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The Most Interesting Temples in Koh Samui

The Most Interesting Temples in Koh Samui
30 March 2018

Koh Samui is an interesting island and it is well-known for its beaches around the world, visited by many tourists from near surroundings and far away countries. Not only the beaches that attract many visitors to Koh Samui, culture and religion also play an important role in its big tourism industry. Like in other islands in Thailand, Buddhism plays a great role, as 90% of its citizens are Buddhist and the rest of the population are Taoists, Christians, and Muslims. Even though the first settlers on Koh Samui were from China and Muslim fishermen. We can see many Buddhist temples on Koh Samui as well as old Chinese shrines. Most temples and shrines are represented by two important religious landmarks; the enlightened Samui Big Buddha is overlooking the sea with 15 meters high seated on the northeastern coast and Wat Plai Laem, a statue of Guanyin with 18 arms, the Goddess of Compassion and Mercy.

The temples and shrines are scattered all around the island with their followers, ceremonies, festivities, and rituals that call the attention of many tourists; so let's take a look at them.

Big Buddha

Big BuddhaBig Buddha is known locally by the name of Wat Phra Yai and is located on the north-eastern corner of the island sat benevolently on a tiny rocky island.

This golden statue of 15 meters was built in 1972 and now is widely visited by many tourists around the world and is among the most popular attractions of Koh Samui situated on Koh Faan and reachable by a causeway connecting the temple with the mainland.

When you are arriving on airplane Big Buddha is the first landmark of the island that you can see from several kilometers away.

The Big Buddha is grazing the ground with his Mara posture and its fingers of the right hand facing down hanging over his knee, the palm of his left hand up resting on the lap representing steadfastness enlightenment and purity. Depicting a time when Buddha went through enlightenment and he successfully defeated the danger and temptations thrust at him by remaining calm and meditating.

Let’s check out some considerations when visiting Big Buddha

Temples around Koh Samui are extensively visited by tourists and in some temples, it is required to dress accordingly. Big Buddha is one of the most important temples on the Island, thus, we need to give the dress code some attention.

This is a religious temple and we have to respect their beliefs before being turned away from the temple by monks.

Those tourists who are dressed improperly will be turned away so it is important to take a little time to choose the right clothes, and about shoes, the signs will indicate where we should take them off.

Why visit this Big temple?

Big Buddha is a star here in Koh Samui as a great attraction and it is much visited all year round. Here we can take pictures, as there are great details up close that call our attention, it is a Big Buddha that we are not going to find elsewhere on the island.

How long can we visit Buddha?

Most people do the tour to Big Buddha just in thirty minutes, but it is all up to you, if you want to take photos at a slow pace or if you are introspective etc. There is not a bad time to visit this temple but maybe if it is raining probably the stairs will be slippery, so it is better to visit when the sun is shining even though it is so hot but we can always go early. If you are traveling with children, yes you can find ice cream there, but be careful with the stairs as children love racing up and down.

Guam Im Shrine

This temple is located at the southwest of Koh Samui overlooking the wonderful views of Kok Tao island, relatively new over 30 years old settled in a single building featuring a small decorated altar with colorful pictures that tell stories of Mei Guam Im.

There is a painting that calls the attention on the right of the temple on the stone altar showing the fine art of Thai artists.

From this location, we can admire the spectacular sunset, the fishing boats and all the horizon. This temple is easy to find relatively close to Big Buddha Temple.

Hainan Temple

This is a true temple gem, very old from 1862 and is located in the center of Nathon near Thaweerat Phakdee Street so close to Soi Angthong, where we can spot the temple compound with two golden lions guarding the main entrance.

All the compound is protected by the walled garden making it a tranquil place without street noise.

Hin Lad Waterfall Temple

Hin Lad Waterfall TempleSaunthamma Pala Nikrotharam Temple is surrounded by a tropical forest and so close to Hin Had Waterfall just some kilometers south of Nathon Town. This monastery temple is frequently visited on weekends by the locals who come to picnic at the waterfall and make merit. This is the perfect place to relax and unwind under the shades. This temple has an enchanting garden, walking path to a meditation area, religious sculptures, and some Buddha images making it a special place for photographs and strolls to enjoy the nature and the splendor of the tropical garden.

