Phuket Big Buddha
In 2004 a group of friends were walking through the forest in the Nakkerd Hills between Chalong and Kata when they stumbled upon a place with stunning vistas of both sides of the island – Chalong Bay lay in one direction while on the other they looked down over Kata and the Andaman Sea. It would, they thought, make a perfect place for a viewpoint – something that could become as well known as Phuket’s favourite sunset viewpoint, at Laem Phromthep.
As time went on, and as the friends discussed it again and again, the idea evolved. The place in the hills, they soon agreed, would be perfect not just as a viewpoint, but as the site for something much more ambitious and, to Buddhists at least, much more significant: a giant image of the Lord Buddha.
The project had its hiccups, not least of which was battling through a mountain of red tape required to get permits to build in virgin forest at a height above the usual building limit.
Funds for the massive structure came and still come entirely from donations. “This project is huge and requires a lot of money. But so far we are managing just fine. I’m amazed at the amount of help we have received from everyone who knows about this project. It seems they all want to be a part of it,” explained Suporn Wanichkul, president of the Mingmongkol Faith 45 foundation, which was formed to build the Giant Buddha.
There are, in fact, two Buddha images. A smaller one, 12 metres high, is made of 22 tons of brass and cost eight million baht.
It is dwarfed by the giant Buddha image facing eastward toward Chalong Bay and Phang Nga Bay beyond. The Phra Puttamingmongkol Akenakkiri Buddha – to give it its official name – is 45 metres high and 25 metres across at the base.
It cost about 30 million baht to complete the giant image. Khun Suporn says “The money has come from everywhere, from locals, from Thais in other provinces and from foreign tourists. With our website and the help we have had from the press, we have even received donations from overseas.”
The Big Buddha of Phuket is easily visible from Mangosteen Resort & Ayurveda Spa. Resort guests may book a taxi at the reception and combine a visit to the Big Buddha with a Chalong Temple tour.
This is Phuket’s most important Buddhist temple. The temple is revered among Thais for its healing powers. The prayer hall contains the statues of three of the temples most venerated monks: Luang Por Chaem, Luang Por Chuang and Luang Por Gluam. However, it is Luang Por Chaem who is best known and who has given Wat Chalong its fame as a place of healing.
In 1876, during the reign of King Rama V, there was a rebellion by the Chinese tin miners, or “Angyee”. Luang Por Chaem (Lord Abbott Chaem), the abbott of the monastery at the time, helped to stop the rebellion and acted as a mediator in the peace. The abbott was also a herbal doctor and setter of bones, and his skills were called upon to heal those wounded during the fighting.
When visiting the temple people usually go to pay respect to the statues of the venerable monks, make offerings and ask for their blessing.
Chalong temple is just 10 minutes away from Mangosteen Resort & Ayurveda Spa. From Chalong Circle, take direction Wat Chalong. You will see the entrance after 6 km on the right side.
Phuket Big Buddha & Chalong Temple
The two most iconic Phuket attractions, the famous Big Buddha and the largest Buddhist temple “Wat Chalong” are both very close to the Mangosteen Resort and can be visited in a half day excursion. The Phuket Big Buddha can even be seen from the resort’s reception and with breathtaking panoramic views, is certainly worth a visit.
Phuket Town has a rich heritage, based on times when tin was a valuable metal. Sino-colonial mansions, Buddhist and Chinese Temples, ornate and beautifully preserved shophouses and nowadays a newly developing nightlife scene in freshly renovated pubs and cafes, often with live music at night.
Phuket View Points
All major Phuket viewpoints are located in Phuket’s South, the popular Sunset Viewpoint at “Promthep Cape”, the “Windmill Viewpoint” next to Nai Harn Beach, the Kata viewpoint overlooking 3 of Phuket’s beaches, the Phuket Big Buddha and in Phuket Town, the Rang Hill Viewpoint.
A short ride with our free beach shuttle will get you to Nai Harn Beach, located in a National Park. With its crystal clear water and beautiful surrounding hills and view to Phromthep Cape, the beach remains on of Phuket’s best beaches. Free from engine noise and less commercial than other beaches, watch the Paragliders sailing down from the nearby hills.
Rawai & Chalong Bay
Stroll along the many seafood restaurants on Rawai Beach, mingle with local expats at the many bars in the area and simply enjoy the laid back atmosphere of Rawai, the former fishing village at the South end of Phuket Island. Visit Chalong pier the main starting point for many dive and snorkel excursions.
South Coast Experience
The Mangosteen Resort & Ayurveda Spa is founding member of the Rawai Nai-Harn business association. The member businesses organize local events like the “Rawai Nai-Harn Health & Fitness Festival” and offer benefits to member card holders.