Buddha Mountain is located in the Silver Lake area of Thailand …also nicknamed Little Switzerland because of the rolling terrain and grape growing region. It is simply amazing to see how The Golden Buddha Outline dominates the area and is a favorite place for picture taking, meditation and just hanging out. The image of Buddha sat cross-legged, with one hand resting on his knee and the other in his lap, is engraved into the northern face of Khao Chi Chan. The solitary limestone hill was once used to supply the local construction industry with materials.
In 1996, to commemorate His Majesty the King of Thailand’s golden jubilee, the 109-metre-tall and 70-metre-wide image was carved into the rock and then marked out in gold on the recommendation of the then Supreme Patriarch, who felt it was otherwise a waste of a perfectly good (and particularly beautiful) mountain. The image was designed using computer software and then drawn onto the side of Khao Chi Chan using a laser. This was done entirely at night, so that the light of the laser could be seen more clearly. During the day, the image would be fixed and adjusted. Finally, with the drawing completed, gold was used to fill in the sculpture.
The surrounding area is one of particular natural beauty and, while Khao Chi Chan is its most prominent landmark and attraction, other facilities have sprung up around it to take advantage of the high level of passing trade in the form of Thai and foreign visitors to this remarkable place. The car park is often busy with tour coaches, but is also the home of various snack and drink vendors and souvenir shops. The grounds in front of Buddha Mountain include a temple, with saffron-robed monks a common sight, so appropriate clothing is recommended (clothing that covers shoulders and legs above the knee).
Beyond this, there are no fees or restrictions on entering the grounds and getting up close to the awe-inspiring image. There are restrictions on exactly how close you can get to the mountain as there is still the possibility of injury from falling stones, but the areas where you can and cannot go are clearly marked and should be adhered to. Khao Chi Chan is reached by following Sukhumvit Road south from Pattaya and turning left on Ban Yen Road, which is about 500 metres after the turn-off for Wat Yansangwararam and a short distance before the Cartoon Network Amazone Waterpark and Nong Nooch Tropical Gardens. Follow the road for six kilometres and you will be unable to miss this unforgettable attraction. If you’re not hiring a car, a taxi, Songtaew (baht bus) or even a motorbike taxi will get you there in about 20-30 minutes from the centre of Pattaya at a cost of around 500 baht.
While in the area a must attraction would be to tour Silver-lake Vineyard and purchase a few samples for your delight. Also just across the road there is an excellent Italian restaurant that makes its own wood burned pizzas and has a view to be envious of.
QUOTES: “To me a mountain is a Buddha. Think of the patience, hundreds of thousands of years just sittin there bein perfectly perfectly silent and like praying for all living creatures in that silence and just waitin for us to stop all our frettin and foolin.” Jack Kerouac
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THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Mountains…they are amazing natural wonder. Don’t let some coal or oil Barron destroy your mountain.
ZENTRAVELER SAYS: It’s all in zee wine making. Drink no wine before its time…plus a glass of wine a day can add years to your life.
From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on. Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free.