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BIG BUDDHA TEMPLE (WAT PHRA YAI)
The Big Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Yai) is an impressive 12 meter high golden Buddha. The airport of Koh Samui is a few kilometers away, so chances are you can see the Big Buddha from the airplane! The Buddha statue was built in 1972 and has the task to protect the people of Koh Samui. The big golden wheel and the dragon were only put on the back of the Buddha much later. The small temple complex of which the Big Buddha is part stands on an island called Fan Island. You reach Fan Island via an approximately 400 meter long bridge from the mainland of Koh Samui. You can see the Buddha from far away and is therefore not to be missed. To be able to see the Big Buddha up close, you will first have to climb 72 steps. The temple is free to visit.
A visit to the Big Buddha Temple is fun but not a full day program. The cozy Fisherman’s Village and Bophut Beach are nearby and are very nice to combine your trip with!
Big Buddha Temple, not only for tourists
Before you arrive at the Big Buddha Temple you first pass a very small village. In the village souvenirs and Buddha related items are sold. Of course there are also plenty of opportunities to eat at the many stalls. Because of the tourist shops, the authenticity of the temple shifts a bit to the background. The Big Buddha Temple may seem more like a tourist attraction, but for the Thai people this is a spiritual place. In the early morning you have the most chance to experience this. The believer then makes sacrifices in the form of flowers and food. You also have the chance to see monks at their morning prayer. At the entrance you will be reminded of the clothing rules and regulations. There are also possibilities to borrow covering clothing if you come unprepared. By the way, you don’t have to pay for this.
Information Big Buddha Temple in Koh Samui
Alternative name: Wat Phra Yai
Open: Daily from 08:00 till 18:00
Address: Big Buddha Beach, route 4171 Bophut, Koh Samui