Wat Phra Yai is the Thai name for Koh Samui’s famous Big Buddha Temple which is aptly named as it does indeed have a large Buddha, it’s 12 metres tall in fact.
About Wat Phra Yai
Wat Phra Yai is located on a small island called Koh Fan, which is joined to the mainland by a causeway that you can both walk and drive across. Koh Fan is in the North East of Koh Samui, only 850 metres walking distance from Bangrak Seatran Ferry Pier. The Seatran service runs from Donsak on the mainland (near Surat Thani) to Koh Samui, then on to Koh Phangan, Koh Tao and finally Chumphon further north on the mainland. If you are travelling to see the Bid Buddha Temple from Koh Phangan, Koh Tao or Surat Thani then we recommend using the Seatran service because the pier is easy walking distance from the temple. If you are travelling within Koh Samui then we recommend that you take s shared taxi, as taxis are relatively expensive in Koh Samui. There is a shared taxi service that runs from Chaweng Beach to Bangrak Seatran Ferry Pier that goes past the start of the causeway to Koh Fan.
Basic Information about Wat Phra Yai:
- History: The Buddha statue, which is covered in gold, was built in 1972, and the large wheel at the rear of the Lord Buddha was added in 2012. Large Buddha statues are common in Thai temples. They are both a demonstration of devotion to Buddhism and a feature that attracts visitors and donations.
- Access: You need to climb a long set of stairs to get up to the base of the Buddha statue, which is on a hill that offers great coastal views. Only the lower part of the temple is accessible by wheelchair. This lower area has points of interest, but the big attraction at Wat Phra Yai is the large statue so you need to be able to walk up the stairs to really appreciate Wat Phra Yai.
- Cost: It’s free to enter the temple, however, a small donation is customary but not demanded.
- Opening Hours: 06:00 to 18:00 every day of the year.
- Dress Code: Shoulders and legs must be covered. This applies to both men and women with a little leeway for young children, and means no vests or shorts, or low cut tops.
- Amenities: There are free toilets inside the temple and a range of shops, food stalls, and small or medium sized restaurants near to the entrance to the temple, but not inside.
Location of Wat Phra Yai
- Wat Phra Yai is 4.4 km by road from Samui Airport.