Phuket is one of Thailand’s major islands, and every year, travelers from all over the globe visit this lovely island.
Due to its religion, Phuket has a lot of temples and small and large Buddha statues, in addition to its stunning natural landscape and numerous recreational and tourist facilities. The Big Buddha statue, which is perched atop a massive hill, is one of these sacred and popular locations.
A beautiful white marble statue of Buddha stands atop Nakkerd Hill. The Big Buddha (official name Ming Mongkol Buddha) is one of Phuket’s most respected Buddha sculptures and has gradually become one of the island’s most famous attractions.
The History of Construction of the Big Buddha Statue
Although it is not very ancient, the Big Buddha statue is very valuable and respected by the Thai people. It has drawn the Thai people’s attention since its construction began. This statue’s construction was first suggested several years prior to 2009, but owing to a number of issues, it was postponed. It was ultimately constructed in 2009 at a somewhat high cost. The usage of white marble and gold in various portions of the monument leads to the statue’s exorbitant cost.
In addition to all of this, it is also said that the erection of this statue was one of the means by which young people were inspired to pursue the Buddhism faith. Although Thailand is a Buddhist nation with hundreds of sculptures of varying sizes, the Big Buddha statue stands out because it is situated in a serene and tranquil area where only the wind-generated sounds of little bells and yellow metal sheets can be heard.
The Thais believe that whoever puts his request on these bells and metal sheets and attaches it to the trees will get his/her to wish very soon.
The Architecture and Shape of the Big Buddha Statue
Thais commonly refer to the Big Buddha Temple as Ming Mongkol Buddha. This statue’s massive concrete construction and placement on a polished marble surface enhance its attractiveness in the sunshine and give off an air of serenity.
Next to the Big Buddha statue is a hall filled with photos and replicas of the center’s construction process, as well as funds for tourist financial assistance, as this massive mansion requires a lot of capital to maintain and expand. Through financial support from the public and the government, it is funded.
Different Parts of the Big Buddha Statue, Phuket Stairs
A wide marble and concrete staircase are in front of you to access the big Buddha statue.
From the beginning of entering the Big Buddha area, the signposts guide you to the viewpoint. To reach this part, you have to go through the exhibition and some stairs. You will reach the open area from where you will clearly see the Phuket Buddha statue; that too from the bottom angle. When you go to the observation deck, the Buddha statue will be completely above your head, and this will add to its grandeur.
Buddhist Temple And Exhibition
Under the big Buddha statue, there is a floor below, which is a Buddhist temple. When you enter this section, you will see some Buddhists who are busy with secret and need and also make offerings to their holy statues. Also, on this floor, there is a permanent exhibition where photos, statues, and sculptures of high-status people of the Buddhist religion can be seen. There are also pictures and memorials of important Thai political figures.
In this exhibition, they are trying to familiarize the visitors more with the beliefs and customs of the Thai people and the followers of Buddha.
Besides these items, there are items such as small religious statues, Phuket Big Buddha magnets, candles, incense, etc., for sale.
The Area Around the Big Buddha Statue
Around the big Buddha statue, there is an area of 2500 square meters in which several small statues can be seen. The most famous and largest of them is the golden Buddha sitting on a chariot, similar to a dragon or a giant snake. Each of these statues represents one of the stories and legends of the followers of the Buddhist religion. You should be more familiar with this religion to understand the meaning and story of the small statues because these statues do not have any explanation.
One of the curators of this collection says about this part of the Big Buddha statue:
“Focusing and ignoring bad things is one of the important principles of Buddhism. One should keep the mind good and pure and live happily with decent morals. All the sculptures in this section show the good mood and the bad consequences of bad deeds and things like that, and we have put the Buddha’s thoughts on our board.”
Other interesting points that you will see in this section are the stout trees that have bells attached to them and produce a spiritual sound when the wind blows. Sometimes these bells are connected to other objects. Visitors also sometimes meditate and perform their religious practices in this section.
What to wear in this holy place?
The guests’ attire is one of the most crucial considerations while visiting this center; avoid wearing exposing clothing, short skirts, and t-shirts with inappropriate images. If your attire is inappropriate, you can borrow long clothes at the beginning of entering the temple, which is provided to you for free.
Facilities in the Big Buddha Statue
There are good amenities in this complex, which include:
At the top of Nakard Hill and near the big Buddha statue, there is a small restaurant with cheap Thai food and a great view of the city.
around the big Buddha statue, they have built walking paths, all made of stone and suitable for disabled people.
You must wear appropriate clothes to visit the Buddha statue, and if you don’t have any, you can wear clothes from the collection.
There are small shops around the Big Buddha selling snacks, drinks, and souvenirs. The most popular souvenirs of these shops are small pieces of marble on which enthusiasts write prayers and sayings of Buddha. His wish and prayer will be with this statue forever.
Recreation around the Big Buddha statue of Phuket
Next to the Big Buddha statue, you can enjoy the surrounding scenery and open an account to watch the sunset and take photos. Apart from these cases, the big Buddha statue is considered a favorable place for meditation and spending time free from worry and stress. So if you are into meditation, set aside time for this at the Big Buddha statue.
In addition to all this, many nature tourists and adventurers consider the Big Buddha statue as a destination for hiking and hill climbing. They walk about 6 kilometers from Chalong port and reach the Big Buddha statue of Phuket through winding paths.
On this route, while watching the surrounding virgin nature, you can also see animals such as elephants and monkeys.
How to Get to the Big Buddha Statue
To reach the Big Buddha, you need to go to Chalong area and then enter Chaofa Road. After traversing about 6 km on this road, you will reach the Buddha statue with the help of red and white signs. Unfortunately, there are no metro or bus stations near the Big Buddha statue, so you have to use taxis or tourist tours to get there.
Opening Hours and Entrance Fee to the Big Buddha Statue
You can visit this tourist place every day from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm, but keep in mind that the view of Phuket is unique at sunset. Keep in mind that this center does not have an entrance fee; only if you wish can you contribute financially to the maintenance of this statue with the built-in funds.
Attractions near the Big Buddha statue
- Wat Chaithararam (Wat Chalong): 8.3 km
- Kata beach Phuket: 12.8 km
- Old Phuket Town: 16.9 km
- Central Festival Shopping Center: 16.9 km
- Jui Tui Shrine: 17.3 km
Information about the Big Buddha Statue
- They spent about 100 million baht (about 1 billion and 260 million tomans) to build the big Buddha statue, which is a staggering amount for building a statue. This amount of money was so much for such a work that Thais consider the Great Phuket Statue to be the biggest project done during the last 100 years in all of Thailand. One of the main reasons for the increase in costs in this project is the use of white marble and gold in different parts of the statue.
- It is often mistakenly assumed that Buddha is the name of the founder of Buddhism, but interestingly, there are many Buddhas. In fact, high-ranking and holy people in this religion are given the title of Buddha, and for this reason, each of the Buddha statues we see has its own unique shape and image.
- Because Phuket has a favorable climate and offers enough space for the construction of a sizable park to house the Buddha statue, it was chosen as the location for the project.
- Raising golden flags and using this color in this area of the big Buddha statue shows the high value of the statue in terms of religion and culture.
- If you’re curious, you can ask the people working in this complex of entertainment and religion how to meditate and how to become more tolerant of pain and adversity. Buddhists are very knowledgeable and effective in this area.
- Visiting the statue of the Big Buddha is free, so the officials of its maintenance are in dire need of financial assistance. If you are interested, you can donate to this collection during your visit.
- Until 2008, the name of this statue was very difficult and long until the archbishop gave it the name of the Buddha statue.