Located on a hilltop 400 metres above sea level, this statue of the seated Buddha draws visitors from around the world, both to take in the awe-inspiring sight, as well as to commemorate the tragic events of the 2004 tsunami. The immense statue is clad in pure white marble. Combined with some of the best views across Phuket Town, and the white sand beaches of Chalong Bay, Kata and Karon, this is one destination you must not miss.
The construction of this statue was funded entirely by donations from the public after it was conceived as a symbol of hope and renewal following the devastation caused by the 2004 tsunami. In return for a contribution, you can have a message inscribed on one of the marble slabs to be added to the exterior of the statue, usually consisting of your name and those of your loved ones. This is believed to bring very good luck.
Worship and contemplation are central to this site. As you approach, you will see a large bell hanging below the statue. Beyond that, there is a small temple housing a photographic exhibition documenting the construction of the statue through the years. Here you can purchase souvenirs or make a donation, should you wish. Small bells hang above the steps leading up to the Buddha, and the sound of their chimes, along with the traditional dharma music, creates a unique atmosphere.
A second statue of Buddha, this one in brass, is located behind the main statue. At 12 metres high, it is less imposing, but still an inspiring sight. Whilst the Big Buddha is dedicated to the King of Thailand, this second statue is dedicated to the Queen.
The Big Buddha is almost 6 kilometres from the main road that runs from Phuket Town. If you have the energy, follow the trail on foot through the lush rainforest. Taxis and tuk-tuks are an alternative means of transport. Whilst quieter in the morning, it is worth braving the crowds later in the day for the chance to see the spectacular sunset. Round off you visit with a delicious seafood meal at the Nakkerd Sea View Restaurant.