This is a peaceful small temple just perched on the left of the waterfall trail, here you can feed the fish while crossing the bridge and have a moment of reflection. Here you can see a Buddha statue surrounded by a lush tropical vegetation. As we can see many signs posted along the pathways with wisdom sayings in English and Thai.

Many locals visit this temple as a getaway from their occupied life and a break to relax. Many locals come to this temple accompanied by trainers, nuns, and monks to meditate, do workshops and overcome personal problems like bad relationships and labor problems, others just come here to enjoy being near nature and admire the waterfalls and swim. This temple is open during the year but people come to the waterfall during the rainy season to enjoy the green tropical atmosphere and the water of the small pools. Here we can find some locals restaurants to get some snack or get lunch before returning to the hotel. Brings some bottles of water and a good pair of shoes to reach the twenty, thirty-minute walk to the falls.

Laem Sor Pagoda

Laem Sor PagodaLaem Sor Pagoda is strategically situated at the southmost tip of Koh Samui just at the end part of the Island creating a beautiful contrast with its golden hue color and the blue sky combined with the turquoise sea.

Two giant warrior statues and their big swords in colorful clothes are guarding the main entrance.

There is a Buddha standing in the doorway behind the statues, a beautiful place to take photos and enjoy the place's tranquility.

Pagoda Khao Chedi

Pagoda Khao Chedi has a golden color above the Laem Sor, situated on a hill with spectacular views of mainland Suratthani, Wat Laem Sor and Koh Tao and Koh Mud Sum. It is just 11 kilometers off Lamai.

Secret Buddha Garden

Secret Buddha GardenThis is a well-hidden secret in the interior of Koh Samui featuring stunning views in high hills as well as statues of unusual collection surrounded by a lush tropical jungle.

Here the garden was created by Nim Thongsuk, a Samui fruit farmer who in 1976 started building some statues and temples on his family farm.

If you are visiting this Buddha garden on your own, you have to pay a fee at the entrance. This garden is located on a hilltop on the ring road. It is recommended to be visited by a 4WD vehicle as the road is hilly and can be a part of an adventure tour arranged by many tour agencies in Koh Samui.

Wat Chaeng Temple

Wat Chaeng temple is a colorful building located in Nathon with an adjoined school fronted by a big Buddha in a Pang Prathanporn pose with his hand raised showing his thumb and index finger touching while his other hand is with the palm facing up resting in his lap. This Buddha and Wat are guarded by two big gold and green statues on Thaweerat Phakdee Road in Nathon.

Wat Khao Hua Juk

Wat Khao HuaJukIf you are looking for a beautiful point to see Samui Airport from above, this 90-meter tall hill is where we can admire the neighboring islands such as Koh Tao, Koh Phangan, Koh Sum, Koh Lum Noi and others as well as the Big Buddha, stunning sunset, all these sites from just this view.

This temple features a Buddha’s replica and when we are on our way to this spot, we can pass the Nathalie’s Art Palace and the famous Q Bar of Bangkok, so everything could be at your feet from this admirable viewpoint.

This point is close to Chaweng lake through the Kao Hua Juk Road.

Wat Khiri Mat

This temple is in Ban Pang Ka at the end of Keeree-Mas Road, we can find a highly visible yellow and blue arch signing the way to this enchanting temple seated atop a hill where we can see a large pagoda covering a Buddha statue with a glass.

Wat Kini Wongkaram

This is an enchanting white temple combining the red, yellow and green tiles with a roof and a small Buddha statue in front of the entrance. It is about 500 meters from the Taling Ngam and the Elephant Gate.

Wat Khunaram

Wat KhunaramThis is the famous Mummified Monk temple in Koh Samui at Wat Khunaram village. This unique sight represents the Buddhist and Thai culture.

This temple is represented by the monk Luong Pordaeng who died in 1973 while he was meditating in a Yoga position since then his body is exhibited in a glass cake at this temple.

It is located at Wat Khunaram on Route 4169 between Hua Thanon and Na Muang waterfalls.

