THAILAND is renowned worldwide for its beautiful temples, a testament of the Buddhist religion and the devotion of its people through centuries. Phuket also has its fair share of temples and religious monuments to visit (29 to be exact), so I thought I’ll share with you some of the places you shouldn’t miss during your next visit.
Probably the most famous temple on the island, Wat Chalong is located on Chao Fa West Road and can be easily accessed by car or using one of the Song Taews (local bus) that stop there. The main pagoda contains part of a bone of Lord Buddha as well as several paintings depicting His story. You can also visit the air-conditioned exhibition of Luang Pho Chaem and Luang Pho Chuang, two former abbots who led the inhabitants of Chalong fighting the Chinese rebellion in the 19th century and who treated many injured citizens with their knowledge of herbal medicine.
Located nearby Chalong Temple, on top of the hill separating Chalong from Kata, this impressive monument stands at 45 meters tall, approximately twice the size of Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro. A visit at the highest point of the monument will offer you unobstructed views all over the island. There is also a small museum explaining the challenges of the construction throughout the ages. An interesting fact is that the entire process was funded by donations, which makes the revered structure even more impressive.
Wat Putta Mongkon
It is located in the heart of Phuket Town and can be accessed from Dibuk Road. The Sino-Portuguese architecture used throughout the old town can also be seen within the temple itself, which makes it rather unique. A lot of young Thai men choose this temple to be ordained as monks for a few weeks, a traditional ritual in the life of Thai people.
Wat Phra Thong
This temple can be found way up north of the island, in an area called Thalang. One of the island’s oldest temples, it is famous for its half-buried Buddha statue. The legend says that whoever touches the statue will be cursed, hence making it impossible to reveal the whole of His body. There is also a small museum on site, with plenty of objects dating from the mining era that made Phuket a strong economic center in the Kingdom.
By Nattha Thepbamrung