One of the must see Phuket attractions is the Big Buddha of Phuket. Sitting on a mountain top nestled between Chalong Bay and Kata Beach, it is truly a magnificent sight. Although it is still under construction at this time, it is already a prominent feature that can be seen from almost anywhere on the southern part of the island. When the Big Buddha Project is finally completed there will be two separate images of the Buddha.
The first image of the Buddha has been completed for some time now. It is a 22 tons of brass that stands at 12 meters high and cost 8 million baht to create. This Buddha is dedicated to HM Queen Sirikit.
The second image is a 45 meter high, 25 meter wide giant Buddha that is the prominent sight to see. Once completed, it will be completely covered in 135 tons of Burmese white marble. The statue is estimated to cost around 30 million baht once complete. The official name of the Big Buddha of Phuket is Phra Puttamingmongkol Akenakkiri Buddha and will be the largest Buddha image in all of Thailand. It is dedicated to HM King Bhumibol in celebration of his 80th birthday.
The cost of construction for the entire monument is estimated to cost 150 million baht. All money toward the construction of the monument has come from charitable donations from around the world. The Big Buddha of Phuket is expected to be finished some time in 2010.
The entire site sits on 49 rai (around 7.8 hectares) and is surrounded by tropical rain forest. The entire site sits upon one of the highest points on the Island. Hundreds of tourists flock to the site every day to bear witness to the magnificent views of Chalong Bay, Phuket Town and Kata Beach.
Visitors to Phuket can access the Big Buddha through Chalong Bay. There are large signs pointing the way up the long jungle road to the top of the mountain. There is no fee to visit the Big Buddha of Phuket, although donations are encouraged and gladly accepted. To show respect to the religion, women must wear pants or long skirts that cover below the knees.