Thailand is a country rich in Buddhist history, and the influence Buddhism has had, can be seen all around the nation, including on Koh Samui.
When buying or renting villas on Koh Samui, there are several Buddhist temples that you will be able to visit, with each one providing a glimpse of just how influential Buddhist tradition has been on Thailand.
The Big Buddha Temple
The Big Buddha Temple, also known as Wat Phra Yai, is perhaps the most well-known temple on Koh Samui. It is located on a small island just off the northeastern coast called Ko Phan. The temple was built in 1972, and is best known for its large, golden Buddha statue. The statue is just shy of 40 feet tall and is easily seen from several miles away. As is the case with most Buddhist temples in Thailand, Wat Phra Yai has a dress code that requires clothing that covers your skin from the neck down.
Wat Plai Laem
Located on the northeast coast of Koh Samui is Wat Plai Laem. This Buddhist temple is most recognizable for its large, 18-armed statue of Guanyin, the goddess of mercy. Along the statue are two halls that showcase murals and frescoes of Buddhist stories. A second statue, a white laughing Buddha, can also be found at the temple. The temple is open all days of the week during daylight hours. Once again, there is a strict dress code for visiting the temple, just like the one at Wat Phra Yai.
Wat Khunaram is a Buddhist temple located around eight miles southeast of Nathon. The temple is a shrine to Luong Pordaeng, a Buddhist monk who died in 1973. Pordaeng requested that, upon his death, his body be put on display to remind people of Buddhist teachings, particularly those of human transience. This has earned Pordaeng the nickname of the Mummy Monk. The temple is open every day during daylight hours. As you might expect, the same dress code applies to this temple as the other two. Caution is advised for anyone who may be squeamish about a human body on display.
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