learn the local culture of Thai in Big Buddha Site!
Read more: The most important Buddhist Temple in Phuket