Big Buddha Hill Pattaya or its official name Wat Phra Yai, is located at the top of Pratumnak hill. From it’s prime position atop the highest point in the city it keeps it’s watchful eye of Pattaya and Jomtien. Standing proud at just over 18 meters tall, this huge statue can be seen from miles afar.
Wat Phra Yai is a working temple and not an attraction, and locals still come here to pray for health, well being and peace. As with most things Buddhist the temple is open to all and no-one is excluded. But please when you visit bear in mind this is a site of great religious importance, so be respectful.
Wat Phra Yai is very popular among both the locals and tour groups, especially those from other Asian countries, the Chinese and the Koreans especially. And the site can be busy at times. Despite the number of visitors the temple still manages to convey air of peacefulness and calm.
Getting up to the top of the hill is no mean task and involves climbing over 250 steps, so wear comfortable shoes. But believe us the effort is worth it. Not only will you be rewarded with the magnificent 18 meter tall golden Buddha, but also with breathtaking views across the city.
On the way up to the top of the hill, you will pass a small Chinese gardens where you can wander in the shade and absorb it’s beauty. The gardens are dedicated to the Chinese Philosophers of the past, such as Confucius. There gardens have plaques explaining things as you wander so no need for a guide.
In addition to the main attraction, the temple also boasts many other images of Buddha, each of which represents a different day of the week. The meaning of each is clearly displayed in several languages next to each image. Tanking photo’s is allowed and is not disrespectful. But please only stand next to the Buddha, NEVER climb on the statues as this is highly offensive.
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Pratumnak is a small peninsular that separates Jomtien bay and Pattaya Bay, and is only a 2 km drive from Central Pattaya or Jomtien beach. Getting here is easy just hire a taxi or private baht bus, cost should be 200thb max from either Jomtien or Pattaya.
Big Buddha hill Pattaya is open daily and entrance free, a small contribution to the temple would be appreciated by them and in return you will be blessed by a monk.