The Big Buddha (Wat Phra Yai) is one of Koh Samui’s most impressive landmarks and one that is difficult to miss. When you arrive there are a number of stands at the bottom of the stairway selling souvenirs, clothing and shops selling drinks, snacks and food. The Stairway is flanked by the mythological serpent called Naga leading all the way up to the viewing platform, where you can see the huge Buddha up close. From the platform you will also have some great views of the surrounding beaches and the island of Koh Pha Ngan to the North.
Big Buddha is located on the northeast coast of Koh Samui, about 15 minutes by road from Chaweng Beach.
- The 12 meters (39-foot) high gold-painted Buddha statue was built in 1972 located inside the temple grounds of the Wat Phra Yai, meaning Big Buddha temple.
The Buddha is in the subduing Mara posture, which symbolizes the Buddha not giving in to temptations presented by the Mara, a demon trying to tempt the Buddha with beautiful women. At night the Buddha is lit up by spotlights, giving its silhouette a mystical appearance against the sky.
For the main attraction, the Big Buddha, you’ll not need more than 30 minutes to an hour.
- Appropriate clothing is required! Clothing has to cover shoulders and legs!
The Wat Phra Yai with the Big Buddha is located on Big Buddha beach, which used to be called Bang Rak beach on the North Eastern tip of Koh Samui island. It is not far from Chaweng beach and very close to the airport on road 4171. From Chaweng or Lamai beach you can get there by songthaew.
- Admission to the temple and the Big Buddha statue is free. With donations for renovation welcomed.
- For the main attraction, the Big Buddha, you’ll not need more than 30 minutes to an hour.
- The busiest day of the week is Sunday. As on Sundays many foreigners as well as local Thai people visit the temple to pay respect to the buddha.
- DON’T forget the mosquito repellent and the Sunscreen.
The dry season is from November-April and corresponds with the tourist high season. May-October is the rainy season with south-westerly breezes bringing rain in between the sunshine. Statistically, the highest chance of rain is during June and September (80% chance) with the lowest chance from November-March (5% chance).
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