Big Buddha is one of must see places when you visit Koh Samui. This 12 meter high Buddha statue named "Phra Buddha Kodom" sits a top of a small hill. Probably it is the first thing you will see from the air when arriving at Samui Airport. Built in 1972, Big Buddha is on the site of Wat Phra Yai (Phra Yai Temple).
Inside of the temple is surrounded by many different shrines and other smaller ornate Buddha images. In order to worship the Buddha image, you have to climb long stairs (totaling 73 steps). From there, it is a perfect spot to take a photo or view out to sea. Sometimes if the weather is nice and clear, you can see Koh Pangan (Pangan Island) from there.
Outside the temple, you will find Bangrak Beach (Big Buddha Beach), a school, restaurants, coffee shops, tattoo parlors and handicraft shops. During festival seasons, great celebrations take place along with souvenir stalls, food carts, and drink stands.
How to get there: Big Buddha is situated on route 4171 near the airport. 15 minutes by road from Chaweng Beach.