Nakkerd Viewpoint

A dose of culture with stunning views

Photo of , , Ao Chalong

What we say: 3.5 stars

The 45-metre-tall Big Buddha sits on the highest peak of the Nakkerd Hills in Ao Chalong, making this not only a great cultural activity but also a breezy break from the heat with stunning 360-degree views of southern Phuket.

Construction began in the early 2000s and the sight has quickly become one of Phuket's most popular attractions, drawing some 1,500 visitors per day. The crowds can be avoided in the early mornings, although a sunset visit is always spectacular.

The statue itself, which is officially known as Phra Putthamingmongkolekanagagiri, is encased in 135 tons of Burmese white marble and the Buddha is seated in the "subduing Mara" pose depicting the moment of his enlightenment. Further construction at the site is ongoing -- a meditation hall, large concrete staircase, car park and other additions to the statue's base were being added in mid-2012. If wanting to follow the Thai custom of making merit, offer 100 baht for a marble slab with your name on it. Though the statue itself is awe-inspiring, it's perhaps overshadowed by the sweeping views. From the top, you can see almost all of southern Phuket and far out over the open sea.

A handful of vendors sell the usual souvenirs (including no shortage of Thai Buddhist amulets), finger foods and drinks near the statue, and several restaurants are found along the access road.

Nakkerd Restaurant is a good place to enjoy an ice cold beer, Thai food and similarly fantastic views. A half-day cultural tour could also include nearby Wat Chalong and possibly the lesser-known Wat Luang Supha, which is home to a highly revered 116-year-old monk.


More details
Opening Hours: Daily from dawn to dusk
How to get there: The Big Buddha is reached by turning west onto Soi Jaofa 51 off Chaofa West Road, about 1.5 kilometres north of Chalong Circle. Follow the signs to the top of the hill. A long staircase leads to the top but there is no ramp for strollers or wheelchairs. This is a religious site, so please dress and act respectfully.
Last updated: 29th May, 2013

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