Aside from the beaches and seafood, Phuket is also known for its vibrant and diverse culture that accumulates to make into a unique place. The temples are the place where the local communities come together. This makes them the pride and joy of the people from those areas.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Phuket culture and history, here are five historically significant temples that you must visit:
Wat Chaitharam or locally known as Wat Chalong is the most well-known temple in Phuket, as it’s one of the oldest temples on the island. While it may not be as flashy and touristy and the Big Buddha temple, it has remained the heart and soul of the local Phuket people for hundreds of years. This is the site where the holy Buddhist relic called Phra Borom Saree Rikkatat or the bone fragments of Buddha is kept. The temple is located about 10 km out of Phuket Town. Therefore, it’s best that you come here by car, as it only opens from 7 am to 5 pm.
2.Wat Khao Nakkerd
Wat Khao Nakkerd is the landmark of Phuket. Ironically, the real name of the temple is not commonly known, as most people call this place the Big Buddha Temple. The massive white Buddha statue sits right on top of Nakkerd Hill and it can be seen all the way from Phuket town. The statue is 45 meters tall, decorated with pure white marble from Myanmar. The base of the statue also makes for a great viewpoint. This is where you can see almost all of the Phuket island, from Kata Bay to Promthep Cape. The temple is open from 8 am to 7 pm and it’s located just a short twenty minutes ride from Phuket City.
Kathu Temple was designed to be a place of rest and relaxation since the majority of the surrounding area is structured to be similar to a botanical garden. There are many small walk paths around the temple where you can find some respite from the hectic lifestyle in Phuket. Kathu temple also hosts a fresh market every dusk, making it the heart of the local community.
4.Wat Phra Thong
Wat Phra Thong means “golden Buddha temple” in Thai. Therefore, it’s not hard to guess what the landmark of this temple is. In the main monastery, there’s a gold statue of Buddha’s head located in the middle of it. The people in Phuket believe that this golden statue is one of the holiest objects on the island and they come to pray to it for good fortune. You can get here from Phuket City by getting on a shuttle bus that will drop you off right at the gate of the temple. The temple is open for visitors daily from 8 am to 5 pm.
5.Wat Koh Sirey
Koh Sirey is an island located off the southeastern shore of Phuket. The small landmass is home to a community of fishermen that have lived there for many generations and Wat Koh Sirey is the heart and soul of the entire community. The temple makes for a fantastic view as it is situated at the top of the hill. You can see everything from the southern Andaman sea all the way back to Phuket City. You can get to the temple from the main pier of Sirey island by car or motorcycle.
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