Phuket Attractions

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  • Chinese Shrines in Phuket

    Phuket Attractions

    Phuket has a large percentage of Chinese residents descended from those who emigrated from southern China a few centuries ago to work in the tin mine business as coolies.

    These people brought with them their rich culture and traditions and these influences are evident in the number of Chinese temples and shrines around the island and more markedly so in the yearly Vegetarian Festival.

    Their religion was and still is predominantly a mixture of Buddhism incorporating with Chinese as well as Taoist gods. Red and yellow are the main colours used and animals such as dragons, lions and monkeys are also important symbols, seen around Chinese temples and shrines.

All Chinese Shrines in Phuket

The Bang Neow Shrine (also spelled Bang Niew), known also as Tao Buang Keng and Thep Rasi Foundation Shrine, is another beautiful place of worship in Phuket Town. Founded in 1904, it was originally part of another shrine at Soi Romanee in the Old Town. It has moved a few times – strangely enough always because of fire. Read More...

  • Opening Hours: Daily from 08:30 – 22:00
  • Location: On Phuket Road at the Bang Neow intersection and not far from Robinson Department Store and MacDonalds. If heading to Saphan Hin Park, the shrine is on the left-hand side of the road.

Boon Kaw Kong Shrine

When cresting Patong Hill, most drivers honk their horns. This is to show respect to the Boon Kaw Kong Chinese Shrine that straddles the hill. Built in 1980, it is not a big shrine but it is well respected.

When devotees' wishes are granted they usually come back to pay respect by setting off fire crackers. Some people show open-air movies across the road from the shrine or donate money for the shrine's maintenance. Photography is not allowed inside.

  • Opening Hours: 09:00 – 17:00
  • Location: On Phuket – Patong Road

It’s hard to believe that the rich Cherng Thalay neighborhood, known for its many five-star resorts and hotels was once nothing but a quiet little community. Back then it was full of Chinese immigrants seeking a new life, many of them in the tin mining industry. At one point they were looking for something to unite them and protect them from bad luck and evil spirits so they thought about bringing Taoist deities (from China) to the village. Read More...

  • Opening Hours: Daily
  • Location: Sri Soonthorn Road, Thalang District

Hok Nguan Kung Shrine at the Surin Clock Circle, near the Metropole Hotel has long been a religious centre of many Phuket families since it was founded more than 80 years ago.

The most important ritual object here is the crafted image of Ju Su Kong (hence locals refer to this shrine as Ju Su Kong Shrine.). His statue is made from sandalwood and is black from head to toe, so it’s not difficult to recognize him. Read More...

  • Opening Hours: Daily from 08:00 – 18:00
  • Location: at the Surin Clock Circle on Phuket Road, opposite the Metropole Hotel, Phuket Town

Jao Mae Kuan Im is a small vintage shrine on Bangkok Road in the heart of Phuket Town, just a few steps from the ‘Fountain Circle’ and the main fresh market.

The shrine celebrated its 120th anniversary in 2011 and, as its name suggests, devoted to Kuan Im, the Goddess of Mercy in Taoist mythology (also known as Guanyin and Kannon). Her image is also seen on altars in Chinese shrines, households and work situations. Read More...

  • Opening Hours: Daily from 08:00 – 20:00
  • Location: Bangkok Road in the heart of Phuket Town. Just a few steps from the Fountain Circle and not far from main fresh market.

Jui Tui Shrine is a popular Chinese temple that plays a pivotal part in the annual Phuket Vegetarian Festival. Located on Soi Phuthorn, Ranong Road, not far from Phuket’s main market, it’s a must-see site for all newcomers to Phuket as one of the oldest and the most respected spiritual centres around. Read More...

  • Opening Hours: Daily from 08:00 – 20:30
  • Location: Next to Put Jaw Chinese Temple on Soi Phuthorn, Ranong Road, not far from Phuket Town’s main fresh market.

Kathu Shrine has shared a long history with Phuket’s Vegetarian Festival and is known as the original home of the festival. Rumor has it that a Chinese opera from mainland China came to town and without any particular reasons, members of this group started to fall ill. After a while they realised that they had forgotten to carry on with their important traditional vegetarian diet. Read More...

