Last Updated: November 26, 2021

Famous Temples In Phuket (More Than Just Parties)

Phuket is known for many things, but its many Buddhist temples remain some of the most popular attractions on the island. This guide features all the most famous temples in Phuket, from the ancient Wat Phra Nang Sang to the iconic Big Buddha.

I’ve included Thai temples from all over the island, so you have a lot of exploring to do if you want to see all the famous temples in Phuket. Most of them are situated in and around the area of Phuket Town, so you don’t have to venture too far out of the city to explore some of the island’s best temples.

Read on to learn more about the famous Buddhist temples of Phuket, and see what exactly makes them so special!

The Big Buddha

Big Buddha Temple

The Big Buddha is not just a famous temple in Phuket, but one of the most famous landmarks in Thailand. It’s best-known for the 45-meter marble statue of Buddha, which attracts both foreigners and locals to the top of Nakkerd Hill. The construction of the famous statue began in 2004, and it wasn’t completed until 2014.

The expansion of the base was still ongoing in 2015, and in 2017 only 80% of the entire temple had been completed. This iconic statue depicts Gautama Buddha in a sitting position facing Ao Chalong Bay. It’s the third tallest statue in Thailand and it was declared a “Buddhist Treasure of Phuket” in 2008, by the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand.

Additionally, the temple offers spectacular panoramic views of Phuket island, and it’s one of the best places to visit if you want to admire some scenic vistas.

Wat Khao Rang Samakkhitham

Wat Khao Rang Samakkhitham is a colorful Buddhist temple situated on the hillside of Khao Rang Hill. The temple is best-known for the massive golden statue of seated Buddha, but it’s not exactly a famous tourist attraction. The majority of people who visit Chinese Shrines are locals who come to pray, making this ancient temple one of Phuket’s best-hidden gems.

The Wat Khao Rang grounds can be split into two distinct areas – the original complex building with the golden statue, and the new temple building. The newer temple sits at the end of a long staircase, and it’s decorated with the staple Naga snakes. Even if you don’t care for the newer temple that much, it’s worth it to climb the stairs just to experience the phenomenal views of Phuket from this hillside.

Wat Suwan Khirikhet

Karon Temple

Image courtesy of Horizon2035

Wat Suwan Khirikhet is a small temple in Karon. It’s near both the beach and the Big Buddha temple, so there are a few other places to explore in the area. The main temple building is adorned with two large Nagas (snakes), whose bodies extend all the way around the temple. They’re guardians of the temple, and truly an impressive sight.

There’s another building that’s guarded by bizarre-looking blue statues. These are supernatural beings from Buddhist texts known as Yak, and their presence is supposed to keep the Buddha images safe from perils and scare off any spirits.

On Tuesday and Sunday afternoons, this temple is also home to the Karon market, where you can shop for pretty much anything your heart desires. Visit the temple when the market is open to shop for souvenirs, or plan your visit so that the stalls don’t ruin your photos of Wat Suwan Khirikhet.

Wat Mongkhon Nimit

Wat Mongkhon Nimit is a large Buddhist temple near Phuket Old Town. It’s not the best or the most impressive temple in Phuket, but it’s very significant to residents of Phuket Town. The temple is also close to the historical Thalang Road, so it’s certainly on the way if you decide to explore Phuket’s famous Old town.

This ancient temple is most famous for its roof, which peeks above the nearby buildings. It’s easily visible from afar, so you shouldn’t have any issues finding this famous Phuket temple.

Most visitors are pleasantly surprised by how peaceful the temple grounds are, despite being located in the city center. Also, the temple grounds are vast, and not that many people explore them thoroughly. Take your time to walk around the temple grounds, explore the gardens, and see all the charming Sino-Portuguese houses where the monks live.

Chalong Temple

Chlong Temple

Wat Chalong is a large, 19th-century temple complex in Phuket. It’s situated in Chalong Bay on Chao Fa West Road, and it’s one of the most visited Phuket temples. It’s home to several important Buddhist statues, the most notable of which is Poh Than Jao Wat. It’s situated in the western hall of the temple, along with Nonsi and a few other prominent statues.

