Since I have decided to leave Koh Samui earlier as I planned, due to the reasons I have described in the article Why I Do not Like Koh Samui, I visited only easily accessible places that can be reached without a motorbike and without renting an overpriced taxi. Popular tourist attractions in Koh Samui are Wat Kao Hua Jook Temple, Big Budha, Wat Plai Laem and the beautiful Silver Beach.
Despite the fact that my leg still hurt after a motorcycle accident, I decided to walk to the first attraction in Koh Samui, the Wat Kao Hua Jook temple, because it wasn’t far from my hotel on Chaweng Beach. This temple is located on the hill. On your way to the hilltop, you will come across the Nathalie’s Art Palace and the famous Q Bar. I keep going up and round to the right as I follow the road. There is no other choice, because it’s a circle. Then I finally hit the peak and find myself outside this little temple.
I was surprised because the only tourists who came to see the temple were a few Thais, no foreign tourists, even though it is located only a few minutes’ walk from Chaweng. It is a small temple in golden color. From the top there is a nice panoramic view of Chaweng and the surroundings. The temple is also famous for its famous monument, a replica of Buddha’s footprint, which is kept inside the temple.
My second goal was the temple, which is one of the most visited attractions on Koh Samui, Wat Plai Laem. But I had a problem getting there. I was waiting for songtaew on the street in front of one shop. Owners tried to help me but either songtaews were full or they didn’t go that direction. Nice lady from the shop offered me to pick me there because she needed to drive to the side of the island where the temple is located.
Wat Plai Laem consists of several smaller temples and two great statues – Guanyin, the goddess of compassion and mercy and the statue of Buddha. It is a modern temple created in recent times. Temple is nicely maintained and there are more tourists around.
From Wat Plai Laem Temple, it is just a 10-minute walk to the famous Big Buddha. So I walked there. In a few minutes very heavy rain started. I run to hide to the first and only one restaurant that was nearby. I was surprised that the Slovak flag hangs in the restaurant. I have found that the owner is Slovak. Both of us were happy and enjoyed speaking in native language. It is always great to meet compatriots from a small country somewhere in the world. When rain stopped I continued walking to statue of the great Buddha.
12 meters tall statue of Buddha was built in 1972 and is located inside the temple grounds of the Wat Phra Yai, meaning Big Buddha temple. In front of the stairs to statue are a number of souvenir stands. The temple complex is built on a small Island. From the top there are great views of the surrounding beaches. When I explore everything what was possible I got back to the Chaweng by songthaew in red color with other tourists.
I spent the evening drinking beers in famous bar at the Koh Samui Ark Bar, where I met two Englishmen with whom I agreed to visit Silver Beach the next morning.
When I saw photos of this beach, I really wanted to see it. And I didn’t regret that I spent the Christmas day right there. It is a smaller beach located about 20 km far from Chaweng. You can get there by songthaew that goes to Lamai beach. There is beautiful clear water, nice big rocks and calmness. Unlike Chaweng, anyone spoil you every two minutes to sell you ice cream, scarves, beach sandals, artificial snakes and so on.
I didn’t visit most of the things I initially planned to see in Koh Samui saw, but I don’t regret it and I’m more than happy that I left Koh Samui the next morning and went to the less commercial island Koh Pangan, where I planned to celebrate my birthday at a New Year’s Eve party.