GPS coordinates of big Buddha: 12°54’51.2″N 100°52’06.9″E (12.914217, 100.868582)
Entrance (to all of sights located here): Free
Big Buddha hill is the main sight of Pattaya. It includes big Buddha and several statues around him, a garden with temples, sanctuaries and statues and a viewpoint on the closest to the sea ledge.
Most of tourists usually come here with a sightseeing tour (f.e. in Russian travel agencies such tour is included in every tour package for free) – it means that they don’t have enough time to see everything. Generally the most picturesque part (the garden) is omitted. Well, one can understand tour operators – if you want to see everything, take pictures and read stories that are translated in English, you’ll spend here at least 1 hour.
Of course big Buddha hill is not as beautiful and unique as some of Bangkok’s temples. But if you’re for the first time in Thailand – it’s a great place to start your immersion in Thai culture.
Big Buddha is a statue of sitting Buddha (>15 m. high) that is surrounded with other golden statues. Before you enter the stairway, you’ll be definitely offered to buy a cage with birds. Technically: to buy freedom for birds – release poor creatures and return the cage back to vendor. It is considered that you improve karma this way. In my opinion, if one really wants to improve karma, one shouldn’t give a reason for vendors to catch poor birdies. But tourists are in hurry to think what’s right or wrong and the “amusement” goes on.
There are a lot of animals on the hill – cats, dogs and even chickens. So sometimes “improvement of karma” doesn’t work. While a girl was releasing birds, little predator was fast enough to get a dinner. How should one interpret this case?
Garden with sanctuaries and statues
GPS coordinates: 12°54’58.6″N 100°52’06.3″E (12.916282, 100.868421)
The garden is the most tranquil place on the hill. Here you will see different pavilions and little temples mostly in Chinese traditions, sanctuaries and statues, pond, blooming flowers and burning incense sticks.
GPS coordinates: 12°55’19.0″N 100°51’58.2″E (12.921934, 100.866157)
The main viewpoint of Pattaya is 98 m above sea level. And the view is well-known all over the world (see the first picture of the article). Note that the view in dark time (after 19) is stunning too.
On the viewpoint there’s a radio station + tower and monument of admiral Aphakorn Kiantiwong. About the admiral and why Thai people come to this monument like to a shrine, you can read in my article in “People” section.
Take Pattaya map with you – just click the star and it will be saved in your Google account. Any locations in this region that I will add later will appear on your map.