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Big Buddha temple sits majestically on a small rocky island off Koh Samui’s north-eastern corner. Known locally as Wat Phra Yai, its golden, 12-metre seated Buddha statue was built in 1972 and remains one of the island’s most popular attractions. Set on Koh Faan, Big Buddha temple is reached by a causeway that connects it to the main island. The Big Buddha can be seen at a distance of several kilometres and is often the first landmark people see when arriving to Samui by air. The Big Buddha sits in the Mara posture, with the left hand’s palm up resting on the lap and the right hand facing down, the fingers hanging over the knee and grazing the ground. It depicts a time during Buddha’s journey to enlightenment where he successfully subdued the temptations and dangers thrust at him by the devil-figure Mara by meditating and remaining calm. The pose is a symbol of steadfastness, purity and enlightenment.
Wat Pai Leam
Wat Pai Leam
at Plai Laem is located near Choeng Mon Beach in Koh Samui and is one of the most interactive and colourful temples on Koh Samui. The attraction of this wat is the beautiful eighteen-armed statue, sitting in the middle of a lake.
The temple is extremely popular due to its beautiful lake that hosts hundreds of colourful fish.
Nestled alongside the lake, this famous temple offers breathtaking lakefront views and devotees who come here will often feed the fish. Visitors are welcome to make a donation at the temple in return for fish food.
Wat Plai Laem is located on Samui’s north-east coast. The temple’s unique and striking white 18-armed idol of Guanyin delights many visitors. According to Chinese mythology, Guanyin is the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion.
Wat Plai Laem is a popular religious spot for the residents of Koh Samui. Many devotees come to this temple daily and pay homage to Guanyin and to Buddha. In addition, the wat features a number of other statues and murals that are quite different from the architecture and art found in other temples.
The temple’s tranquil setting, with the pristine lake, is a welcoming atmosphere and whether you are here to worship, pray, or just for a tour, visitors will enjoy the religious culture of this amazing wat.
Koh Samui’s Mummified Monk at Wat Khunaram is an unusual sight yet it offers a unique insight into Buddhist and Thai culture. The monk Luong Pordaeng died in 1973 in a seated meditative position, and ever since his body has been on display in an upright glass case at the temple. Remarkably, even more than 30 years on the monk’s body shows little sign of decay. For some visitors, having a dead man in full view might be a shocking sight, but for Thais it is something to reflect upon and revere. Far from being frightened by death, most Buddhist Thais are highly accepting of the end of life as the natural order of things and they view death as an opportunity to be reborn into a better place, one step closer to nirvana. There are other mummy monks on Samui and throughout Thailand, but Loung Pordang is among the most highly revered. Loung Pordang is said to have told his followers shortly before his death that if his body were to decompose he should be cremated, but if not then he wanted to be put on display as a visual reminder of the Buddha’s teachings. For Thais, both the life and death of Loung Pordang serves as an inspiration to follow the Buddhist precepts and walk the middle path.
Fisherman’s Village Walking Street brings the quiet, sleepy town of Bophut to life every Friday from 17:00 to 23:00. It sees the narrow Beach Road and adjoining streets crammed with market stalls and shoppers from across Koh Samui, with a diverse range of wares available at very low prices. Many of the stalls sell much the same items as you will find in markets throughout Thailand, including 100-baht T-shirts, simple jewellery, handbags, sunglasses, beer cosies, souvenirs, watches of questionable mechanical soundness, branded clothes of dubious manufacture and electrical goods of suspicious provenance. As with all market shopping in Thailand, a certain amount of judgement and measured expectations is necessary when selecting your purchases.
Na Mueang 1 waterfall
Namuang Waterfall is Koh Samui’s best hidden secret. This amazing oasis is located just 10 km south from Nathon and boasts two beautiful waterfalls; the first is 18 meters high and the second is approximately 80 meters high.
Namuang is easily accessed by vehicle, but the higher waterfall can only be accessed by taking a 30 minute walk to the falls.
Both of these waterfalls boast some of the most scenic views on the island. While visiting Namuang’s waterfalls, you should explore the verdant forest and nearby hiking trails.
The waterfalls are located towards the southern coast of Samui’s central peak; so plan a day trip as you will find a number of things to see and do. Explore the island’s stunning landscapes, hiking pathways and acres of lush foliage. The Namuang waterfalls are a must visit location for those holidaying on Koh Samui.
Many people visit the waterfalls as they are easily accessed by vehicles. Also, the site has a number of souvenir shops and restaurants nearby.
The Namuang Waterfall 2 is the highest waterfall in Samui. If you are an enthusiastic hiker, you will enjoy the 30-minute walk to reach the summit.
Both waterfalls are near each other, therefore it is easy to visit both waterfalls on the same day
Hin Ta - Hin Yai
Hin Ta and Hin Yai, some fascinating rock formations on Koh Samui’s south coast, have been a source of mirth and wonder on the island since they were discovered by the locals many years ago. Art often imitates Nature, but less common is Nature imitating Art, especially the Art of the Ribald. But in Thailand anything is possible and these rocks, known as Grandpa (Ta) and Grandma (Yai), look, respectively, like male and female genitalia. Set on the rocky coastline between Lamai and Hua Thanon, Hin Ta and Hin Yai raise indulgent chuckles or embarrassed titters from those who go to see them. This unusual and titillating sight has, naturally, given rise to a legend explaining how the rocks came into being.
Ko Tao is an island in Thailand. Restaurants, nightspots and dive shops cluster in Mae Haad Beach and near Sai Ri Beach. Villas dot palm-fringed beaches such as Chalok Baan Kao Bay, on the south coast. In the northwest, Koh Nang Yuan is a group of islets with hilltop views. Ko Tao is known for its tropical coral reefs, with species including whale sharks and rays. Hawksbill and green turtles gather here to breed.
Koh Pha Ngan
Koh Pha Ngan
Ko Pha Ngan is an island in southeast Thailand that’s renowned for its monthly Full Moon Party. This boisterous night-long celebration, which is tied to the lunar calendar, draws revelers to its southeastern peninsula, Haad Rin. Most festivities center on Sunrise Beach, whose beach bungalows attract a backpacker crowd. On the north coast lie quieter, white-sand beaches including Hat Khuat and Hat Thian.