Wat Phra Yai

Ko Samui

The Big Buddha at Wat Phra Yai temple

Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images

At Samui’s northern end is Wat Phra Yai. Erected in 1972, the modern golden Buddha (sitting in the Mara posture) stands 15m high surveying an area historically used by locals for the burial of children younger than 10 years old. These days the statue, which sits in a repose subduing the Goddess of Death, makes an alluring silhouette against the tropical sky and sea, offering excellent views, especially at sunset. Observe the notices instructing visitors to wear correct garb for visits.