Skip to Content

Wat Plai Laem In Koh Samui – A Complete Guide

The Wat Plai Laem Koh Samui Temple is one of the most famous modern pieces of architecture on the island. So here’s all you need to know when visiting.

How To Get To Wat Plai Laem

Wat Plai Laem Temple in Koh Samui is located on the North East corner of the island.

Close to both Wat Phra Yai, the big buddha temple, and adjacent to some of the best beaches in the Koh Samui (Maenam Beach and Bophut Beach) it’s a perfect spot to add to your itinerary.

We stayed in the Chaweng area of Koh Samui and rented a scooter for 150 Baht per day. This gave us access to the whole island!

It took us around 20 minutes to drive up from Chaweng to Wat Plai Laem following google maps.

If you’re looking for transport to and from Koh Samui, you can pre-book all of your Lomprayah transfers.

For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.

For any yoga enthusiasts, the Beach Yoga Class & Full-Day Sightseeing Tour includes a trip to Wat Plai Laem.

Wat Plai Laem Entrance Fee

It is free to visit Wat Plai Laem.

Wat Plai Laem Opening Times

Monday – Sunday: 6am to 6pm.

Best Time To Visit Wat Plai Laem

The best time to visit Koh Samui is between the months of December and March, when the weather is most settled.

The hottest month of the year is June, with temperatures reaching 33°c. January is normally the coolest month.

It wasn’t too busy when we visited but like any other attraction, early is always best to avoid the crowds. Also, understandably, it gets really busy during Chinese festivals such as New Year.

As this is a sacred place you need to be dressed appropriately for your visit – no beachwear.

There is a small cafe on the site but I would definitely take some water as there aren’t many shaded areas.

What To Pack

Photography Camera


Day Bag

Power Bank

Reusable Water Bottle


Lightweight Rain Jacket

Wat Plai Laem Koh Samui Temple 18 Armed Buddha Koh Samui Temples In Koh Samui
Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion at Wat Plai Laem

What To Expect At Wat Plai Laem

Completed in 2004, this modern Buddhist temple incorporates elements of Chinese and Thai traditions and is one of the most colourful temples on Koh Samui.

We were surprised when visiting Wat Plai Laem to find out that the Koh Samui Temple has more than just one statue of an 18 armed buddha.

Unlike its partner Wat Phra Yai, with its stand alone monument, the grounds here consist of many statues and incredible shrines!

As you enter the site you are greeted by the spectacular, 18 armed statue of Guanyin, the Chinese goddess of mercy and compassion as well as fertility. It’s said that she has lots of arms to be able to assist anyone in need, anywhere in the world.

Next up is the enormous 30m high, laughing white Buddha statue, who in the Chinese culture represents wealth and prosperity. Decorated with reds and golds he sits cheerfully gleaming in the sun.

Both of these beautiful statues reflect Koh Samui’s strong Chinese heritage.

Apart from these two main statues, there are also some amazing shrines, huge carved teak doors and plenty more to take in.

Additionally, the waters around the temples are teeming with fish, some very large, and for 10 baht you can buy a bag of food and see how excited they get when you feed them!

This stunning religious site, sitting serenely on a lake, is a peaceful place to stroll around and has some stunning views waiting to be captured.

Wat Plai Laem Koh Samui Temple 18 Armed Buddha Koh Samui Temples In Koh Samui
How happy does this guy look!
Wat Plai Laem Koh Samui Temple 18 Armed Buddha Koh Samui Temples In Koh Samui
Lauren cruising around the Koh Samui Temple
Wat Plai Laem Koh Samui Temple 18 Armed Buddha Koh Samui Temples In Koh Samui
Spotted this cool little dude in the temple lake.

Where To Stay In Koh Samui


Tango Luxe Beach Villa Samui

Tango Luxe Beach Villa Samui offers tropical villas with a private pool and free WiFi.

It has a main infinity pool, two on-site restaurants and pampering spa treatments.

Luxurious ocean-facing villas come with a 42-inch flat-screen TV, iPod dock and sun loungers. The large en suite bathroom has a separate bathtub and shower stall.

Tango Luxe Beach Villa Samui is a 5-minute drive from Seatran Ferry Pier, which offers transfers to Koh Phangan.

It is 1.9 miles from Samui International Airport.


Mercure Samui Chaweng Tana

Located along Chaweng Road, the charming Mercure Samui Chaweng Tana features cosy and comfortable rooms with free WiFi.

Offering 2 dining options, the property also boasts an outdoor swimming pool with pool bar.

Just 550 yards from the beach, the hotel is a 15-minute drive from Samui International Airport. Samui Ferry Terminal is a 30-minute drive away.

The Thai-style rooms come with wooden flooring and furnishings. Each room has a tea/coffee maker, a safe deposit box and a minibar.

Guests enjoy satellite channels on a flat-screen TV. An en suite bathroom comes with a shower.


Arina Boutique Residence

Just off Chaweng Beach Road, the family-run Arina Boutique Residence offers cosy rooms decorated with traditional Thai artwork.

Providing free Wi-Fi, it is just 2 minutes’ drive from central Chaweng.

Arina Residence is a 30-minute drive from Nathon Ferry Pier and a 45-minute drive from Tong Yang Ferry Port. Koh Samui Airport is a 15-minute drive from the hotel.

Decorated with dark wood furnishings, rooms at Arina feature a private balcony and a 29-inch flat-screen cable/satellite TV.

For more places to stay in Koh Samui, you can check the latest prices on

Planning Your Trip

Book Your Flight

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight.

They search websites and airlines around the globe to find you the best possible routes and prices.

Book Your Accommodation

Use to find the best accommodation deals.

They consistently return the cheapest rates on everything from guesthouses to hotels for all of your budget needs.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Use SafetyWing to find the best travel insurance for you.

They provide travel and medical incident insurance built specifically for digital nomads.

Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

Book Your Tours & Activities

Use GetYourGuide to book your activities in advance.

They sell the best tours, excursions and activities to attractions around the world.

Conveniently book, download and access your tickets on the move all from your mobile.

Book Your Rental Car

Use to find the best deals on rental cars in the area.

They compare all major car rental companies and allow you to easily book the perfect vehicle for your trip.

Buy Those Last Minute Bits

Use Amazon to buy everything you need for your adventure.

They offer next day delivery and you can use my travel packing checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.

Pin It For Later

Wat Plai Laem In Koh Samui Guide