No Thailand trip is complete without a visit to the majestic temples. These places of worship feature captivating architectural and cultural details that are symbolic of the country’s rich history. An immersion to these places will also help you appreciate the pride that Thais have about their Buddhist roots.
Visitors and locals of Koh Samui are familiar with the Big Buddha Temple because it is a known landmark. However, more Buddhist temples within the area don’t get much publicity even though they are worth the visit. If you want to explore more temples other than the Big Buddha, here are five other temples in Koh Samui that are worth your time.
1. Wat Plai Laem
Also called the Lady Monk Temple, Wat Plai Laem in northern Koh Samui is set in an island within the lake, close to the Big Buddha temple. This fusion of Chinese and Thai architecture features the laughing Buddha as well as the Guan Yin statue with 18 arms. Locals believe that the multiple-armed goddess protects the sailors at sea. Meanwhile, there are halls on both sides of the goddess which contain murals depicting Buddhist mythological stories.
2. Wat Phra Yai
The home of the 12-meter-high Big Buddha is one of Koh Samui’s more famous temples, and a visit to this golden statue is a must for tourists. Also located in the northern part of the island, the temple complex contains beautiful buildings and has a terrace that provides a beautiful view of Koh Phangan Island. The walls of the pavilion hall include beautiful mosaic paintings while golden dragons adorn the handrails of the stairs leading to the statue.
3. Wat Ratchathammaram
The Red Temple attracts lesser crowds than the Lady Monk and the Big Buddha temples. Yet, it does not mean that it is any less beautiful. This exceptional location has terra cotta-colored impresses with stunning decorations inside and out. Next to it is the golden pagoda that shines under the sun. You can also head to the sea via a staircase decorated with snakeheads. Take note that you must remove your footwear before entering the temple, and the women must cover their shoulders.
4. Wat Khunaram
This temple features a mummified monk who died in 1973 but seemed to be not decaying except for his eyes. This is why the monk is wearing black sunglasses while sitting in a glass case. Believers attribute his condition to healthy living and lots of meditation. While a mummy with sunglasses seems to be an interesting sight, locals consider this image as sacred.
5. Khao Hua Jook Chedi
The Golden Pagoda is a true masterpiece inside and out because of Buddha’s sculptures. There are several details to discover within the temple, and you can receive a blessing from a monk. You can even get a wristband as a remembrance of your visit to this location that provides panoramic views of Koh Samui. However, no public transport passes through Khao Hua Jook Chedi, which means that you must arrange special transport going into this location.
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