The Big Buddha has been a work in progress since we have lived here, and that’s over 10 years. In those days, a dirt track cut into the side of the mountain, which you could just about manage to ride on, led up to the panoramic views at the top. Now it’s been replaced by a steep concrete road, however the views are just as spectacular and the impressive statue at the summit is stunning to see up close.
You can see the Buddha from most places in the south of the island as it sits on the highest point in Phuket and is an astounding 45 metres tall itself. Join a Phuket cruise and you’ll be able to see the Buddha rising above the mountains. This is a favourite spot for watching the sun rise and set and the road is quite busy at these times with runners, joggers, walkers and cyclists.
It’s much busier now than it used to be as the Buddha nears completion and there are quite a few restaurants on the way up with excellent views. Once you reach the top there’s a car park and some drink stalls. Make sure you wear something decent as this is a spiritual place, if you do forget then there is a small kiosk at the entrance that loans out scarves and sarongs.
Donations & Merit-Making
To access the stairs up to the Buddha itself you pass through the meditation hall. As the Phuket Big Buddha has been built on donations there are lots of boxes where you can give something towards its construction. For Thai Buddhists, this is a way to make merit. There’s also various items you can buy that also go towards the building costs.
Look out for the miniature marble tiles and brass prayer bells on which you can write your name and the date or a special message. They end up being added into the construction so you are always a part of this creative attraction.
There are stalls selling an interesting array of amulets, and photos showing you the progress that has been made since the project was started so many years ago.
The project is on-going with no completion date in sight. Currently, they are working on a new wider staircase that will lead right up to the Buddha. For now, it’s still a steep climb up a narrow set of steps until you reach the top.
Best Views in Phuket
The views from the top of the mountain are the best on the island. From different viewpoints you can see Chalong Bay and all the way to Phuket Town. If the weather is fine, then you might see Phang Nga Bay in the distance. There’s stunning views of Kata Bay and Kata Noi Bay and Promthep Cape, and Rawai can even be glimpsed.
Over a thousand visitors a day means that it can get busy on the mountain, as everyone wants to see this beautiful marble statue and stare in awe at the panoramic views. It’s well worth the trip as the feeling you experience once at the top is quite magical. The sheer height and the beautiful sounds of the bells tinkling in the wind make it a spiritual place, and one not to be missed on any visit to the island.
MV Phuket Champagne is a traditional fishing boat that we have renovated and restored to its natural beauty. Come sailing for the day and see the Big Buddha from a distance to really appreciate its immense size.