Our list of the must-see temples in Phuket comprises wats (Buddhist temples) and Chinese shrines (Taoist temples). Wats are among the most important symbols of Thailand, partly because the majority of Thais are Buddhist and partly because they are so beautiful. In Phuket alone, there are 29 Buddhist temples spread around the island.
Chinese shrines also have great importance in Thailand, and especially Phuket, due to the great Chinese community that migrated to Thailand through the centuries. There are as many Chinese shrines as wats in Phuket, so you are sure to find a colourful and interesting temple near to where you are staying. Here are some of the best in Phuket and in neighbouring Phang Nga Province.
- Phuket FantaSea Cultural Theme Park
- Phi Phi Islands Tour with Express Boat
- James Bond Island Full-Day Tour via Big Boat
- Coral & Racha Islands Full-Day Tour
- Whitewater Rafting & 4-Wheel-Drive Adventure
- Sea Kayaking at Ang Thong Marine Park
- Flying Hanuman Ziplining Experience
- Canoeing Excursion in Phang Nga Bay with Thai Buffet Lunch
- Introduction to City Tour
- John Gray's Cave Canoeing Tour in Phang Nga Bay
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Wat Chalong has been welcoming visitors for over a century. Locals come to pray and tourists come to learn about Buddhism. The Grand Pagoda dominating the temple contains a splinter of Lord Buddha's bone and is officially named Phramahathatchedi-Jomthaibarameepragat. The pagoda is decorated with wall paintings depicting the Buddha's life story and also features various Buddha images. Take your time in the pagoda; it's a breezy, cool location and one which is very popular with visitors to the temple. Always busy and a colourful place to be, there's plenty of parking here. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 7am to 5pm
- Location: 6 Chao Fah Tawan Tok Rd, Chalong, Muang, Phuket 83000, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)76 381 226
Phuket's Big Buddha is one of the island's most important and revered landmarks on the island. The huge image sits on top of the Nakkerd Hills between Chalong and Kata and, at 45 metres tall, it's easily seen from far away. The lofty site offers the best 360-degree views of the island, with sweeping vistas of Phuket Town, Kata, Karon beaches, Chalong Bay and more. Easily reachable via a 6-km road leading from Phuket's main artery route, it's a must-visit island destination. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 6am to 7pm
- Location: Soi Yot Sane 1, Karon, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)81 891 3827
Wat Khao Rang (or Sumnak Song Khao Rang) enjoys a great location in Phuket Town, on the slope of the popular Rang Hill. It has a large golden sitting Buddha – the first of its kind on the island and the spiritual centre of the island for many locals. This temple is busy at weekends when locals pay a visit. It not only looks amazing but was also the first big Buddha image Phuket had until the giant Buddha was built in the Nakkerd Hills between Chalong and Kata. Wat Khao Rang grounds are divided into 2 areas: the original building supporting the sitting Buddha on its roof, with its back against the green hillside, and the new temple next to it. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 8am to late afternoon
- Location: Khao Rang Hill, Muang, Phuket 83000, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)76 222 520
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.
Jui Tui Temple was previously located in Soi Romanee in Phuket Old Town and was moved to its current location after a fire many years ago. The grounds are quite impressive and display photos of the temple dating back to 1911 when it was just a single, stand-alone construction without side buildings or walls. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 8am to 8.30pm
- Location: 283 Soi Phutorn, Talat Nuea, Muang, Phuket 83000, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)76 213 243
Wat Phra Thong is not very large but it’s a pleasant place to visit. The main attraction is the half-buried golden Buddha image which is said to be untouchable as every person who has tried to dig it out is reported to have been cursed. Legend has it that a boy who tied his buffalo to an object that looked like a post fell ill and died, along with the buffalo. His father went to check the post and it turned out to be part of a buried Buddha image. One of the island’s oldest temples, it received a visit in 1909 by King Rama VI, who gave it its official name. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 8am to 5.30pm
- Location: Thep Krasatti, Thalang, Phuket 83110, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)93 621 4687
Known by locals as Wat Lipon, this temple is in Thalang, north of Phuket Town. The first sight on entering the grounds is of the 29-metre-high Sleeping Buddha on top of the wat’s central building, so large that it is noticeable from the road outside. You'll notice that there are quite a few non-Buddha images, including a giant and lions, all from Thai myths. They're believed to act as the temple’s guards. Other interesting images are of phets (ghosts). Some Thais believe that if one does bad things, you'll end up being a phet in the afterlife. It’s the main reason why many wats have this ghost image – to remind people to be kind to others. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 7am to 5.30pm
- Location: 20/4 Thepkrasatree Rd, Si Sunthon, Thalang, Phuket 83110, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)98 017 8044
Wat Phranang Sang
Phra Nang Sang Temple is located just before the Thalang intersection near Baan Ta-Kien, opposite the entrance of Khao Pra Taew Wildlife Conservation Centre. Rumoured to be approximately 500 years old, it’s said to be the oldest temple on the island. The story goes that the temple was built in honour of an innocent princess who was executed for a crime she did not commit. At her execution, it’s claimed that she bled white blood, thus showing her purity. For this reason, the temple is also called Wat Leuat Khao (Temple of the White Blood).
- Location: 330 Ton Sai Nam Tok Road, Thep Krasatti, Thalang, Phuket 83110, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)76 311 084
Wat Suwan Khuha
Wat Suwan Khuha is also known as Wat Tham or simply 'temple cave' because that’s where it’s located, in a limestone cave. The largest of the caves houses a stunning 15-metre reclining Buddha image and this cave is decorated throughout with attractive Benjarong (Thai-style) tiles.
Care should be taken here as the temple has a sizeable and rather aggressive monkey population, prone to grabbing snacks off visitors and messing with car antennae. A chedi structure is reminiscent of Bangkok’s famous Temple of the Dawn (Wat Arun) and you’ll find another small grotto with a golden stupa. Apart from the naughty monkeys, this is a pleasant place to visit.
- Location: 36/1 Phet Kasem Rd, Krasom, Takua Thung, Phang-nga 82130, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)76 450 333
Kiew Tien Keng is a stunning shrine in a superb location at Saphan Hin Park in Phuket Town. It must be one of the most beautiful places of worship in Phuket. It’s the only shrine that's 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...
- Location: Saphan Hin Park, Soi Bang Yai, Wichit, Muang, Phuket 83000, Thailand
Kathu Shrine has shared a long history with Phuket’s Vegetarian Festival and is known as the original home of the festival. Rumour has it that a Chinese opera from mainland China came to town and, without any particular reason, 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. Finally, they held a vegetarian diet ceremony at their temporary opera house in Kathu and all the sickness and problems amazingly disappeared. Locals couldn’t believe their eyes when witnessing what had happened. They too participated in the ceremony and have been carrying it on until today. This is the roots of the great annual Vegetarian Festival that Phuket is known for. Read More...
- Location: Samkong-Kathu Rd, Kathu, Phuket 83120, Thailand