Whenever someone mentions Phuket, Thailand, people usually think about tranquil beaches, spectacular views, stunning landscapes, and a warm climate. However, for tourists and travelers that don’t know, the province is also home to over forty Buddhist temples that you may want to visit on your next trip to Thailand.
The word ‘Wat’ is Thai for temple—and you can find these Wats spread across the island, with a number of these structures dating back to as old as a hundred years ago or even more. In fact, you don’t have to be a Buddhist to consider seeing the temples up close because their architectural design is enough to catch you off guard and convince you to have a look around.
You can appreciate the Wats in all their glory and even take the time studying their history to discover what makes living in Phuket worth it and why they’re a unique part of Thai culture. Keep reading below to find out some of the temples you may want to visit on your next trip.
The Big Buddha
Everyone who has ever been to Phuket knows about The Big Buddha because it’s one of the most popular destinations that locals and tourists continue to frequent. The Buddha is made of white Burmese marble and stands forty-five meters tall and twenty-five meters wide.
You can find The Big Buddha above Nakkerd Hills, in the middle of Kata and Chalong. If you’re up for the challenge, you can hike to the very top to see the massive Buddha in all its grandness up close. Other than that, you get a breathtaking view of nearby areas, namely Chalong Bay, Phuket town, and Karon beaches.
Wat Srisoonthorn is also called Wat Lipon by Thai locals, and it’s where you can find the Sleeping Buddha. Although it’s dubbed as a hidden temple, the 29-meter high reclining Buddha says otherwise because you can spot it from a mile away!
The Sleeping Buddha has an interesting background because its position stands for the Lord Buddha in a state of dreaming. He envisions achieving enlightenment, which indicates that the Buddha can perform his duty of serving others.
Wat Phra Thong
You can find Wat Phra Thong close to the District Office of Thalang, which is north of the town of Phuket. The temple showcases a half-buried golden Buddha, which requires viewers to look deeper to truly appreciate its entirety.
According to the temple’s history, locals struggled to lift the golden Buddha off the ground, therefore calling it “untouchable.” A monk on pilgrimage happened to pass by it one day and recommended that the villagers build a temple around the miracle Buddha. In 1909, King Rama VI dropped by the temple to bless the holy image and name it Luang Poh Phra Thong.
Wat Khao Rang
Wat Khao Rang is another famous destination because it is known as the first-ever sitting Golden Buddha resting atop Khao Rang’s hillsides. Its unique history is why most temple hopping tours in Phuket always include Wat Khao Rang in the itinerary.
Besides the Golden Buddha, you can also chance upon the Yommaraj statue, better known as the lord of death. Further along, you will see various intricate carvings on the temple’s roof and doors and images of well-respected monks who used to inhibit the place in the early days.
There are still plenty of Wats to see in Phuket, and the temples listed above are only some of them. If you’re looking forward to a trip to Phuket soon and you’re planning to stay for several days, you should think of getting loft-style villas for rent to ensure a comfortable stay in this beautiful land.
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