If you want to explore the best Phuket temples, the island is home to so many. Take a day out to discover the island’s temples and religion.
Over 90% of the population are Buddhists. Which means this peaceful religion pretty much permeates every part of life in the Kingdom. Phuket inhabitants in general share the same Buddhist views as their national counterparts. But they are also influenced by Chinese culture, which you can see in places such as Phuket town. However, if you want to explore the most stunning and sacred Phuket temples, here is a comprehensive guide that will help you greatly in your pursuit of Eternal Nirvana.
Chalong Temple in Phuket
There are 29 temples (known as Wats) on the island of Phuket. And it’s said that Chalong Temple is one of the most sacred. The temple has a few chapels and prayer rooms on the achingly beautiful grounds. It’s located in the Grand Pagoda which holds Chalong Temple’s defining features – a splinter of bone from the Lord Buddha himself.
The fragment of bone’s official name is Phramahathatchedi Jomthaibarameepragat, which is quite a mouthful. As you can imagine, the Grand Pagoda is one of the most-visited parts of the temple. It draws Buddhists from all over the world, just to catch a glimpse of it.
– Phuket Temples at Chalong
It is a life-changing experience visiting Chalong Temple. The wonderfully decorated buildings house life-size wax models of monks such as Luang Poh Cham and Luang Poh Gleum. This exhibition is air-conditioned, and it is a welcome breeze compared to the blistering heat outside. The cool air gives a feeling of eeriness but also intrigue into seeing these models of the great monks. It’s the calmness and the comforting feeling you receive when you walk around the temple. Chat with the monks or just browse the amazing architecture that makes the temple so memorable.
Many Buddhists visit the temple to pray for their ailments or illnesses to go away. The calmness is interrupted when hundreds of firecrackers are set alight in large ovens. This magnifies the sound when the devout Buddhist returns to the temple without the illness. It is a way of showing gratitude for their prayers being answered and for the neutral visitor it is a fantastic display. This practice of using firecrackers is unique to Phuket temples and is rarely displayed throughout the rest of Thailand.
Chalong Temple is about as close as you can get to the Buddhist way of life. And it’s just that little bit more intriguing having a piece of bone from the Lord Buddha situated onsite.
Put Jaw Chinese Temple at Phuket Town – Phuket Temples
Put Jaw is located around the corner from Soi Phuthon and Thanon Ranong near to Ranong bus terminal in Phuket Town. The 200-year-old temple of Put Jaw is simply historical. Being the oldest Chinese Taoist temple in the whole of Phuket, it also stands as being one of the most spectacular. This mesmerizing Phuket temple was built and dedicated to the Kwum Im, the Goddess of Mercy.
The temple showcases the deft, intricate detailing of Buddhist temples. With gold leaf aplenty, Chinese lanterns, and brightly colored wall-banners with ancient dragon motifs. The surroundings give you an out-of-this-world experience. And the undisturbed serenity and tranquil feeling that exudes from the resident monks are truly enlightening.
Jui Tui, which is a large annex to the temple, is sat adjacent. Again, the building is a fantastic display of workmanship, although it was built a full century after Put Jaw. It’s visually sensational. Dedicated to Kiu Wong In, the Vegetarian God, it stands as the birthplace of the October Vegetarian Festival where devout Buddhists observe a 9-day ritual for good fortune to be bestowed upon them. Devotees or ‘Ma Song’, perform a series of merit-making tasks, such as a 10-day vegan diet. There is fire-walking over hot coals, and climbing up blade-rung ladders to be spiritually cleansed by Chinese Gods.
Jui Tui also offers visitors the chance to go through the ‘door of relief’ – beyond which is the altar. For those who have a quizzical question requiring a yes or no answer, they throw two mango-shaped wooden pieces into the air, and if they both land the same side up, the answer is ‘no’. If they land on different sides, the answer is ‘yes’. It is all too common to find yourself subliminally attracted to the peace and sheer beauty of it all.
Kata Buddhist Temple
For many, visiting or holidaying in Kata is one of the most perfect places to stay. There is a beautiful beach, crystal-clear waters, and cartoon-like limestone rocks. Don’t forget the exotic nightlife and that family-friendly holiday atmosphere. Wat Kittisangkaram in Kata is one of the most famous Phuket temples. It stands alone as a fantastic attraction in its own right.
As soon as you see the entrance, you’re aware of the beauty and splendor which is beyond the white painted walls. The Chinese influence surrounding the Buddhist temples on Phuket Island is plain to see. The blood reds and golden colors sparkle from the sun’s rays. The exquisite architecture of the pointed archways and the shining mosaics. They adorn the side of the temple’s structure, combining it to create a truly unforgettable setting.
– Kata Temple Flair
Phuket is laden with temples, but Kata temple hits home as having an ultra-calm, serene and tranquil atmosphere. The ordained monks tend to the lush gardens or sit on the floor of the prayer rooms. All of the monks are dressed in bright orange robes, have shaved heads, and always have a smile and a glint in their eye. They lodge at the temple to reach enlightenment, and their friendliness certainly gives that impression.
Meandering around the tropical garden paths, you get to see the real intricacies and delicate features that Thai temples have. From the powerful and beastly statues guarding the doorways of the renovated temple buildings to the on-site school for children, this temple is a sneak glimpse into the everyday lives of Thai life and culture.
Being in Kata, the temple is located on an elevated section of land, high up overlooking the incredible Andaman Sea. At the highest point of the temple’s grounds is a prayer room with a large Buddha statue surrounded by candles and vases that sit astride pristine golden pedestals. Whatever your faith is, visiting the Kata temple is a truly memorable experience, one which is almost indescribable to your friends.
Karon Temple – Phuket Temples
Being just a 5-minute walk from the expansive Karon Beach on Phuket Island, Karon Temple, or Wat Suwan Khiri Khet as it is locally known is squeezed amongst the vivacious bars and restaurants that line the fun-filled Patak Road and is revered as one of the most impressive Phuket temples.
With 97% of Thailand being Buddhist, temples such as Karon’s are dotted around every area, each having their unique features and every single one worth a visit. Wat Suwan Khiri Khet’s defining features are the pair of enormous stone-built serpent-like creatures that line the walls of the entire perimeter of the temple. These brightly colored turquoise and gold ‘snakes’ are said to protect the temple from evil spirits. Beyond the walls, it is instantly noticeable the lack of noise, calmness, and serenity which is apparent – maybe those serpents work!
– The Main Temple
The main temple building has intricately crafted carvings of the Lord Buddha. Further, into the temple’s surroundings, monks in stark orange robes can be seen tending to the delightfully manicured gardens and brightly colored flowers. Another building on the grounds has bizarre blue ‘Yaks’ standing at the doorway. Within ancient Buddhist scriptures, the Yaks warn off evil spirits and keep the images and statues of Buddha safe.
Tourists are always wowed by the beauty of Karon Temple, but the most intriguing fact is seeing similar statues and images of a Hindu nature. The two religions are closely related, and it is no surprise to see Kali statues or images of cows dotted around.
For most, Karon Temple offers a brief oasis from the lively tourist area, especially Patak Road. When the sun’s rays are overpowering, or you need a break from the hectic entertainment areas of Karon, head for the temple and find a peaceful spot to absorb the tranquility and wonderment which Phuket temples always provide.
When you are exploring the island, and want to find its most famous Phuket temples, this guide can help you to cut through everything and get right to the heart of the action. Just make sure you wear respectable clothing such as long trousers and don’t have much cleavage showing.
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