Wat Phra Yai

Buddhist Temple in Bo Phut & the Northeast

Image by Tim Gerard Barker Getty Images

At Samui’s northern end, on a small rocky island linked by a causeway, is Wat Phra Yai. Erected in 1972, the modern Buddha (sitting in the Mara posture) stands 15m high and makes an alluring silhouette against the tropical sky and sea. There are excellent views from the top, especially at sunset, but the area itself has little character, overrun as it is with shops and vendors. Observe the notices instructing visitors to wear correct garb for visits.

The walk around the rocky coastline behind the temple is pleasant, if you time it for sunset.