From surf to statues, Thailand definitely goes big. On the last full day in Phuket, I journeyed with my mom to the top of the Nakkerd Hills between Chalong and Kata to take in one of Thailand’s most recognizable landmarks, the Big Buddha. It’s pricey, but those in the know suggested that it’s best to charter a car or taxi for the trip to view Buddha. Originally, we planned to hike, but were advised against it, probably because the cars and taxis along the route travel at breakneck speed. The summit offered breathtaking views of the whole island and as an added bonus, we learned a little about the history of the ongoing construction and renovations of the Buddha.
Interestingly, funding for the renovation is provided solely through donations. One of the most popular ways to donate is to purchase a white marble slab for roughly 300 baht ($9.31 U.S.) and write a personal message on it. The marble slab is then used somewhere on the statue as part of the current renovation. Visitors can also purchase small prayer bells for 250 baht ($7.75 U.S.) to be hung on the trees surrounding the area. The bells typically have prayers of peace and good fortune written on them and create a charming tinkling sound every time the wind blows.
After an enjoyable day taking in the sights, it seemed fitting to spend the last few hours of daylight on Kata beach to watch the waves wash the shore. A gentle entertainment and beautiful image to carry back with us as the sun went down. It was the perfect way to end my time in Thailand.