  • Opening Hours: Daily
  • Location: In Kathu Village, it’s about two km from the Kathu- Patong junction on Samkong-Kathu Road once you turn right

This stunning shrine located in a superb location at Saphanhin Park, Kiew Tien Keng must be one of the most beautiful places of worship in Phuket.

It’s the only shrine that is located near the seashore and is considered the departure spot to send all gods/deities back to heaven on the final night of the Vegetarian Festival. It’s where the colourful parades of each shrine officially come to an end when a normal diet can resume. Read More...

  • Opening Hours: Daily
  • Location: Sapan Hin Park, Phuket Town

Put Jaw Chinese Temple

Located just next to the large Jui Tui Shrine, this is the oldest Chinese temple on the island. The original was built about 200 years ago and underwent a major renovation in 1908. Put Jaw Temple is also known as Kwan Im Teng as it was built in honour of Kwan Im, the Chinese Goddess of Mercy.

Many locals come here to seek help when they have health issues. They shake a box full of bamboo sticks until one falls out. They then use the number written on the stick to get a medication prescription from the temple (written only in Chinese) then take it to a Chinese herbal medicine shop. Many parents with Chinese heritage come to get names for their newborn babies at Put Jaw in the belief that, if properly named, their children with have a good and long life. Photography is allowed, and indeed recommended.

  • Opening Hours: 06:30 – 20:00
  • Location: On the corner of Soi Phuthorn, Ranong Road in Phuket Town, right next to Jui Tui Chinese Temple, not far from Phuket’s main market.

Nobody knows exactly when this shrine was built. All that is known is that a well-to-do family donated a plot of land together with images of some Taoist deities to start it off. Since then the shrine has been a major part of Samkong villagers’ lives especially when someone fell ill or needed some advice to improve their health. Read More...

  • Opening Hours: Daily
  • Location: long Yaowarat Road, on the north side of Phuket Town (about midway between Bangkok Phuket Hospital and Tesco Lotus.)

Sapam Shrine is a compact little shrine located right on the roadside on Thepkasattri Road in the Sapam Village area. It is the result of the strong faith of the Chinese migrant community from Fujian, China who settled in this part of the island for more than 200 years. Read More...

  • Opening Hours: Daily
  • Location: on Thepkasattri Road in the Sapam Village area, not far from the Shell Gas Station and Wat Sapam Temple.

Shrine of the Serene Light

A few doors up to the west of the On On Hotel on Phang Nga Road in Phuket is the Shrine of the Serene Light. This shrine was built in 1889 by a local Chinese family and, up until recently, was hidden away down an obscure alleyway. Nowadays the alley's mouth has been opened up and you can see the temple in all its glory from the road. Further east, where Phang Nga Road meets Thepkassatri Road there is an old vacated bank building facing a police station. The police station was purposely built there after dissatisfied tin mine workers threatened to loot the bank.

  • Location: Next to On On Hotel on Thalang Road

Commonly known as Lorong Shrine, Sui Boon Tong was founded only about three decades ago by a group of ‘entranced horses’ or mediums. Comparing to other shrines on island, Lorong is quite simple. It’s basically a yellow shop-house that is visible from the roadside. Despite its appearance, it is counted among the most important shrines during the annual Vegetarian Festival. Read More...

  • Opening Hours: Daily
  • Location: Soi Lorong (Soi 4), Pattana Road, Phuket Town

If you go in or out of town using Thepkrasattri Road (Phuket’s main artery) you will notice an elegant Taoist Shrine located near the Heroines’ Monument. This is Tha Rua Shrine, the fourth-oldest on the island.

Once a tiny shrine it has now relocated to a much bigger plot of land right near the original site and features many striking carved dragons, traditional Chinese paintings plus an outstanding red-gold-and-green colour theme. Read More...

  • Opening Hours: Daily 06:00 – 18:00. Opening hours are extended on special days including during the popular Vegetarian Festival when the shrine opens its gates 24 hours a day.
  • Location: Thepkrasattri Road, not far from the Heroines’ Monument.
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