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The Big Buddha was built quite recently in 1972, but has quickly become one of the island’s most famous sights. Wat Phra Yai, as the locals call it, is the central location for Buddhist prayers on the island. Although it is a religious site, tourists are always welcome.
A special time to visit the Big Buddha is during the morning, just as the sun rises and the locals come to give their daily offerings. Cross the short causeway to the statue and view the offerings of colorful flowers and fruit. The morning is also the only time when the local monks perform their chants and prayers, an unforgettable experience.
During the day, food stalls and small shops are set up to provide snacks and souvenirs. The statue can get busy on holy days, so be prepared for crowds. Admire the statue from below before heading up the staircase to reach the base of the 40-foot (12-meter) high statue.
At night the Big Buddha statue takes on another shade of gold as it is lit from below. The golden statue shines brightly and can be seen from miles away. Visiting in the evening might also allow you to avoid some of the crowds during the day.
Throughout the year the Big Buddha statue is the site for many Buddhist festivals and is descended upon by hundreds of worshippers from across the island.
You’ll find the Big Buddha on the northern end of Koh Samui, just to the east of Bang Rak Beach, and only two miles (three kilometers) north of the airport. The statue is a religious site and as such visitors are encouraged to cover their shoulders and wear long pants when visiting.
It's worth giving yourself lots of time at Big Buddha Statue. Here are some of the best things to do:
If you're seeking more options, take a look at our Koh Samui things to do page.
*Savings based on all vacation package bookings with Flight + Hotel on Expedia.com from January through December 2019, as compared to price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages. For Free Flight or 100% Off Flight deals, package savings is greater than or equal to the current cost of one component, when both are priced separately.
Located in Koh Samui, this beachfront villa is on the boardwalk and within 3 mi (5 km) of Bangrak Beach, Chaweng Beach, and Bo Phut Beach. Bangrak Pier and Fisherman's Village Plaza are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Nestled on the beach, this Koh Samui resort is within 1 mi (2 km) of Laem Samrong and Choeng Mon Beach. Bangrak Beach and Big Buddha Statue are also within 2 mi (3 km).
Located in Chaweng City Center, this beachfront resort is in the city center and within a 15-minute walk of Chaweng Beach and Chaweng Lake. Phetch Buncha Thai Boxing Stadium and Chaweng Noi Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Nestled on the beach, this Koh Samui hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Mini Golf International and Choeng Mon Beach. Bangrak Beach and Big Buddha Statue are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Located in Big Buddha Beach, this beach hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Wat Phra Yai, Bangrak Pier, and Big Buddha Statue. Wat Plai Laem and Mini Golf International are also within 2 mi (3 km).
Situated near the airport, this luxury villa is within a 15-minute walk of Wat Plai Laem, Bangrak Beach, and Big Buddha Statue. Chaweng Beach and Fisherman's Village Plaza are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Situated in Koh Samui, this beach hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Wat Plai Laem, Bangrak Beach, and Big Buddha Statue. Chaweng Beach and Bo Phut Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km).
This family-friendly Koh Samui villa is located on the waterfront, within a 10-minute walk of Bangrak Beach and Big Buddha Statue. Bo Phut Beach and Chaweng Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km).