Temples and Wats in Koh Samui

What to See in Koh Samui

Buddhist Temples (Wats) and Chinese Shrines abound in Koh Samui. Like in the rest of Thailand, Buddhism is the religion followed by the majority (over 90% of people are Buddhist), followed by Islam, Taoism, and Christianity. Paradoxically, the first ever settlers on the island were Chinese traders and Muslim fishermen.

Koh Samui is home to many old Buddhist temples and Chinese shrines, including two impressive religious landmarks: Samui Big Buddha - a massive 15-metre seated Buddha overlooking the sea on the northeastern coast and, in the same area, Wat Plai Laem, a superb temple featuring a striking white 18-arm statue of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion. See below the most notable temples and shrines to be visited in Koh Samui.

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Most Popular Temples in Samui

  • Big Buddha Temple

    Big Buddha Temple

    Big Buddha temple sits majestically on a small rocky island off Koh Samui’s north-eastern corner. Known locally as Wat Read More»

  • Wat Plai Laem

    Wat Plai Laem

    Located near the Big Buddha in the north of the island, Wat Plai Laem is a colourful and interesting, newly constructed Read More»

  • Wat Khunaram

    Wat Khunaram

    The body of Samui's most famous mummified monk - there really are several - Loung Pordaeng is on display here. Loung Read More»

All Temples in Koh Samui

Buddha's Footprint

Buddha's Footprint in Koh Samui can be a bit challenging to spot, but it's well worth putting in the extra effort to get there. It's on a hilltop shrine near the Butterfly Garden at Laem Natien, around 2.5 km north of Bang Kao Beach. 

Buddha's Footprint consists of 4 footprints engraved on top of each other. After tackling 163 steps to the top, you'll be rewarded with one of the most spectacular views on the island.

  • Opening Hours: Daily from 8 am to 6 pm
  • Location: Namueang, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84140, Thailand
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Nathon Hainan Shrine

Nathon Hainan Shrine is a brightly coloured temple dating back to 1862. It's in the centre of Nathon, down Soi Angthong 4. You can actually see the temple compound from the alley. As you get closer, you'll see 2 fierce-looking golden lions guarding the main gate. The main building is surrounded by a walled garden, and traffic noise is virtually non-existent inside.

  • Opening Hours: Daily from sunrise to sunset
  • Location: Moo 3, Nathon, Ang Thong, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84140, Thailand
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Laem Sor Pagoda

Laem Sor Pagoda lies on Bang Kao Beach, at the southernmost tip of Koh Samui. Its golden exterior makes for a beautiful contrast to the blue skies and the turquoise sea behind it. The entrance is guarded by 2 yak (giant) warrior statues carrying swords, colourful clothing and intimidating expressions. A Buddha image stands at the doorway behind the statues. This is a great photo opportunity as there is absolutely nothing obstructing your view.

  • Location: 99/9 Laem Set Rd, Na Mueang, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84140, Thailand
  • Tel: +66 (0)63 813 8109
  • How to get there: Take the 4169 to route 4170 and make a left. There's another left at Laem-Sho-Road; it’s about one kilometre to the pagoda.
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Wat Khao Chedi

Wat Khao Chedi is a Srivijaya-style temple in Koh Samui, around 2.5 km east of Thong Krut Pier. It also goes by the name Laem Sor Pagoda, which can be a bit confusing since there is another Laem Sor Pagoda below it on Bang Kao Beach. 

Thanks to Wat Khao Chedi's hilltop location, you get spectacular views from this vantage point. On clear days, you can see mainland Suratthani, Bang Kao Bay, and Laem Set Point, as well as surrounding islands like Koh Tao and Koh Mud Sum.

  • Location: Khao Chedi, Taling Ngam, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84140, Thailand
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Wat Chaeng

Wat Chaeng is a superbly designed temple with an adjoining school. Located in Nathon, the temple building has a large sculpture of Buddha in the pang prathanporn pose, with 1 hand raised with the index finger and thumb touching and the other hand (palm facing up) on his lap. 

The temple and Buddha image are guarded by 2 huge statues in green and gold. To get to Wat Chaeng, head to the southern end of Thaweerat Phakdee Road (4169 through Nathon) and left into the temple grounds. 

  • Opening Hours: Daily from sunrise to sunset
  • Location: Nathon, Ang Thong, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84140, Thailand

Pagoda Khao Hua Jook

Pagoda Khao Hua Jook is atop a 90-metre-high hill in Bophut, overlooking the landing strip of Samui International Airport.  If you like watching flight takeoffs and landings, this is the place to sit for a while.

According to the temple's sign, it contains a replica of Buddha's footprint. Most people come here for the views, as Koh Phangan, Koh Tao, Koh Sum, Koh Lum Noi, Koh Tao Poon, and Big Buddha Temple are visible from this spot.

  • Location: Bophut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand
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Wat Khiri Mat

Wat Khiri Mat sits atop a small hill in Taling Ngam, at the southern tip of Koh Samui. Directly in front of the temple is a large pagoda with a glass-enclosed Buddha statue inside. An ornately designed blue-and-yellow arch shows you the way to this temple, which is at the end of Keeree-Mas Road. 

  • Opening Hours: Daily from sunrise to sunset
  • Location: Moo 4, Taling Ngam, Koh Samui, Surat Thani, 84140, Thailand
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Wat Phra Chedi Laem So

Wat Phra Chedi Laem Sor occupies an oceanfront setting in Na Mueang. The temple sits astern surrounded by a pool of water, making it look like it's in the Andaman Sea. This temple is especially impressive when seen from the Pagoda Khao Chedi,  located on the hill above Bang Kao Beach. What you'll see is a large, bright-blue vessel shaded by coconut trees. 

  • Opening Hours: Daily from sunrise to sunset
  • Location: Moo 4, Na Mueang, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84140, Thailand
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Wat Lamai

Wat Lamai is the social epicentre for the local Thai community in Koh Samui. It hosts lively temple fairs throughout the year, with concerts, fairground games, food and even an outdoor cinema. The temple fairs last for over 1 week, so it's a good idea to check one out when you're in Lamai. 

Inside the temple complex, you'll find a cultural hall that houses a collection of quaint artefacts from Samui's past. There are brass and earthenware vessels, cooking implements, wooden agricultural tools, swords, ancient bicycles, and a 2,000-year-old metal ceremonial drum. 

  • Location: 64/12-15, Maret, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84310, Thailand
  • Tel: +66 (0)77 230 561
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Wat Pradoem

Wat Pradoem dates back to the 1800s, making it one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Koh Samui. Along with the temple itself, you can explore a wooden hall full of ancient scriptures and ornate carvings. The wat is around 8 km west of the Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks. 

  • Opening Hours: Daily from sunrise to sunset
  • Location: Moo 1, Na Mueang, Koh Samui, Surat Thani, 84140, Thailand

Wat Ratchathammaram

Wat Ratchathammaram is a Buddhist temple along the Samui Ring Road. It also goes by the name Wat Sila Ngu, which means ‘stone snake’ in English. You can see many stone-carved snakes all around the compound. 

This long-established temple has a magnificent building in deep red clay, which adds to the mysterious yet serene atmosphere of the temple. The large room it houses is pretty sombre, with its walls entirely carved with scenes of Buddha’s life. Wat Ratchathammaram's seaside location affords splendid views of Koh Samui's east coast.

  • Opening Hours: Daily from sunrise to sunset
  • Location: 60/22 Moo 2, Bophut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand
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