ThailandPattaya Free All Year Outdoor
Religious

Big Buddha Hill (Wat Phra Yai)

An 18-metre (59-feet) high golden Buddha statue overlooking Pattaya and Jomtien Beaches from its vantage point at the peak of Pratamnak Hill. A gentle staircase flanked with dragon-inspired railings leads to the elevated platform, where 7 smaller Buddha statues are also located.

The largest Buddha image in the Chonburi province, Wat Phra Yai draws Buddhist worshippers to lay offerings and pray for health, happiness, and prosperity.

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Price

Free

Time Spent

30-90minutes

Fitness level: Light effort

Hours

7am-10pm7 days

Look Around

Large Buddha statueLarge Buddha statue
View of statue from top of staircaseView of statue from top of staircase
Smaller Buddha statuesSmaller Buddha statues
Buddha statues
Dragon heads at end of stair railingDragon heads at end of stair railing
View over PattayaView over Pattaya
Local catLocal cat
Dragon stair railingDragon stair railing
pattaya_wat-phra-yai-big-buddha-08337.jpg
Staircase & hilltop area

Who Will Like Big Buddha Hill

Culture Buff

Place donations at the big Buddha statue, and also at the small Buddha statue representing the day of week you were born, then ring the bell at the top of the hill. Both gestures are believed to bring good luck in Buddhism.

Photography Whiz

Capture a panorama of Pattaya from the hilltop lookout point, or find unique angles to frame the giant Buddha. The staircase with its dragon railings is an interesting backdrop for portraits.

Insider Tips For Big Buddha Hill

  • Avoid visiting in the middle of the day when the sun is at its hottest. Instead, visit in the early evening when the weather starts to cool.
  • The staircase leading to the Buddha statue may seem daunting from the bottom, but the incline is gentle and easy to conquer.
  • Although this area is not as strictly policed as other religious sites, it is still respectful to wear modest clothing that covers shoulders and knees.
  • Rideshare apps like Grab are not allowed at Big Buddha Hill.
Donation box and offerings to purchaseDonation box and offerings to purchase
Blessing treeBlessing tree
Offerings near main statue

Video

Where Is It

Open map...

Na Kluea, Pattaya City, Bang Lamung District, Chon Buri 20150, Thailand

How To Get There

Taxi

Taxis drop off and pick up along the side of the street, near the main entrance. Taxis usually wait near the entrance for customers, but often overcharge.

Map for taxi...

Car

Hiring a taxi or private driver is often the easiest way to get around Pattaya. Drivers can park and wait along the street, near the entrance.

Driving directions... Map for car...

Songthaew (Jomtien line)

Take a songthaew along Beach Road to the intersection of Pattaya Tai and Pattaya 2nd Road, then take a second songthaew to Jomtien, exiting just after the underpass as the vehicle turns to Thapphray Road. The temple is then a 15-minute walk uphill.

Map for songthaew...

What To Bring

Do:
  • Water bottle with plenty of drinking water.
  • Cash for snacks and drinks.
  • Sun protection like sunscreen and a hat.
  • Modest clothing that covers shoulders and knees.
  • Camera.
Don't:
  • Food and drink to the elevated temple area.

Tech & Photography

Wifi

Public wifi access: None

Photography

Photography allowed: Yesflash is ok

Tripod allowed: Yes

Selfie sticks allowed: Yes

Best time to shoot: Sunrise & Sunset

Tips: Use a wide-angle lens to capture the full statue in a single frame. For a panorama of the nearby beaches, try positioning your camera in a portrait position and gently pivot to capture multiple frames for later stitching on your favorite desktop editing software such as Lightroom. The various statues on the temple platform make for fascinating close-ups. To avoid washing out the golden color of the statue, try to ensure the sun is positioned behind you (and not behind the statue).

Drones

Drones allowed: Yes (subject to national/regional rules)

Bags

Backpacks allowed: Yes

Secured bag lockers available: No

Food & Drink

A handful of small stalls selling cold drinks, fruit, and local snacks are located near the entrance of the staircase.

Backstory

Construction of the giant seated Buddha, began in the 1940s, when Pattaya was a humble fishing village. The staircase and dragon-headed railing were added in 1977. The temple is officially named Phra Buddha Sukhothai Walai Chonlathan, but it's more commonly called Wat Phra Yai, which translates as Big Buddha Temple.

Etiquette

Dress code displayed near staircase entrance
Do:
  • Dress respectfully with covered shoulders and knees.
  • Remove shoes when entering buildings or pavilions.
  • Be quiet and keep voices hushed.
Don't:
  • Hug, kiss or display affection to your partner.
  • Smoke.

Scorecard

Best Parts:
  • Scenic views over the city and ocean.
  • Towering Buddha statue at 18-metres high.
Could Be Better:
  • Difficult to access as rideshare is not allowed and private taxis tend to overcharge.
My itinerary Save View

Oh, you're so close

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Roaming the streets for food...