When going on a holiday, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the destination in advance, so you can make the maximum of your time there. Before your trip to Las Vegas, be sure to check the gambling and drinking ago limit, and upon planning your visit to New York or Paris, make a list of all the museums, galleries and theaters you don’t want to miss, etc. The same goes for a number of popular tourist destinations, from famous locations like Rome – only well-prepared tourists will be able to use the most of their time in the Eternal City – to exotic spots like Koh Samui, where a lot of people don’t think outside the “beach and sea” box. But, there are a lot of things do to on this resort island located near the East coast of Thailand’s Malay Peninsula, so here are some of the best places to visit.
Secret Buddha Garden
The very name of this place gives on open clue to what it really is, but there’s more to the Secret Buddha Garden besides an intriguing name. Also known under several other names – Tarnim Magic Garden and Heaven’s Garden – this private sculpture park is located on one of the highest points of Koh Samui. While this is not a temple per se but more of a park/garden area, it does feature an abundant number of statues that present Buddha and Buddhism in various forms, sizes and angles. It’s hidden in the central part of the island and thus not openly present for all tourists, but leaning more to those adventurous ones. Started in late 1970s, this garden now presents a special combination of peacefulness and excitement and tourists enjoy both the path to it as well as statues of animals, deities and even a tomb of the founder.
Speaking of secret locations, Namuang Waterfall is one of the most hidden ones – this site actually has two waterfalls, a smaller one almost twenty meters high and a bigger one which is about four times higher! These are about half an hour apart on foot and can both be visited during the same day.
What’s interesting about these waterfalls, except their magnitude, is their color – “Namuang” actually means “purple waterfalls” and are named so because their rocks emit a specific shade of purple. Both waterfalls are quite popular and often visited, so you can meet not only water enthusiasts, but also random tourists who are taking a break from their jungle hiking sessions.
When you hear this name, there is little doubt what this location offers and why it was named that. One of the most beautiful and popular – if not the most beautiful and popular – temples on Koh Samui is located in the North-Easter part of the island and most obviously features a twelve-meters- high statue of Buddha in a sitting position.
Ever since its opening in 1972, this temple is among the island’s famous, desired and visited tourists attractions and surely is the most prominent location as Big Buddha’s golden glow is visible from several kilometers away. Because of this, it is often thought as the island’s centre that attracts tourists from afar.
Hin-Ta and Hin-Yai Rocks
Whether you’re just on vacation in Koh Samui, paying a visit to a friend who lives there or are planning to move there yourself, you mustn’t miss this unique rock formation on the island’s south coast. Quite prosaically named after Tahitian names for grandfather and grandmother, these rocks resemble human genitalia, both male and female – but despite these characteristics that sound simple, they in fact are nature’s work of beauty. There are a number of legends that speak of their formation and, no matter which one you choose to believe in, be sure to remember that this is one of the most popular tourist sites on the island.
Another rock site, this one named after a gigantic animal, the Elephant Rock is exactly that – a massive rock formation whose looks resemble an elephant’s size and, albeit slightly, constitution. The thing about this place is that the entire surrounding is rocky and not easily accessible, so you need to be quite a mountaineering enthusiast to choose this site. However, a little effort goes a long way because the view from Elephant Rock is splendid and absolutely worth the trouble.
Top Five and More
Of course, there is much more to be seen on Koh Samui and you can adjust your choices to your preferences – tourist attractions range from temples and golf courses to zoos, snake farms and butterfly gardens. However, make a plan before arriving and visit as many sites as possible.