An Awesome Day Around Big Buddha
When you arrive in Koh Samui by plane, you’ll find yourself in a quaint, open-air terminal, quickly realising you’ve landed on a remote tropical island. With the excitement building, and an island adventure awaiting, you may wonder what to do first or if there is anything in the vicinity you shouldn’t miss. What you do is up to you, but being in the northeastern corner of Koh Samui presents you with two very distinct and accessible attractions. The first of these, by proximity to the airport, is Big Buddha Koh Samui (big Buddhas can be found all around Thailand) and the second, further west, is Fisherman Village. If you have light luggage or decide to check into accommodation nearby and drop your bags off, you’ll be ready for your first taste of some Koh Samui culture.
Big Buddha Koh Samui
So how big is Big Buddha Koh Samui exactly? Can you see the towering icon from anywhere on the island? Well, not quite, although in some instances it can be seen from over a kilometer away. The golden rendition sits 12 metres high in the temple grounds of Wat Phra Yai. 12 metres might seem like little to some, but when seated on an elevated landing at the summit of an elaborate and lengthy flight of stairs, the statue becomes quite a sight to behold. Incidentally, Big Buddha Koh Samui isn’t actually found on the main island. The temple is located just off the Samui coastline on a tiny island called Koh Faan, which is reached via a bridge.
Once you make your way to the temple, you will be met with an array of vendors from whom to buy spiritual paraphernalia such as talismans, amulets, incense and other trinkets designed to aid you in your worldly endeavours. As is the case in most of Thailand, food can be found at a glance, so no need to be concerned about hunger on your pilgrimage throughout the colourful and exotic-looking temple complex. After paying your respects or simply inspecting the glorious Big Buddha Koh Samui statue, make sure to take a stroll behind the golden mass in order to experience a wonderful view of the ocean.
Fisherman Village Koh Samui
After an hour or two in the shadow of Big Buddha, you’d do well to migrate over to Fisherman Village in Koh Samui’s northern town of Bophut. Approximately a 10-minute drive away, the area is home to a bustling network of alleyways, an assortment of cosy restaurants and a healthy variety of boutique stores. It is worth mentioning that many of these restaurants can be found along the beachside, with tables sprawling out onto the sand – making for awesome spots to indulge in a meal of authentic Thai food.
The sois are a pleasant mix of Thai locals and foreign visitors, and if you’re there on a Friday, you’d be wise to check out the Fisherman Village Koh Samui night market. The market is well-known all over the island as one of the best on offer. People make their way to the walking street to enjoy the street performances and take advantage of the awesome prices on goods that would otherwise be difficult to find. The market tends to be rather crowded at its centre (as is the case with any worthwhile walking street) but despite being slow-moving the atmosphere on the whole is lively and inviting.
After traipsing around for the evening you’d be free to experience the laid back and accommodating nightlife in the area – a great option if you are looking to have a chilled night out. If not, it’s back to your abode for a good night’s sleep. Either way, a day spent in north Samui is always a pleasure when you know where to go.
So take some notes, hit up Google Maps, and enjoy the adventure.