On the Pratamnak Hill (also called Big Buddha Hill), in the very center of Pattaya, there are several interesting cultural attractions at once. This forested hill is small in area and consists, as it were, of two halves, cut in two by a road.
On the one hand, closer to the sea, on a hill, there is an observation deck with a temple, a meteorological station and a monument, and on the other, far from the sea, you can see a Chinese temple and a golden statue of Buddha towering over the trees, which is located on the territory of a Buddhist temple, at the very top of the hill. ... Here, on the hill, Pattaya looks very different than below. It is no longer «sin city». Silence, tranquility reign on the territory of the temples, and everything is saturated with harmony with nature and beauty. A true oasis of tranquility in the middle of the urban jungle.
The content of the article
- one Wang Sam Sien Chinese Temple Museum
- 2 Wat Phra Yai with Big Buddha statue
- 3 Information to visit
- 4 How to get there
- five On the map
Wang Sam Sien Chinese Temple Museum
Everyone knows about the Big Buddha statue on a hill in the center of Pattaya, but not everyone pays attention to the Chinese temple (and a little museum) Wang Sam Sien. It is located about a hundred meters short of the temple with the Big Buddha, to the left of the road. Here you can see typical Chinese architectural elements and decor, feed turtles and catfish in a pond, strike a large bell to fulfill a wish, take a walk in the garden and have a snack in a small cafe for three tables.
This is a working Taoist temple where you can get acquainted with the culture and folklore of China. If you walk a little forward from the entrance to the territory, you will see a large bell - a copy of the bell from the Royal Palace in Beijing. It is customary to beat it with a large stick hanging next to it, having previously made a wish.
A little to the right of the entrance, on the pond, there is a large white statue of Kuan Yin - this is the goddess of mercy and kindness. Behind her in the pond swim giant catfish and turtles, which you can, too, for «good luck» feed with dry food, bags of which are sold on the other side of the green pond, between the cafe and the toilet.
Wang Sam Sien Temple can be called a museum in the sense that wherever you turn, you can see symbols and figures that are important to Chinese culture, for example: a wall with 24 «stories of gratitude» in the form of volumetric colorful reliefs behind glass, a statue of Confucius in the pavilion in the far part of the garden, planned according to all the rules of Feng Shui, the figure of San Yud Sen, a Chinese public figure, and many bright plaster statues of warriors, various deities and mythical creatures. For example, there is a Dragon and Phoenix - the symbols of Yin-Yang in Chinese mythology..
If you go to the left from the entrance, you can see the temple itself with sticks smoking in front of it in a large vat and guarded by statues of lions traditional for China..
The entrance to the territory of the temple is free, there are usually very few visitors here and you can safely walk around the pond, enjoying the silence and looking at the numerous «exhibits» this small open-air museum. From the paths of the park through the trees, a view of the center of Pattaya opens, but it is not very impressive, from the statue of the Golden Buddha and from the observation deck at the neighboring peak, the views are much better. But the garden itself is very pretty here, with bright flowers, benches, stairs, alleys and two ponds. Great place to walk.
Wat Phra Yai with Big Buddha statue
If we go a little further to the top of the hill, first we will see a parking lot for visitors, then numerous shops with all sorts of things (mainly souvenirs and food) on both sides of the road and finally a staircase will open in front of us to a large golden statue of a seated Buddha.
At the bottom, the staircase is framed on two sides by rows of small bells, which can be beaten by making a wish, and on top of the railing along it there are long wavy bodies of dragons, at the bottom ending in a mouth, from which the heads of snakes diverge in giant fans. Dragon scales glisten with gold in the sun, Naga snakes open their jaws - the view is very impressive.
At the top of the stairs, there is a view of a huge Buddha statue and a large platform with many other statues. Also gold in color, but smaller. Seven of them, in front of the large statue, symbolize the days of the week - Monday, Tuesday ... etc. If you wish, you can make offerings to the statue symbolizing the day of the week when you were born..
If you go further, behind the Big Buddha 15 meters high, there will be even smaller statues, a little more than human growth - a fat figure with a hole in the middle of the belly, where you need to get a coin from a distance of several steps, as well as a very thin statue, a lying Buddha, many standing and sitting statues of Buddhas, including in the pavilions, and at the very end of the site, under the roof, there is a stylized imprint of a giant foot, on which it is customary to throw coins.
From there, a view of the center of Pattaya opens on one side and the Pratumnak area and the sea on the other. But it cannot be said that it was very exciting and, moreover, it is partially obscured by trees. Still, the best view of the city can be seen only from the neighboring hilltop, where the main observation deck is located..
The history of Wat Phra Yai dates back to the 1940s, when Pattaya was just a small fishing village. But by the end of the 1970s, with the development of tourism, it turned into a rapidly growing city, and a large white Buddha statue appeared on the territory of the temple on the hill, as if protecting the city. It was later refurbished and painted gold..
The Big Buddha temple is active, there are monks who can be approached for a blessing, and offerings can also be made. At the bottom of the stairs and small outbuildings you can see people with birds in cages. They offer to release them for money and, as it were, do a good deed. But now it has become more of a tourist attraction and income..
There are quite a lot of visitors here, often groups of tourists are brought to the Big Buddha, and it can be quite noisy. But nevertheless, in good weather it is nice to walk here, look at the city and numerous statues, take a picture as a souvenir.
Information to visit
It should be remembered that both the Chinese Wang Sam Sien and the Buddhist Wat Phra Yai are temples, and on their territory it is worth being dressed appropriately, with closed shoulders and knees, out of respect for believers..
Entrance to both temples is free, if you wish, you can leave a donation. Temples are open from dawn (7 am) until late at night.
Pattaya sightseeing tour price>
The observation deck is often part of the Pattaya sightseeing tour. You can take it to quickly see several places in the city. It usually costs about 300-500 baht, depending on what is included.
How to get there
You can get to the Big Golden Buddha and the Chinese temple Wang Sam Sien on foot, walking along the road from the center of Pattaya and climbing the hill by stairs, passing through the paths of the park with benches and exercise equipment. It will not take five minutes, but it is quite feasible even for untrained people. It's even easier to climb the hill by bike or taxi, it won't be difficult to catch it..
The hill separates the center of Pattaya and the Pratumnak area, located on a wide promontory and passing in the south into the Jomtien area. To climb to the Big Buddha, you need to move up the hill along the road, past the Unixx apartment complex to the police station on the left, and then climb the stairs to the top of the hill, through the park.
On the map
Big Buddha statue
Big Buddha statue
The most famous temple in Pattaya is located on a hill next to the observation deck. Nearby is a beautiful Chinese temple with a garden.
The most famous temple in Pattaya is located on a hill next to the observation deck. Nearby is a beautiful Chinese temple with a garden.Read More