Jamie's Phuket Blog

Doi Thepnimit Temple above Patong Beach

I noticed a few photos appearing of a new temple under construction earlier this year on the hillside above Patong Beach and had also seen the access road to this new temple being built next to the Chinese Shrine on top of Patong Hill. I followed that road many years ago when it was a small track, looking for views over Kathu or Patong. I'd not heard any official announcements about the opening of this new temple, but I did see some signs up and lots of cars around the entrance to the access road last year, so on a sunny Sunday last weekend it was time to have a look ...

Doi Thepnimit temple is not actually a "Wat" (so it's not called Wat Doi Thepnimit). The Wat (วัด) is a larger temple that has state or royal endorsement. The Doi Thepnimit temple is a "Samnak Song" (สำนักสงฆ์) which is more like a monastery or meditation center. These places may not have all features of a larger Wat. Doi Thepnimit has really just one large Chedi with a great view and on a lower level are buildings that look like accommodation and dining areas for Monks or people coming to study or meditate.

The road to reach Doi Thepnimit temple starts right next to the shrine on top of Patong Hill, between Patong and Phuket Town .. the shrine where some people beep for good luck (style of beeping and number of beeps is up to you .. I have a habit of 4 short beeps heading towards Patong and 2 short beeps heading home. Easier to turn left into this small side road if coming from Kathu (towards Patong) otherwise you'll be turning right across the traffic. The road is concrete and very steep in places - the temple is about 100 meters / 330 feet higher than the road. It's about 1km along this road and there are some views on the way looking through the trees across the hills and the Kathu area. Just before the temple there's a right turn next to a golden Buddha statue and you drop down a little to reach the temple. There you get the best view ...

Doi Thepnimit Temple

For added Wow factor ... click here for a full screen view on Flickr (opens in a new window).

Quite impressive! And it was very quiet. Just a few visitors when I arrived. Took a few photos from above and then drove down to park under a tree outside the temple.

The one temple building is a large Chedi .. not as huge as the Chedi at Chalong temple, but impressive and very bright and colourful as it's so new! The entrance (below) is guarded by 2 Yaks (mythical giants, often seen at temples) and also by 2 Naga (7 headed mythical snakes) - Buddhist stories tell of the king of the Naga sheltering Buddha from a storm by covering him with his 7 heads, so you see the Naga in pretty much all Buddhist temples too.

Doi Thepnimit Temple

Doi Thepnimit Temple

The 2 Naga at this temple are very large! The heads are at the front of the temple and the bodies undulate around both sides of the Chedi and meet at the back where their tails entwine. I guess the 2 snakes are each about 40 meters long. It's an impressive piece of artwork.

Doi Thepnimit Temple

If you want to step inside, shoes off please. I had a quick look inside the Chedi ... There were 2 people in silent prayer just inside so I switched my phone to silent mode before snapping a photo ...

Doi Thepnimit Temple

Outside I made a little friend :)

Doi Thepnimit Temple

Very glad to have made the effort to visit. It's been a while since I blogged about a temple in Phuket .. when I first started this blog in 2006 I wanted to blog them all .. not quite there yet, but you can find more than 30 temples on this blog! Below - I found this video on Youtube showing a ceremony during construction of this temple last year ...

Doi Thepnimit Temple - Location Map

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