The Big Buddha Temple Koh Samui, locally known as Wat Phra Yai, features a giant 12 metre golden Buddha and is a popular tourist attraction. The temple is on a small island that has a bridge to the mainland.
How to get to the Big Buddha Temple Koh Samui
To get to Koh Samui, we used 12Go to book an overnight train and ferry from Bangkok. 12Go is a super cheap and reliable way to get around Thailand and other popular Southeast Asian countries.
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The Big Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Yai) is located towards the northeast of the island and is easily accessible by car or motorbike. We drove ourselves by scooter from the popular tourist area of Chaweng Beach which took us roughly 20 minutes. You can rent a scooter for as little as 150 Baht per day.
Where to stay in Koh Samui
The most popular area to stay in Koh Samui is on the east side of the island, close to Chaweng beach. We stayed close to the Samui Poshtel and found it to be the perfect spot. If you’re not on a budget then you can check out the resorts in the area such as The Samui Beach Resort as well as Baan Talay Resort.
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The temple is open daily but there are no specified opening hours for the temple complex. We got there at 7.30am and the entrance was shut. However, there was a shop owner sitting beside the gate who let us in with no issues.
Entrance fee & dress code
To our surprise there are no entrance fees. When visiting the Big Buddha Temple Koh Samui be sure to dress respectfully. This means no inappropriate or revealing clothing such as short shorts and singlets.
What to expect
The Big Buddha Temple Koh Samui is an incredible religious sight and is a popular attraction on the island. We decided to head there as early as possible to beat the crowds as it can get busy during the day and on weekends. We were able to take photos peacefully because we were the only ones there.
The large 12 metre golden Buddha is located at the top of a staircase which is perfect for photos. At the top you may find some locals offering fruit or flowers and lighting incense as they pray. The courtyard at the top also offers some gorgeous views of the surrounding oceans and beaches. Additionally, around the complex you’ll find vendors selling everything from clothing to souvenirs and even snacks and food.
Don’t forget to also check out the beautiful Chaweng Beach while you’re in Koh Samui!