It's hard to miss this 45 meter (148 feet) tall marble statue peering down at you as you journey through the south of Phuket. Big Buddha sits serenely atop the hill at the end of Soi Yot Sane 1, which runs off the West Chao Fa Highway in Chalong. Though the statue itself is big enough to be taken in from afar, it's worth heading up to its base to both enjoy the view and learn more about it. Find out just how much concrete and white jade marble did it take to construct the enormous statue, along with many other factoids about its upkeep. Donations to the project are welcomed and, as this is a holy site, conservative dress is strongly encouraged.
Located on the outskirts of Phuket Town, Wat Chalong is the largest and most visited Temple of the area. Featuring a gilt statue of Luang Por Chaem and Luang Por Chuang, the temple is considered one of the most beautiful on the island. Chaem and Chuang are monks known for their heroic effort in helping quell the Chinese Coolie rebellion of 1876. The temple has impressive architecture and gives great insight on Buddhism and its practices. For peace of mind and Thai history lesson, visit this sacred spot.
Inspired by Thailand's rich and exotic heritage, Phuket FantaSea is a unique cultural complex. It showcases the charm and beauty of Thailand, while enriching ancient Thai traditions with the wonder of cutting-edge technology and special effects. The result is a stunning 56.65-hectare (140-acre) theme complex offering a multitude of activities. Highlights include the Festival Village, the Golden Kinnaree Buffet Restaurant (a 5,000-seat restaurant offering a grand buffet of Thai and international cuisines) and a breathtaking Las Vegas-style show.
Various historical buildings made in Sino-Portuguese style dot the streets of Old Phuket Town - a charming neighborhood of Phuket. Being a hub for tourists has made this neighborhood naturally home to many hostels, hotels, restaurants, cafes, galleries and bars. Its streets are further lined with shops selling everything from souvenirs and handicraft to snacks and gifts. Old Phuket Town is also a multicultural locale that is home to people from various nationalities.
The life-size statues of heroic sisters, Thao Thep Kasattri and Thao Sri Soontorn, stand side by side on this decorated marble plinth located at Tha Rua. Built by local residents, and opened on 23 May 1967, an annual fair commemorates the bravery of these two girls who were instrumental in the defeat of the Burmese in 1785. By disguising hundreds of women in army uniforms and parading them through the town, they tricked the enemy into believing that they were troop reinforcements from Bangkok. This eventually forced the Burmese to withdraw.
Located on Pa Khlok Road, to the east of the Two Heroines Monument, this museum gives an insight into Phuket's colorful history. There are numerous artifacts and an exhibit depicting the famous battle of Thalang showing the part played by two sisters, Kuhnying Jan (or Thao Thep Kasatri) and Thao Sri Suntorn, who succeeded in repulsing the attacking Burmese army. There are also artifacts depicting details of early, everyday life on the island and the cultural aspects of the Sea Gypsies.
Phuket Provincial Hall lies in a secluded area of the old town, but it still attracts visitors with its spellbinding architecture. Counted as one of the first Thailand buildings constructed as a fortified concrete structure, it is made famous for the intricate grill detailing that accentuates the building exteriors. A gallery surrounds the building and it exhibits some of Phuket's memorable pictures.
Established in 1990 in association with the Thailand Assemblies of God, a warm welcome awaits those who visit the Phuket Christian Center. Services are conducted in English, but many nationalities still come here to partake in the contemporary Christian worship every Sunday. Special activities are arranged for children during the service.
According to legend, Wat Phra Thong houses a golden Buddha image that emerged from beneath the earth many years ago. The story tells us about a man whose son died mysteriously after tying his buffalo to what he thought was a post but which was actually the conical peak of Buddha. The golden image was revealed to the man in a dream but attempts to dig it up failed. Villagers covered the exposed part of the image with a plaster bust of Buddha's head and shoulders. It can still be seen today.
Head to Soul of Asia, if you are an ardent art collector. The gallery features paintings and artwork from all over Asia. Paintings, artwork, antique rugs, furniture, jewelery, porcelain and many more things are housed here. It has amazing collection of Dali sculptures and Buddha images. The Chinese artifacts are one of the most interesting and fascinating artworks. The rugs are pretty and colorful. The ancient rugs have been made using natural colors from dye prepared from flowers, plants and minerals. The weaving is very intricate and finely made. If you fall in love with a artifact on display, which is quiet natural, you have the option of buying it and taking it home.