Koh Samui is one of the most beautiful islands in Thailand known for its idyllic beaches, crystal clear waters, and vibrant nightlife. It’s also home to the iconic Big Buddha statue and temple which should be added to any itinerary, and here’s more on what you need to know.
Planning Your Visit
The temple and statue are located on the northeastern corner of Koh Samui on a small island which is linked by a causeway; due to the statue’s elevated position, it can be seen from far away, so you are not likely to miss it! One can easily plan a visit on excursions from properties like Avani+ Samui Resort; to avoid the crowds and the heat (especially since there are some steps to climb), the best time to head here is early morning. That said, the views during sunset are worth taking in as well.
On Your Arrival
There’s much to discover as you reach this site from your resort; Koh Samui sightseeing escapades at this temple, locally known as “Wat Phra Yai”, give you a chance to wander around a courtyard at the entrance where you will find pavilions with two more Buddha statues. Also here are vendors offering everything from souvenirs to amulets and food stalls serving delectable delights. Once you have had a look around, head up the staircase which features a dragon design to the main attraction!
The Big Buddha
At the top of the stairs, you will find a platform which is home to the famed Big Buddha with its golden exterior that dazzles in the sun. The statue reaches an impressive height of around 12 metres which adds to its truly impressive nature. It depicts the Buddha in a seated Mara posture with his right hand facing down and the left hand resting on the lap facing upwards. It connects to the journey of Buddha’s enlightenment and the pose is said to signify aspects such as purity and steadfastness.
This site is a great place to observe Buddhist devotees making offerings and lighting incense as well as take in various other customs and rituals. Of course, another key attraction here is the breathtaking views of the surrounding coastline that one can take in from the platform where the statue is located. For more cultural insights, look to visit during festivals like Songkran or Loy Krathong where you can witness distinctive celebrations and festivities.