Make that “places to visit” list today and add Phuket to it.
I don’t know if you feel it too but when you are heading to vacation even morning flights are a delight. So was mine when I travelled to this quick and unplanned getaway, Phuket, Thailand. It is so scenic, you get down from the plane and there: Paradise.
Let me go out on a limb here and just say that Phuket is one of the most beautiful islands I have been to. It is gorgeous, clean and the people in this city are so warm. I stayed at the Kalima Resort and immediately made a friend, Molly. Molly was the sweetest kid I have met in a long long time. She was interning with the resort and she took out time from her shift to take me around. She took me shopping, we ate off the local food trucks, she even told me where all the good bars are (If you know what I mean). What a delight, this girl. Kind, sweet and so pretty. You know when you experience such kindness from strangers, you learn to value the power of it. I had such an amazing time on day one itself and I had an entire week to explore this place.
But for starters, I went to The Big Buddha in Phuket. I was told by many locals that this place is the most beautiful at the time of the sunset. So I took a cab from my resort and left to experience this gorgeous sunset everyone was talking about. It took me about 30 minutes to reach as we took the scenic route and then a bit of the city tour to just know the here and there. What a nicely planned city, I must say. And very clean for a tourist place.
When I reached this magnificent compound, I was speechless. Located 540 metres above the group on top of a hill was this marvellous and gigantic 45 metres tall statue of Buddha. It is a sight your eyes will not forget in a lifetime. No matter how many places you visit. It was so many people and yet the entire lofty site was peaceful. So peaceful you could hear your own thoughts and breathe the clean, fresh air with a 360-degree view of the entire island. The only sounds you will hear are of the bells and the hymn.
The Big Buddha is one of the must-visit places in Phuket and one of the best hiking spots. You will find very cute little elephant babies on your way up the hill which is just an added bonus.
About The Big Buddha (Open from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm)
Built-in the year 2004 the Phra Puttamingmongkol Akenakkiri Buddha (as known to the Thai) is a whole body of concrete, layered with strikingly beautiful Burmese white jade marble that literally shines in the sun. The statue will leave you awestruck. This also happens to one of the most auspicious and religious places for the Thais and hence there is a temple right under the statue. There you will find different brass statues of Buddha for different days signifying some meaning.
The place also has big bells everywhere and benches that have brass leaves hanging on them where people can write their wishes and prayers for God. Since it is a religious compound, you must dress appropriately to respect the tradition ergo beachwear is a no-no.
The place is relatively easily reachable via a winding 6-km road leading from Phuket’s main artery route.
So if you are planning to visit Phuket make sure you have The Big Buddha in your itinerary. Oh and make sure you have at least an hour to spent before and after the sun sets.