Roundtrip from Patong to the big Buddha statue and back
A long roundtrip walking tour to some of the highlights of Phuket and through a large variety of landscapes.
The marked route is available
for online viewing and download in the gpx format.
~5h (+ time for resting and sigthseeing)
The route starts in Patong.
Leave the city at the southern end, going uphill.
There is not much traffic going up here and the environment is nice and lush.
After a while the street turns to a smaller concrete path leading into a valley.
At the end of the concrete way begins a narrow washed out dirt path going up.
Once at the top it becomes a more relaxing walk on level ground through nice scenery.
After about 20 minutes the descend on the eastern side begins.
On the way down there are the first views of the sea, Phuket Town and Wat Chalong.
After passing through a gate and a few houses, one reaches the road along the outside of an
artifical lake. It takes a long time to walk through all the curves
but there is almost no traffic and the view back to the mountains is very nice.
This roadside temple (point 3 on the map) might have a shortcut to the big buddha (skipping Wat Chalong)
but I did not try this way out.
Continue on the lake road till you reach the highway leading south from Phuket Town.
After a short walk along the highway you can already see the pagoda of Wat Chalong.
This is the biggest temple on Phuket and definitely worth a visit.
Climb the pagoda for a good view of the mountains through which you came and the white
big Buddha statue in the south west.
After exiting Wat Chalong there is not other option, then to walk along
the main road. Not very pleasent because of the heavy traffic but only 500 meters further there
is a junction leading westward.
This junction goes straight for a while before it starts to curve and go uphill.
Higher up it turns to a comfortable shady dirt road going through a forest.
On the way you will see a ziplining area, a great viewpoint and a small elephant camp.
The last part up to the statue is about a kilometer on a concrete road.
Finally at the top there is a lot to see.
First of course the spectacular statue itself.
But even better is the fantastic view in almost all directions.
The mountains, the bay, full of boats and the islands in the distance.
Besides that there are some other buildings worth visiting, shady banks to relax
and in the north of the statue there are a couple of monkeys in the trees.
If your supplies run low you can buy some food and drinks at the entrance area.
When you are able to tear yourself from the amazing views, backtrack for about
500 meters (to point 8 on the map).
There is a stone with an arrow marking the way downhill (1 km) to Karon Beach.
It's much nicer to walk down here on this quiet path then on the road.
Some parts are a bit steep but nothing to crazy.
Once at the outskirts of the city, continue westward till you reach the beach road.
Here is the first chance to catch the smart bus (at the Karon night plaza) or a songthaew / TukTuk back
Otherwise continue north either along the straight beach road or on the beach itself.
At the Karon Beach roundabout there is another opportunity to take the smart Bus or another form
of public transport back to Patong.
Completionists can continue walking along the road going up to Karon Hill and onward to Patong,
but there is a lot of traffic and many sections are without a sidewalk.
This was the most rewarding hike I did in my time on Phuket and I especially enjoyed that I could
do it out of Patong without any kind of transportation.