Wat Laem Sor

Wat Laem Sor appears as if it is in the ocean due to the pool water surrounding the temple. It has a beautiful view when we observe it from the hill of Pagoda Khao Chedi above Bang Kao Beach. It is like a big blue-chip sailing among the trees of coconut. Wat Laem Sor features inside its temple complex a big palm tree growing like a snake from the ground. It is located about 11 kilometers south of Lamai, one hundred meters from Laem Sor Pagoda.

Wat Lamai and Cultural Hall

Wat Lamai and Cultural HallThis is the temple for the local Thai community, the epicenter for Samui citizen where they hold weddings, religious festival, funerals. Wat Lamai temple hosts lively temple fairs all year round with fairground fairs, concerts, outdoor movies exhibition, most of these fairs last one week, so if we are around this temple, it is worth checking.

This dusty Cultural temple features a picturesque and unique collection of objects of the Island’s past from armadillos skins, swords, dried pufferfish to ancient bicycles, earthenware and brass vessels even cooking implements and agricultural tools.

Here we can see a two-thousand years old drum ceremonial found under the earth in Lamai village. These objects do not have a translation note in English so we have to imagine the years and times of these artifacts. It is located on Route 4169 in Lamai.

Wat Nara Charoen Suk

This temple is well-known for its unique building which has a big tower constructed into its facade. It is located in Moo 2, Tambon Lipa Noi, Amphoe Ko Samui, Surat Thani, 84140. This is one of the best-known sites in Koh Samui and we can find hotels near this temple such as City Hotel or America Living Resort Villas.

Wat Plai Laem

Wat PlaiLaemThis is a compound Buddhist temple on the north-east coast of Samui representing the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion, Guanyin has a stunning image of eighteen arms near the Big Buddha temple.

This temple offers tourists the religious part of Thai-Chinese beliefs, architecture, and art through some elaborate Buddhist-themes.

It is open all day and during Chinese New Year or festival events, this temple is lively with visitors from all around.

Wat Pradoem Built

Wat Pradoem is located close to Butterfly Garden with post-signs. It is believed that Wat Pradoem is the oldest temple in Koh Samui as it was built about 250 years ago. This temple features a hall with many ancient sculptures and art carvings.

Wat Sila Ngu

Wat Sila NguWat Sila Ngu is another Buddhist temple on the Ring Road near Rocky’s Boutique Resort. Sila Ngu means stone snake that is why we can see many snakes carved on stones all around this temple.

Local authorities have graded this temple recently with a new large building in red clay so it could better the rundown and standard look.

This temple has a mysterious atmosphere of tranquility, serene large rooms with walls carved describing Buddha´s life.

The location of this temple allows stunning views to Samui coast on The Ring Road.

Wat Bo Phumttharam

This is a new temple offering rituals with the bells and bowl. Once with the bowl and once with bells. Marking the beginning and the end with two black bells and in the beginning, we can see a bucket with bamboo sticks. Wat Bo Phumttharam is in the Surat Thani province 84320, Bo Put, Hoh Samui.

Koh Samui Chinese Temple Guan Yu temple

This is a Chinese temple on Koh Samui and it's a little different compared to other temples on the island. It is a beautiful temple representing many cultures on Samui Island, as a part of this culture, the temple shows the Chinese general Guan Yu.

This temple is located beside the high street in Lamai and was constructed in 2016.

Wat Ratchathammaran

This is a typical temple and is frequently visited by locals and it has been completely carved in wood, in a deep red color located near the main road in Lamai.

Pra Buddha Teepangkorn

This could be the most recent built temple in Koh Samui, perched on the highest point of a mountain just in the middle of a green forest reachable by safari jeep or with your scooter, and some operators have included this temple as part of an Excursion trip.

The roads are not in perfect condition but the views can pay for that.

There are statues inside the temple and to enter we have to pay a fee of 20 Baht because they want to finance the removal and maybe repairing the roads.

Wat Na Phra Lan

This is a small temple located near the pier of Lomprayah in Maenam. Wat Na Phra Lan is so close to the sea and those who are coming to the pier should pay a quick visit to this small temple in Mae Nam, Koh Samui district, Surat Thani Province 84330 and enjoy a temple part of the Thai religion.

At Ferrysamui, We are always glad to introduce you to different cultures and open a door to experience new and amazing places.

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