Big Buddha is 45 meters high and is the largest Buddha in Thailand. The construction started in 2004, and is built mainly on the back of kind donations from the public. There are several ways people can donate. The statue itself is covered in Burmese marble; you can purchase a small piece of marble and write a small message on which will then become part of Big Buddha itself.

Big Buddha
Big Buddha

Big Buddha is affectionately named so, but it has had a couple of other names in the past. Formerly it was called Pra Buddhamingmongkol Ake-Nakkiri and now its official name is Mingmongkol Buddha. I think we shall stick to the easier option and carry on calling it Big Buddha.

It is officially the largest white marbled Buddha anywhere in the world and has become a massive tourist attraction, not just for the foreign visitor, but also for Thais themselves. They come from all over the country to see the monuments here.

Big Buddha was constructed in honour of the King of Thailand, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 80th birthday celebrations.

Sat next to Big Buddha is little Buddha, hardly little really, it is a 12 meter tall statue made of 22 tons of brass. Which is in honour of the Queen Sirikit of Thailand, there are also many other statues, images, sculptures and bells of worship.

Sometimes people can forget that Big Buddha is not only a tourist attraction it is firstly and more importantly, a Buddhist temple and place of worship. There are rules to obey when going inside any Temple in Thailand and here there is no exception.

Before entering the temple area, women must be sure to have their legs covered up. If not, there is a small stall where sarongs can be borrowed. Also please look out for areas where shoes must be removed, look out for other people removing their shoes. If unsure, air on the side of caution and do as the locals do.

Disrespecting Buddha can lead to all kinds of problems, though the Thais are very understanding and tolerant. In the main covered area there is usually a monk giving blessings out, this is not just for Thais people, but also, foreigners can be blessed here too.

A quick removal of shoes and dropping down and shuffling on the knees is required. Lowering the body posture to that of a lower position than that of the Monk shows great respect.

Big Buddha
Big Buddha

Big Buddha is not yet completed, so work carries on year round. It is a massive project with funds coming from all around the world, all donations are gratefully accepted and in any legal currency.

It is possible to purchase a piece of marble and write a small message of good will with your family name on it and it will be used in the construction, and will forever be part of this historic monument.

There is also a Buddhist garden being constructed, with ornaments and flower features. There will be also grassy areas, plants, shrubs for all to enjoy. The area is being designed for peace, tranquility and for the total relaxation and for everyone to use and enjoy.

AT the very peak of the site, it is possible, on a clear day to see Phi Phi Island in the distant. Closer to home, the beaches of Karon and Kata are visible, also in the distance, the hills of Nai Harn are evident. There is also a fantastic view of Chalong Marina and Phuket Town and its deep water ports.

Visiting Big Buddha is possible anytime throughout the day though an early morning or a sunset visit is recommended too. The views are breath-taking. From the moment you start the trip upwards to the summit till the moment you are back down with your feet on the ground, it is a real adventure and remember do not forget your camera.

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