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WAT PLAI LAEM
Wat Plai Laem is an impressive colourful temple complex. You can see the smiling Buddha and the 18-armed Buddha from afar. Between the two statues there is also a large temple. The temple and the Buddhas stand in the middle of a landscaped pond which makes it extra special. To be able to see the temple and statues up close, you first have to cross colourful bridges.
Chinese massage someone?
Even before you enter the Wat Plai Laem temple complex you will see all the shops selling food, souvenirs and clothes along the road, a sign that you are on the right track! On the temple complex itself there is a small tent selling good coffee and delicious smoothies (Coffee Mujalin). Next to that there are a few shops selling amulets and Chinese herbs etc. and you can also have a Chinese massage, that’s something else than a Thai massage!
Yet Wat Plai Laem doesn’t feel very touristy, among the greenery there are many benches in the shade and despite the tourists there is a serene atmosphere. Maybe it’s because the temple complex is spacious and the statues are so big that they immediately command respect? On the temple complex you get a bag of fish food when you make a donation. You can also buy fish food for 10 baht from a vending machine. The pond around Wat Plai Laem is full of large fish and turtles that cannot wait to be fed. Not only a fun activity for children!
Meaning of the Wat Plai Laem Buddha statues
The 18-armed statue is the goddess Guanyin, she gives healthy children and protects sailors from danger. The smiling Buddha also known as Budai Buddha gives prosperity and joy. The large temple between the two statues stands on a huge lotus flower. This temple is guarded by two dangerous looking guards and snakes over the banister. But you don’t have to be afraid because Buddha gestures that you are welcome and don’t have to be afraid of anything! In the temple itself you can see paintings of the life lessons of Buddhism.
Koh Samui has another famous Buddha statue, called the Big Buddha, which is only 1.2 kilometers away from the Wat Plai Laem Temple. That is why many people combine these 2 popular temples.
Sleeping on Bophut Beach?
The Wat Plai Leam Temple is close to the beach and village of Bophut Beach. But to visit this temple you don’t necessarily have to sleep nearby. Wherever on the island you can book trips at one of the many travel agencies, often in combination with the Big Buddha Temple. Bophut is mainly known for the cozy village and the big Friday Night market and this is often the reason that people visit this beach. Along the coast and in the village you have a wide choice of accommodations in different price ranges. A few kilometers further you will find the beautiful quiet Maenam Beach, a must if you are looking for a nice beach without too much crowd.
Information What Plai Laem
Alternative name: Wat Laem Suwannaram
Open: 6 AM – 6 PM
Admission: Free, small donation appreciated
Address: Wat Plai Laem, 4171 Road, Koh Samui
Parking: Yes, for cars and scooters
Clothing regulations: Yes, knees and shoulders covered
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Below you will find more beautiful destinations that we recommend you to visit when you travel to or through Thailand.