Amazing Buddhist temples of Phuket
- Amazing Buddhist temples of Phuket
- Most popular temples in Phuket
- Chalong Temple
- Phuket Big Buddha
- Wat Mongkol Nimit or Wat Putta Mongkon
- Doi Thepnimit
- Wat Khao Rang
- Wat Phra Thong
- Wat Sri Sunthon
- Wat Suwan Kirikhet (Karon Temple)
- Wat Sirey
- Wat Phra Nang Sang
- Wat Nai Harn
- Wat Suwan Kiriwong (Patong Temple)
- Wat Kathu
- Wat Luang Pu Supha
- Wat Cherngtalay
- Wat Wichit Sangkaram
- Wat Khosit Wiharn
- Wat Tha Rua
- Wat Nakaram (Wat Naka)
- Wat Thepnimit
- Wat Sapum
- Wat Sophon Wanaram
- Wat Sawang Arom
- Wat Ladthi Wanaram (Wat Tai)
- Temples Outside Phuket
- Wat Suwan Khua
- Map of Phuket Temples
- FAQs about Phuket Temples
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Phuket temples, or Wats, are always worth a visit; from the temple hidden inside a cave to the famous Wat Chalong, a visit to Thailand would not be complete without exploring a few of these magnificent and beautifully ornamented buildings (‘Wat’ means ‘Temple’, you guessed it).
Phuket has many temples; we will probably list them one by one, but many are difficult to find or have very little touristic interest unless you are a Buddhist. Of course, you already know that you have to remove your shoes (and cap) before stepping in and making a donation; even if small, it is a nice gesture, and ultimately, it is right for you. Here are 24 temples in Phuket, but we counted more than 30, so we will add temples as we visit them. See also our page about the Chinese Shrines of Phuket, which are entirely different.
Most popular temples in Phuket
Chalong Temple, built at the beginning of the 19th century, is the largest and most visited Buddhist temple in Phuket. Its real name is Wat Chaitararam, but you probably won’t hear it or see it on any road signs. It’s not my favourite temple to photograph, but it is almost a must to visit.
Phuket Big Buddha, a 45-meter tall marble statue, is visible from anywhere in the southern part of Phuket. The immense Buddha is the main reason to drive up there, but the panoramic views from up there are breathtaking too.
Wat Mongkol Nimit or Wat Putta Mongkon is not the most impressive temple in Phuket, but this one means a lot to the locals of Phuket Town. All temples are, of course, worth visiting, but since this temple is close to Thalang Road, the historical streets of Phuket Town would complete your visit perfectly.
Patong Beach (Kathu)
Doi Thepnimit is a monastic residence with a superb panoramic bird-view of Patong Bay. You can spot the new iconic white pagoda if you stand on the beach of Patong.
Despite being considered big (at the time), many travellers miss Khao Rang Temple because the road leading to it is not so easy to locate, you have to try hard to deserve it. It is certainly not as grand as the Big Buddha in Chalong, but it has a discreet charm. To me, it also feels a lot more real, and not so much a tourist attraction. Mostly locals go there to do merit and pray on weekends.
Wat Phra Thong, which means ‘Golden Buddha Image Temple’ is an ancient temple with a big legend, the kind of story that irresistibly attracts people. It’s not very big or impressive, but the first thing everyone wants to see is the famous half-buried golden Buddha.
(On the way to the airport) Wat Sri Sunthon sounds like any other temple, and since there are so many of them in Phuket, you might ask what can be different about this one?
(Karon Beach) A small but beautiful temple in the back on Karon Beach. You’ll find it by driving inland from the Karon circle. This temple frequently hosts markets and funfairs, always fun to visit.
(Koh Sirey) This small island is only 20 km square and is visible from quite far with its Thai temple built at the top of a hill. Driving up there is easy, and a small road drives around the temple, surrounded by many small shrines dedicated to people who passed away. The temple also shelters a golden reclining Buddha which without being impressive (like the one at Wat Sri Sunthron), is still as big as the temple.
