The Phuket Big Buddha - Latest Photos
The Big Buddha, sitting on top of a 400 meter high hill, is now well established as a stop off for many tourists. We have been up this hill countless times, and still enjoy going up for the views, the fresh air and to check on the progress of the building. I have blogged about the Big Buddha several times before in 2006, 2007, 2009 and this year I did a hike to the Big Buddha! We first went up that hill on a dirt road in 2001, when construction had not yet begun, but ground was being prepared. 9 years later, still not finished, partly because the plans have become more extensive, with a large landscaped area being built around the main statue, and lots of car parking space being added.
The Big Buddha is 45 meters high, but sits up on a raised platform that will be surrounded by marbled lotus leaves. The main statue is complete, just there is a large amount of work going on around it. When will it all be finished? Unknown. The photos on this page are all from September and October 2010. There are more on my Flickr page. I am sure we'll take another trip up there soon! I'd like to do the hike again in the dry season, and sometimes we like to go and eat at a small restaurant near the top which looks out over the sea and Karon Beach.
(above) The main Buddha statue is complete.. sort of. The photo below is the back of the Buddha, where I believe the plan is for some kind of Buddhist museum inside the statue. Work continues bit by bit ...
A wide angle view shows the Big Buddha with lots of work going on around the base...
The views will never get old. Below - looking south to Phromthep Cape, you can see various islands like Racha Yai, Koh He and Koh Lon. From different points on top of the hill you have views all around looking towards Phuket Town or Karon Beach or Chalong Bay. One of my yet-to-be-accomplished plans is to watch the sun rise from the Big Buddha. This will require a superhuman feat of waking up really early. Best time of year to try - end of January, when sunrise time is about 6:45am.
The Big Buddha is getting more commercial - OK, there is no entry fee or parking fee (yet) but there are a lot of opportunities to buy Buddha related souvenirs and there must be about 30 different donation boxes. We always donate something, and we have in the past paid to write our names on bricks and marble that are to be used in the construction, so our names will always be part of the Big Buddha. Here's our daughter putting coins into bowls ...
There is a large gong at the top close to the Big Buddha statue. This can be hit with a wooden mallet, or rubbed with bare hands until the gong starts to sing. Making it sing is not easy. I have tried several times! We watched other people trying. And then guess who did it? Our 5 year old boy, no problem, rub rub rub and the gong started to sing. Oh yeh, he thought he was so clever!
The Phuket Big Buddha is easy to get to, you can go by car or moped up the hill which starts close to Chalong circle, or a tuk tuk will take you up, they charge about 800 Baht return trip from Karon Beach. A bit more from Patong. Or you can hike up :) We will no doubt be up there again in the next few months, see how things are progressing. And I ought to do the hike again, before I merge completely with my office chair.
UPDATE - Some newer photos taken in 2013 here.
The Phuket Big Buddha - Location Map
View The Big Buddha of Phuket in a larger map