Koh Samui may be famed for its beaches, but it also has some impressive temples that offer insights into the island’s rich heritage like those mentioned below.
The Big Buddha Temple
Located on a small island, the famed Big Buddha Temple features a striking 12-metre-high statue of a seated golden Buddha and is within easy reach of SHA Extra+ certified Chaweng Beach resorts. You must climb a series of steps to reach the statue, which is set amidst breathtaking vistas, while this temple, also called Wat Phra Yai, features various shrines as well.
This temple is home to the ‘Mummified Monk’ of Luang Por Daeng who passed away here in 1973 while he was meditating; remarkably, his body hasn’t decayed that much and is on display with sunglasses used to cover the eye sockets. The site which can be visited on excursions from properties like Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort is also where one can see daily temple rituals.
Wat Plai Laem
Another of the key temples in Koh Samui, Wat Plai Laem is known for its statue of the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion or Guanyin, featuring 18 arms; set amidst a backdrop of a lake with fish that you can feed, this site also features traditional architecture as well as a statue of a Chinese Buddha along with several captivating murals, statues and artworks.
Wat Namtok Hin Lad
Surrounded by the serenity of nature, Wat Namtok Hin Lad (or Hin Lad Waterfall Temple) is a forest monastery that’s an ideal spot to get away from it all. This site with its Buddhist shrine is located near the well-known Hin Lad Waterfall and is also home to a picturesque garden, an area for meditation and various religious images and sculptures too.