The Big Buddha of Phuket is a 45-metre by 25-metre Maravija Buddha statue, located atop Nakkerd Hills near Chalong. Made of concrete and coated with gorgeous Burmese white marble, this large statue is the third tallest statue in Thailand and was declared the “Buddhist Treasure of Phuket” by the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand in 2008. The statue’s official name is “Phra Phutta Ming Mongkol Akenakakiri”, which translated means “the gloriously honourable Buddha on the top of the hill of Naga”. The magnificent Big Buddha can be seen quite a distance away; expect to see a glimpse even from Phuket Town!
To get to the statue, you will need to take a six-kilometre drive up a winding road that is nevertheless, a short journey. Once you arrive and step into the compound, you will notice that the atmosphere here is peaceful and calm, a far cry from the noisy bustle of Phuket’s commercial areas. While the main attraction here is the Big Buddha statue itself, there are actually a number of smaller Buddha statues in the compound too, including a gold one made of tonnes of brass.
While the site is comparatively peaceful, most days the site sees at least hundreds of people, locals and tourists alike, coming there. Locals typically come here to do a number of religious activities, including donating money, giving offerings, and meditating. The crowds are usually at their peak during sunset, and for good reason; the view from the Phuket Big Buddha site is stunning, to say the least. You can expect to hold your breath as you watch the sky change colours over the scenery of Phuket and more prominently, Kata Beach.
Something to remember when visiting the site is that even though it is a tourist attraction, the Big Buddha of Phuket compound is still a place of worship for locals. Dress appropriately when you visit, and definitely do not show up in beachwear or overly skimpy clothing. If by any chance you feel like your clothing is not very appropriate, ask for a sarong at the site centre to cover up.