Wat Phra Thong, or Temple of the Protruding Buddha, is most famous for the half-buried golden Buddha statue—only the head and shoulders are visible—found on its grounds. The temple, believed to be one of the island’s oldest, holds special significance to the local Thai-Chinese population, who often visit during the Chinese New Year.The Basics
While not the most visually impressive of Phuket’s temples, Wat Phra Thong is one of the more interesting. Thanks to its position away from the beach, it’s also one of the island’s quietest. The temple grounds are also home to a museum with historical items from around the region.Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Wat Phra Temple is a must-see for history buffs and spiritual travelers.
- The temple is free to enter but donations are expected.
- Wat Phra Temple is an active place of worship, so dress respectfully.
The temple is located in the middle of Phuket along the road leading from Phuket Town toward the airport. The easiest way to get there is to drive or hire a taxi.When to Get There
The temple is open daily throughout the year, and often presents a peaceful escape from the busy beaches of Phuket. If you want to see the temple in full swing, visit during the Lunar New Year when Thai-Chinese pilgrims come from surrounding islands to worship.
The Legend of the Half-Buried Buddha
According to local lore, the Buddha statue was discovered after a farmer boy tied his buffalo to a small part that was protruding from the ground. They both fell ill and died, but the boy appeared to his father in a dream. The father discovered the top of the statue, but all subsequent attempts to excavate it ended in failure, or—according to some accounts—death.