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The Big Buddha temple Koh Samui, also known as Wat Phra Yai in Thai, is a temple you have to see when visiting the island. It is a very unique and beautiful temple that stands alone at the end of a long pier in the North of Samui. This golden temple was built in 1972 and is now one of the most visited locations on Koh Samui. The decorations are beautiful and it’s a fantastic spot for photo opportunities! So take your time here for some cool shots. Find in this complete guide all you need to know about the Big Buddha temple Koh Samui.

Best Koh Samui tours

If you want to explore the best of Koh Samui, and eventually the surrounding islands such as Koh Phangan, Koh Tao, Ang Thong Marine Park and Koh Nang Yuan, then you can find the best tours here. All of these tours include air conditioned transport with hotel pick up and drop off, certified guides and sometimes also lunch and the entrance fees. You can reserve now and pay later, with cancellation up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund.

How to get to Big Buddha temple Koh Samui 

The Big Buddha temple is located in the North East of Koh Samui. Very close to Wat Plai Laem which is also very worth to visit! Take the main route 4169 up to the northeast region of Samui, then turn off on route 4171. The temple is about 3 kilometers directly north of Samui International Airport and 3km east of Bophut Beach.

What to expect when you visit the Big Buddha temple

The 12 meters golden Buddha statue was built in 1972 and remains one of the islands most popular attractions. It’s often the first landmark people see when arriving to Koh Samui by air. The Big Buddha sits in the Mara posture with the left hand’s palm up resting on the lap and the right hand facing down. The fingers hang over the knee and grazing the ground. It represents the time during Buddha’s journey to enlightenment. He successfully subdued temptations and dangers by meditating and remaining calm. The pose is a symbol of stability, purity and enlightenment. 


Around the base of the tall statue is a courtyard and vendor area where clothes, souvenirs and religious artifacts are sold. There are also some food stalls and a small restaurant to enjoy a Thai meal. A staircase with a colorful striking dragon leads up to the platform area where the Buddha sits.

Since this is a sacred place, visitors are asked to dress politely. Be sure to wear shirts or scarves that cover the shoulders, trousers or long shorts, and of course no beachwear when visiting the Big Buddha temple Koh Samui.


Best time to visit the Big Buddha Koh Samui

The temple is open all day, but for those hoping to catch a true cultural experience, it’s best to go in the early morning hours. Local people then bring their food and other offerings to the temple and the monks do their morning chanting.

Also in the morning it’s the best timing to go considering the heat later during midday. The stairs become super hot and you don’t want to cover up yourself in too many clothes in the glaring sun.

Basically next door you will find another beautiful temple worth to visit. It’s Wat Plai Laem, read more about that temple here! 

More Koh Samui travel inspiration

We hope you enjoyed this blog post about the Big Buddha temple Koh Samui. Make sure to check out the other beautiful Koh Samui temples.

For more Koh Samui travel inspiration, head over to our other Koh Samui travel guides.

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