Located off the east coast, in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui boasts spectacular white sandy beaches lined with palm trees, and is surrounded by mountains and lush, green forests. It’s a water lover’s paradise and a sun-worshipper’s dream destination. However, there are also a number of cultural attractions that should definitely not be missed.
Temples - Wat Phra Yai
One of the most important temples in the Koh Samui region is Wat Phra Yai. It’s situated on the small island of Koh Faan off the northern part of Koh Samui. Home to a 12m Big Buddha, as well as a number of vendors which sell religious artefacts, souvenirs and other items of interest, Wat Phra Yai is one of the Koh Samui’s most visited cultural attractions.
Temples - Wat Plai Laem
Make sure to visit the Wat Plai Laem Buddhist compound on the island’s north-east coast. Standing boldly above the compound is a large depiction of the Chinese Buddhist Goddess of Mercy and Compassion, Guanyin. With her 18 arms and glaring eyes, the statue is a marvellous thing to see. Surrounded by a lake, you will walk across a small bridge to get to the statue, where you can also discover more about Chinese-Thai beliefs and view some beautiful art and architecture from the Buddhist religion.
Secret Buddha Garden
If you’re hiking in the mountains of Koh Samui’s interior, you may come across a secret Buddha Garden. Created by a Koh Samui farmer in the mid-70s, you will find a number of Buddhist-inspired statues perched on a hillside. Although it’s not necessarily a religious temple, it is an interesting place to find if you happen to be exploring the hills of Koh Samui.
Temple fairs could be compared to the travel movements of a traditional circus. The Temple fairs take place during the year and move from place to place. You’ll find fun fairs, markets exhibitions and more. Buy a sarong, indulge in some local delicacies and soak up the vibe of this popular pastime.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Koh Samui during a festival, you’ll be in for a real treat. Some of the larger festivals include the Chinese New Year in February, the Thai New Year in April and the festival of Light in November. Although it’s not strictly speaking a Thai cultural festival, the Full Moon Parties are a popular reason for many people to travel to Koh Samui as well. The festivals usually include markets, processions, dancing, live performances and more.
Koh Samui is Thailand’s second largest island and a place where all of your tropical island dreams come true. If it’s a beautiful cultural experience you are looking for, with the added benefit of breath-taking beaches and water activities, then Koh Samui is for you. Contact your Flight Centre Consultant today to book your next holiday to Koh Samui.