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7 BEST KOH SAMUI TEMPLES – The Ultimate Guide

Koh Samui has just like other places in Thailand a lot of different temples, pagodas and Buddha’s. They are very photogenic and if you’re interested in the Thai culture than it’s very interesting to see the temples from up close and learn more about the Buddhist culture. There are a few Koh Samui temples that are really worth to visit. In this blog post you will find all the Koh Samui temples with practical information on how to get there and entrance fees. If you want to know more specific information about a temple you want to visit, then head to the separate guide about that temple. 

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.

Koh Samui weather

If you are planning to visit Koh Samui, of course you want to go in the best months with the driest days. The monsoon usually lasts from October through December with November as the wettest month. February and March, on the other hand, are the sunniest months. January is (statistically) the coolest month and April the hottest time of the year. Broadly you can travel to Koh Samui from January until October to have the best chance on a sunny vacation.

Where to stay in Koh Samui

This depends on what you are looking for and what your budget is considering the hotels you can choose. If you’re looking for entertainment and nightlife you have to stay around the Chaweng area. But if you’re more into relaxing and quiet beaches, then book your accommodation around the more in the south or around the Maenam beach area as it’s much quieter. The roads in Koh Samui are great, so when you hire a motorbike for 150 – 200 baht you can explore the island easily on your own.

How to get to Koh Samui

There are several options to get to Koh Samui. Since this is the only island on the east coast that has an airport, it is the most convenient but also expensive way to get to here. You can also come by ferry (and bus) from the mainland of Thailand via Surat Thani and Krabi.

How to get to the Koh Samui temples

With a scooter you can explore the whole island. For around 200 Baht you can rent a scooter for one day and drive yourself around.


Big Buddha temple

The Big Buddha 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 is built back in 1972 and is now one of the most visited locations on Koh Samui. The decoration around the grounds are beautiful and it’s a fantastic spot for photo opportunities! So take your time here for some cool shots!

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

Read in our complete guide everything about the Big Buddha temple Koh Samui


Visit the Wat Plai Laem

Wat Plai Laem is the 18 armed statue of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion. Wat Plai Laem offers visitors a view into Chinese-Thai beliefs as well as some Buddhist-themed art and architecture. This is a relatively new temple but the art techniques used in its creation are centuries old and based on ancient beliefs. This impressive statue is together with the white laughing Buddha part of a beautiful lake. You might even see some turtles swimming in the lake! It’s really worth to visit this beautiful temple.

Read in our complete guide everything about Wat Plai Laem Koh Samui


Wat Ratchathammaram the Red temple

We passed this impressive red temple on our way while exploring Koh Samui. Located right next to the road, we had to stop and take a look. With its red-brick color, this temple is very unusual but special. The roof of this ‘terracotta’ temple is embellished with many stone-carved snakes all around the compound. But from the inside, the temple is also very interesting and for sure worth a visit! The seaside location of this temple also offers beautiful views on the East Coast of Samui.


Secret Buddha garden

The Secret Buddha Garden is a private sculpture park surrounded by lush forests on top of Pom Mountain, one of the highest peaks of Koh Samui. The journey to the garden is a bit of a challenge because the road is very steep. But from the top, you will have beautiful panoramic views over the island. You have to pay 80 Baht admission fee before you enter a beautiful piece of nature with an idyllic water stream and small Buddha statues scattered around the garden. The area is very peaceful and absolutely worth to visit when you’re in search for some quietness.


The Wat Khunaram to see a Mummified Monk

This temple stores the body of a Buddhist monk who died whilst meditation in a seated position. It was decided that his body would be preserved and he has been displayed in a glass case ever since. The mummified monk is still in good condition with no signs of degradation. Many local people visit the temple on a daily basis to pray. 


Laem Sor Pagoda

This pagoda is located on the southwest part of Koh Samui which is the quiet part of the island. It is guarded by two colorful yaks that each carries a sword to protect the pagoda. The building looks gold from a distance but it is actually made from yellow tiles that glitter when the sun reflects from the sea onto the Pagoda. Down from the pagoda is a small hall that has a wax casting of the monk who built the pagoda. He is sitting inside a boat where locals come to pray as he is an important monk.


Khao Hua Jook Chedi

This temple, which is more a pagoda, stupa or chedi because of its form, is located on a hill close to Chaweng Lake. This hilly terrain with its beautiful temple overlooks the gorgeous coastline and valleys of Koh Samui. You need to park your car or scooter and walk the stairs to reach the summit of the Pagoda. When you reach Khao Hua Jook Chedi, you will see many sculptures and golden idols of Buddha and of course the wonderful view. A great stop when you’re exploring Koh Samui island! 


More Koh Samui travel inspiration

We hope you enjoyed reading this blog about the 7 best Koh Samui temples!

For more information about the best things to do and on Koh Samui island, then head over to these blog posts:

Things to do on Koh Samui island

Best beaches on Koh Samui

If you want to explore more of the paradise Thai islands, then you can easily hop on a ferry and explore the neighbour islands Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.

Or if you’re planning to explore more of Thailand, head over to our other blog posts which will tell you:

The best things to do in Phuket

Must-do things in Chiang Mai

Best things to do in Krabi

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  1. Hey Ilse, thank you so much, for this fantastic topic and sharing. I love to read it. I have been on Samui this year the first time, and your guideline, help me a lot to find these beautiful temples. I never expect, that the island is so big and has many hidden places, viewpoints, and temples. I was around by car, but some locals recommend the highest temple with a 360-degree view on Samui. I decided to go there. But with a car was not possible and I went by a group with ATV. That was fun, but I had sunburn the next day on my arms. The view and the temple were amazing. A must if you are on Samui. I also find another good place in the southwest. Here is a nice guideline with google points. Easy to find. https://properties-away.com/koh-samui-temples-and-pagodas/
    I can recommend going early in the morning, around 6:00-7:00 a.m. when the locals are supporting the monks with food and gifts. It is such a quiet atmosphere on the island, which really makes an unforgettable stay. I am looking forward to getting back as soon as possible. As long I am watching out for your next article, my dear.

    BR Amanda P.

    1. Hey Amanda! Thanks so much for your lovely comment! And happy to hear you enjoyed reading the article and that it helped you to find the best temples 🙂 The blog post you’ve shared is a great addition as well. Thanks for the tips! Hope more of our guides will help you in the future as well. Best regards, Ilse

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