Big Buddha Temple on Koh Samui

The Big Buddha Temple on Koh Samui, also known as Wat Phra Yai, is one of the most important landmarks of the popular holiday island of Thailand. A visit is considered one of the best things to do in Koh Samui and a stop at this majestic temple is almost a must on any vacation itinerary. This impressive Buddha Temple is not only a highly spiritual place on the island, but also an attraction of great cultural significance that attracts visitors from all over the world. The photo opportunities are endless, and the sight of the giant Buddha statue with the deep blue sea in the background is a magical experience. But what are the best tips for visiting the Big Buddha Temple on Koh Samui, what to expect during a trip there and which excursions are highly recommended?

In this travel guide, you will find all the essential information and tips about the Big Buddha Temple on Koh Samui in Thailand. We show you great pictures, the best attractions and activities, and where to arrange exciting day trips.

Good to know!

If you don’t know which are the best areas and hotels for a vacation on Koh Samui, then check out our complete guide about where to stay in Koh Samui.

The entrance to the Big Buddha Temple is free, but a small donation is always welcome. The temple is currently open daily from 7am until 6.30pm.

Visitors to the Big Buddha Temple should wear respectful clothing that covers the shoulders and knees to respect the religious norms and culture of the temple.

A visit to the Big Buddha is also offered as part of a guided island-tours. You can also find some excellent tours of the temple online at GetYourGuide.

General Information about the Big Buddha Temple

The Big Buddha Temple, also called Wat Phra Yai, is one of the most famous temples on Koh Samui. It is located on the small rocky island “Koh Fann” in the northeast of the island, about 9 kilometers from the well-known Maenam Beach and 4 kilometers from Fisherman’s Village. The Big Buddha Temple was built as early as 1972, and has been restored and expanded several times over the years. Today, it is one of the most impressive landmarks on Koh Samui. A special feature of the temple is the golden, 12 meter high sitting Buddha statue, from whose terrace you can enjoy a magnificent view all the way to Koh Phangan. The Big Buddha is placed in the Mara position, symbolizing the path to enlightenment. A popular photo opportunity is the dragon-decorated Naga Stairs, 73 steps leading up to the golden statue.

During a visit, you will have the opportunity to watch Buddhist worshipers praying and making offerings, and gain an insight into Thai culture. In addition, you will be able to participate in a ceremony and receive a blessing from a monk. This is an experience not to be missed when visiting the Big Buddha Temple. It is also worthwhile to take a tour of the rest of the area. In the temple complex, you can visit other buildings and discover interesting mermaid statues. There is also a market where you can buy souvenirs, clothes, drinks, and food. A special tip is a visit during the Thai holidays, as wonderful festivals are held regularly at the Big Buddha Temple.

Guided Tours to the Big Buddha Temple

The Big Buddha Temple is located in the northeast of Koh Samui, near the airport and the popular Fisherman’s Village in Bophut. Getting there is convenient by cab, scooter or rental car, and many tour operators also offer guided trips to the temple. Most day tours include a visit to other sites such as waterfalls, jungle and other temples.

Check out GetYourGuide for guided tours. Here you also have the option to rent a vehicle with a private driver and explore the Big Buddha Temple on your own.

Where to Stay near the Big Buddha

There are several good places to stay near the Big Buddha Temple. Most of them are resorts or hotels that are well suited for a trip to Koh Samui. If you’re searching for a place to stay very close to the temple, we can give you the following recommendations… It’s worth a look!

  • Nice Boutique Hotel: The Tango Luxe Beach Villa impresses its guests with dreamy design, a beautiful pool and the view of the Big Buddha is also magical!
  • Hotel with a View: The UniQue BoutiQue Resort is located on a hill and offers a fantastic view of the coast with the Big Buddha Temple from the infinity pool.
  • Large Villa with Pool: The Celebrity Ocean View Villa Samui is a beautiful vacation home perfect for the family or small groups.

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