Buddha Mountain in Jomtien is known in Thai as Khao Chi Chan. It is recognised as the largest carving of the Buddha in the world. It was completed in 1996 and since then it has impressed visitors both Thai and foreign with its beauty, elegance and enormity.
The limestone hill of Khao Chi Chan was used by local construction companies in Pattaya for materials to supply projects connected to the war in Vietnam. In 1976 mining of the mountain ceased. In 1996 the hill was given over to a memorial to celebrate His Majesty’s golden jubilee. The image is of a sitting Buddha in traditional pose with one hand in the lap and one hand resting on a knee. The image has been carved out of the stone and marked in gold. The final image is 109 metres tall and 70 metres wide.
How was the image carved on to the side of a mountain? An ingenious method was hit upon where the image was designed on a computer and projected onto the mountain side using lasers. This provided the template from which to carve out the lines of the image. As a result, the sculpting was done at night when the projected outline was most visible. During the day, corrections were made.
There is a small danger from falling stones so visitors are restricted from getting up too close to the foot of the mountain. Nevertheless you can get close enough, and besides if you get too close you can’t see the Buddha image.
In front of Khao Chi Chan is a temple called Wat Yansangwararam. It is a functioning temple with orange robed monks attending to their quest for enlightenment. The temple complex also holds a Chinese temple and museum called Viharn Sien. The museum has an impressive collection of Chinese artefacts.
To complete the beautiful scenery there are a number of pools with lotus flowers as well as pavilions for the weary traveller to pause and take in the view.
It is free to visit Khao Chi Chan, Wat Yansangwararam and Viharn Sien. The only expense is getting to the location which is 15 kilometres south of Pattaya. Khao Chi Chan is open from 8am to 6pm. You can get to Khao Chi Chan by either Songthaew or by taxi. Don’t forget the ‘meter’ will not be an option normally – you will have to negotiate a price before getting in the vehicle.
Address: Na Jomtien Km 163, Sukhumvit Road | Na Chom Thian Subdistrict, Sattahip 20250, Thailand
Khao Chi Chan or Buddha Mountain is currently the number 1 thing to do in Sattahip. Admittedly there are only 24 different things to do in Sattahip, but nevertheless, the mountain and temple complex are worth visiting.