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WAT PLAI LAEM KOH SAMUI – The Ultimate Guide

Wat Plai Laem is the most colorful temple on Koh Samui and some of the newest temples created. Completed in 2004, this temple is a must-visit when you’re in the North Eastern tip of Koh Samui. Close to the Big Buddha temple, this temple offers visitors a view into Chinese-Thai beliefs with the 2 enormous Chinese statues. The beautiful white 18-arm statue of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion and the big laughing Buddha are both a must visit temple on Koh Samui. Read further to know how to get to Wat Plai Laem Koh Samui and what to expect! 

Click here for our complete guide to the best temples in Koh Samui

Here you will find all the best things to do in 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 Wat Plai Laem

Located on the Northeastern tip of the island, this temple can be found on road 4171 between Big Buddha beach and Choeng Mon beach. You can get there with your rental bike or go with a local taxi to bring you there. 

Address Wat Plai Laem: Road 4171, Bophut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand

Opening times Wat Plai Laem

The opening times for Wat Plai Laem is daily from 6 AM 6 PM and is particularly lively during Chinese festivals such as the Lunar New Year. The entrance is free but a donation is always appreciated.

What to expect at Wat Plai Laem

Wat Plai Laem consists of two giant statues that are surrounded by the waters of a large lake full of big fish. One statue is from Guanyin, the Chinese Goddess of Mercy and Compassion who has 18 arms. It is said that she has so many arms so she can help many people at the same time. Therefore it is believed that Guanyin is a source of unconditional love and a protector of all beings. The other big statue is from the laughing Chinese Buddha. Both statues showcase the presence of Koh Samui’s strong Chinese heritage. Devotees come daily to Wat Plai Laem to pay homage to Guanyin and the Buddha.


The other very eye-catching statue is the laughing Chinese Buddha. In the Chinese culture, a fat Buddha represents wealth and prosperity. This very impressive statue is 30 meters high and painted in expressive colors like red, white and gold. 


It is such a peaceful place to walk around and admire the beautifully detailed statues with lakes around. Because this is a sacred place, make sure to dress properly when you visit meaning a shirt or scarf to cover your shoulders, trousers or long shorts and of course no beachwear is allowed.

Koh Samui weather

If you are planning to visit Koh Samui, of course you want to go into 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 Samui hotels or beach resort 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 Maenam beach area as it’s much quieter.

More Koh Samui travel inspiration

I hope you enjoyed reading about Wat Plai Laem temple Koh Samui.

If you want to read more about Koh Samui, head over to these blog posts:

Things to do on Koh Samui

Best beaches Koh Samui 

Best temples 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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