Big Buddha Koh Samui and Wat Plai Laem Koh Samui

Big Buddha Koh Samui and Wat Plai Laem Koh Samui are two of my favorite places on the island and they’re both free to visit! I’ve visited Samui on numerous occasions and even stayed here for two months when I first left the United States, it definitely has a special place in my heart. Having been to many islands throughout Southeast Asia, Samui is the perfect little island for a relaxing tropical getaway.

Of the many local attractions, Wat Plai Laem and Big Buddha are particularly interesting to me. Whether this is your first time in Koh Samui or maybe you’re on a mission to see the 14 biggest Buddhas in Thailand, these locations are both well worth a visit. Considering these are both conveniently located only 1.3 km away from each other, it’s super easy to visit them both even if you’re on foot. You may have noticed these structures flying in from Bangkok or on the Ferry from Koh Phangan as the Buddha is a particularly prominent landmark overlooking the bay.

If you’re like many backpackers and tourists who visit Samui, you probably only have a couple days before moving onto the next location in your itinerary. If this is the case and you’re staying near Chaweng then I would recommend stopping by here before your flight since its in such close proximity to the airport.

Big Buddha

big buddha temple samui

Wat Phra Yai temple, also known as the Big Buddha of Koh Samui is a giant gilded seaside structure in the northeastern part of the island. This golden seated 12 meter tall Buddha was originally constructed in 1972 but has been recently renovated. This has been one of the islands most popular attractions, especially since you can see it from several kilometers away.

big buddha

With no shortage of interesting architecture, beautiful bay views and photo opportunities, this makes for a perfect stop on your way around the island site seeing. Here you can see a golden monkey giving up offerings. I came here three years ago when they were still renovating and it most definitely looks a lot better now with the fresh coat of paint and other improvements they’ve made.

Like all Buddhist temples in Thailand, you’re expected to dress properly, particularly women. It is forbidden for you to show your breasts or even bare shoulders so make sure you bring a sarong or something to “cover up” or you may not be allowed to enter. It’s also recommended and greatly appreciated if you do not smoke in areas like this. If you forget to bring something for covering up then most of the more popular temples typically provide ones for free.

big buddha samui thailand

The Big Buddha Temple is a must see attraction if you have the time and are located anywhere near Chaweng then head on over there then grab some food at Fishermans Village.

Wat Plai Laem

Wat Plai Laem is conveniently located only 1.3 kilometers from the Big Buddha temple and in my opinion is one of the coolest places on the island! Outside of the incredible beaches and some scenic viewpoints, I think this is one of the best things to see in Samui. Having Traveled all over Thailand, and many other Southeast Asian countries with Buddhist themed temples, this one is pretty unique!

From the remarkable and massive 18 arm Guanyin Goddess of Mercy and Compassion statue to the huge Fat laughing Buddha and fish filled waters, I absolutely love this place. This elaborate temple is a combination of Chinese and Thai cultural and spiritual beliefs, and is a palce where many locals and travelers alike come to pay homage.

wat plai laem temple

The classic cultural techniques used to craft the architecture are centuries old but the temple itself is relatively new. This colorful temple was originally constructed in 2004.

wat plai laem samui

On either side of the impressive statues you’ll murals and smaller statues of Buddha with a long shaped building in the middle with beautiful paintings telling stories from Buddhist mythology. Looking more like an amusement park from above, this impressive temple and its structures are super photogenic to say the least.

big buddha temple koh samui thailand

Big Buddha Koh Samui and Wat Plai Laem Video

Big Buddha and Wat Plai Laem

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Nomadic Nava

Author Nomadic Nava

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