Discover Big Buddha in Wat Phra Yai - Pattaya
Thailand does not fall short in temples and places that help you find your inner peace. With the numerous wats that are sprawled around every city, you can immediately feel the reverie of tranquility filling your senses. However, if you are the type of traveler who wishes to intensify your spirituality, then we at Trip Guru suggest that you go and visit the Big Buddha Hill or more locally known as, Wat Phra Yai. Sitting at the very top of this hill lays the 18m high golden Buddha, whose official name is Phra Buddha Sukhothai Walai Chonlathan or Luang Pho Yai. With its half opened eyes, and serene demeanor, visitors are greeted with a calm gesture and are invited to take a journey towards the top of the hill to say a few prayers and feel renewed.
Though the Big Buddha is the center of attention in Wat Phra Yai, you cannot dismiss the several structures and statues that are displayed in the area. Before you are even able to take a step on the hill’s narrow stairway, two golden naga snakes will surprise you at the base as they follow your journey on the stair’s handrails. On your way to the top, you will notice a park like area where a number of Chinese images are displayed. This area is known as, Wang Sam Sien, and it is where several figures that portray Chinese stories and legends, such as the Three Kingdoms, can be found. Once you have reached the top, there are seven more Buddha images surrounding the larger one, and this is where the locals come to pay their respect and pray for good fortune.
Trip Guru would like to remind visitors that, although this location does not abide to a strict dress code, you must dress respectfully, because it is part of the Thai culture. Furthermore, since this area is meant for those who want to deeply connect with their spirituality and pray, speaking in a loud tone is highly discouraged. You can however, participate in this calming ritual, and to make the experience even more exciting, you can purchase small birds in cages – which can be found at the base of the stairs – so that you can release them once you have reached the tope to make merit.
To get to Wat Phra Yai from Pattaya, you can easily take a motorbike, taxi, or songthaew, and they will take you straight to your destination, because it is located only a few kilometers south of the city. It is opened daily from 7AM to 10:00PM and the entrance is free of charge.