The temple is dedicated to two monks, Luang Pho Chaem and Luang Pho Chuang, who were prominent figures in the 1876 fight against the Chinese rebellion. Their extensive knowledge of herbal medicine helped save lives during the fight, plus they were leaders of the citizens of the Chalong Subdistrict in the fight.

Wat Phra Nang Sang

Wat Phra Nang Sang is one of Phuket’s oldest Buddhist temples. Built more than two centuries ago, this temple was even a battlefield location during the 1785 Burma war. The temple remained mysterious for decades because of its unfinished buildings – it seemed to be perpetually under construction, but seeing someone working on it was extremely rare.

The temple grounds boast several buildings that are decorated in red and gold. The central building boasts a more classic temple exterior, with red and gold as the main colors. Inside this building, there are many paintings that depict the life of the Gautama Buddha, as well as some other important historical events.

The Wat Phra Nang Sang temple is situated in the northern part of the Island, in the Thalang District. When it was initially constructed, Thalang was the main city on Phuket island and the temple held great significance for the region.

Wat Kosit Wihan

Wat Kosit Wihan is a Buddhist temple near Phuket Town. It’s located near the main highway so it’s very easy to find even for first-time visitors, but interestingly enough it’s still in an incredibly serene area. It’s built into the side of Toe-Sae hill and surrounded by tall trees that provide just enough shade for a comfortable exploration of the grounds.

The temple grounds are home to a large Buddhist cemetery, which is the main reason why this lesser-known temple remains so significant. There’s also a crematorium near the main temple building, and you can even see small recesses in the temple walls, which contain ashes and photographs of the deceased.

The hillside temple is easy to find, but you’ll have to climb quite a few steps before you can reach the grounds. It’s a tough climb, but the temple and Phuket views from the top make it entirely worth it.

Wat Phra Thong

Wat Phra Thong

Image courtesy of Johnia!

Wat Phra Thong is an ornate Buddhist temple in the Thalang District, best known for its golden statue of a half-buried Buddha. Only the head and shoulders of the statue are visible, and legend has it that the image simply appeared out of the ground, and anyone who tried to excavate it ended up dead or seriously ill.

Eventually, it was decided that a temple would be built around the half-buried Buddha image, and that’s how Wat Phra Thong was constructed.

This Buddhist temple is particularly popular with the Thai-Chinese, who believe that the Buddha image originated from China. It’s most popular during Chinese New Year, when countless pilgrims descend from Takua Pa, Krabi, and Pang-Nga. It’s also worth noting that the temple museum features exhibits from the tin mining era, most of which were donated by locals.

Wat Thepnimit

Wat Thepnimit is an old, small temple in Phuket, about three kilometers outside Phuket Town. It’s located right at the intersection on Chao Fad East Road, but it’s tucked away from the main road. The temple is hidden behind Thepnimit school, so you can’t really see it from the road but you can still find it quite easily.

This temple is known for its White Pagoda that’s thought to hold relics of Buddha, as well as its 8-meter tall golden stupa. The temple grounds also boast several statues, lots of plants, and you can often see cats just hanging out in the area.

Wat Wichit Sangkaram

Wat Wichit Sangkaram is a Buddhist temple situated in the middle of Phuket Town. It’s close to the city hall and a few other government buildings, and there’s also a school close to the temple. The central location is the main reason why this temple gets so busy, and why it’s not quite as peaceful as some of the other Phuket temples.

This is one of the largest and most decorated temples in Phuket and it’s nearly impossible to miss while you’re exploring Phuket Town. After you pass the famous Golden Dragon statue turn left, and then just follow the road until you reach the Soi Narrison sign.

The temple was built on a little hill, and it boasts three levels. The first level features a large congregation hall, the second level has the monks’ residential buildings and an image hall, and the third level is adorned with Nagas, the golden-headed snakes that are guarding the temple.

About the Author Anna Timbrook

Anna is the co-owner of expert world travel and can't wait to share her travel experience with the world. With over 54 countries under her belt she has a lot to write about! Including those insane encounters with black bears in Canada.

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