Tha Rua Shrine, Thepkrasattri Road in Thalang, Phuket
As you make your way down from the airport, it is very difficult to miss this beautiful Taoist Shrine sitting on your left just after you pass the Heroines Monument. Tha Rua Shrine, which used to be just a very little tiny shrine, is actually the fourth oldest shrine on the island of Phuket.
It was relocated on a much bigger piece of land near its old site in 2002, when its reconstruction began, and now stands as one of the largest and brightest shrines in Phuket, with its harmonic combination of green, golden and red colors.
The shrine features some stunning bronze carved dragons as well as traditional Chinese paintings. There is a big brass container, decorated with dragon motifs, standing in the center of its front terrace, which was brought all the way from China and is used for incense burning.
Inside the main hall you’ll find many statues dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy Kwan Yin (Quan Yin), in different sizes and shapes, together with a number of other traditional Taoist deities, as you would do in all other shrines in Phuket. Worshipers come to this shrine to pay their respect as they believe Kwan Yin will protect their health as well as cure their diseases.
Lord Guan Yu
There is also a big statue of Lord Guan Yu, known as Jao Pho Suea by the local population, in the parking lot. Guan Yu was an important Chinese general in the second century civil war and a central figure in the Three Kingdoms period. He was also so famous for his martial prowess that, after his death, he was deified and regarded as a god revered for his bravery and his loyalty.
* Because of its numerous dragon representations, Tha Rua Shrine is also known by some people as the Dragon Shrine!