Almost as impressive as the 45 m (148 ft) statue itself is the story behind the construction of Phuket's "Big Buddha," which stands sentinel atop the virgin forest of the Nakkerd Hills overlooking southern Thailand. Both past and present funding for this massive project have come entirely from donations, which should help explain the myriad donation boxes you'll encounter during your visit. Still, donations and the perpetual influx of other tourists aside, it's a sight worth seeing for several reasons: 1.) it's huge, and there are actually two Buddha images (another 12 m tall one cast in brass), 2.) the view of the surrounding water and landscape from the hill's summit is excellent and 3.) should you decide to ditch the taxi in favor of a moped or other personal means of transportation, it gives you a great excuse to explore the island. You'll probably see it anyway, so why not make the most of the experience?