Thalang Intersection, on the way to the airport
This unusual wat is 200 years old, the oldest in Phuket, built when Phuket’s main town was located in Thalang. It seems to be permanently under construction. Each of the many buildings features a multitude of intricate ornaments, then surrounded by many statues of diverse origins, from an armless cop standing next to a lion to the more logical Buddha images. Everything was designed with mixed Chinese and Thai mythology influence, largely influenced by the day’s mood.
Wat Nai Harn
Recently rebuilt, this temple was hidden and somewhat unknown despite being so near the top-rated beach of Nai Harn. In recent years, the temple has been beautifully restored and is now an excellent occasion to stop for a photo and pay respect.
Wat Suwan Kiriwong (Patong Temple)
You cannot miss the Patong as you will drive by when arriving from the airport. It’s a beautiful temple but surprisingly not very popular with locals who prefer another temple less visible, not far from the north end of Patong Beach.
This small but beautifully decorated set of temples is rarely visited as it is inside Kathu, a village located a bit away from the main Phuket Town – Patong road. Not many travellers take the time to drive around this area. The monks at Wat Kathu are very friendly; some even speak English and will be happy to chat with you about any question you may have. Read more about Kathu
Wat Luang Pu Supha
Wat Luang Pu Supa is where the oldest monk in Thailand lives, more than 112 years old. Parts of this temple are still under construction. Quite large and built over the waters of an artificial pond, the temple grounds also include a golden Chedi and a large but unfinished hemispheric Chedi.
Cherngtalay near Bangtao Beach
People often miss this magnificent temple not far from Cherngtalay village on Bangtao beach. You will see it when driving from the heroines’ monument toward Bangtao beach. By the time you notice it, it probably will be too late.
Wat Wichit Sangkaram
This vast and beautiful temple on the fringe of Phuket town also plays a significant role for Phuket citizens but is rarely visited by tourists because of its location in the back street of the city.
Wat Khosit Wiharn
Tourists do not often visit this beautiful temple built on top of a flight of stairs as the gate leading to it is barely visible between two shophouses. This temple seems to face Wat Khao Rang, set on a hill on the other side of town.
Wat Tha Rua
Wat Tha Ruan is an anonymous white-walled temple on the way to the airport. Whenever saw anyone while visiting it.
Wat Nakaram (Wat Naka)
This temple’s only main characteristic is the golden Chedi standing next to the main temple. Located just across the road from the famous Phuket Weekend Market, it’s an excellent opportunity to visit both at once.
Wat Thepnimit has no real particular signs except for a small golden Chedi.
(Thepkasatri Road, outside Phuket Town on the way to the airport) Beautifully standing on the east coast of Phuket just opposite Koh Maphrao (Coconut Island) this temple is not often visited as cars usually drive (too) fast in these curves and the street leading to the temple is hard to locate.
Wat Sophon Wanaram
A tiny but brightly decorated temple on the road between the Heroine monument and Bang Pae waterfalls. Easy to spot the gate by the roadside.
Other Temples on the island
25 Wat Thepkassatri
26 Wat Mai Khao
27 Wat Kittisankaram
28 Wat Tha Chat Chai
29 Wat Pa Aram Wattanaram
30 Wat Samkong
Temples Outside Phuket
(Temple of the Reclining Buddha in a Cave)
A faded decorated gate opens at the feet of a cliff onto a large cavern with high ceilings, about forty meters long and twenty meters wide. This surprising temple shelters an impressive fifteen meters long golden reclining Buddha and several other large standing Buddha images.
Map of Phuket Temples
FAQs about Phuket Temples
- Q. How many Buddhist temples are there in Phuket?
a. There are more than 30 Buddhist temples in Phuket.
- Q. What are the most beautiful temples?
- Q. What are the most significant temples?
- Q. Is there a dress code when visiting a temple?
a. Please dress politely when entering a temple. Do not wear too short pants or skirts, and no sleeveless shirts on the temple grounds. Remove your shoes and caps before entering any of the buildings.