Big Buddha Temple sits majestically on a small rocky island off Koh Samui’s north-eastern corner. Known locally as Wat Phra Yai, its golden, 12-metre seated Buddha statue was built in 1972 and remains one of the island’s most popular attractions.
Set on Koh Faan, Big Buddha Temple is reached by a causeway that connects it to the main island. The Big Buddha can be seen at a distance of several kilometres and is often the first landmark people see when arriving to Samui by air.
The Big Buddha sits in the Mara posture, with the left hand’s palm up resting on the lap and the right hand facing down, the fingers hanging over the knee and grazing the ground. It depicts a time during Buddha’s journey to enlightenment where he successfully subdued the temptations and dangers thrust at him by the devil-figure Mara by meditating and remaining calm. The pose is a symbol of steadfastness, purity and enlightenment.
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Place Name: Big Buddha Temple
Place Description: Wat Phra Yai, known in English as the Big Buddha Temple, is a Buddhist temple on Ko Phan - a small island offshore from the northeastern area of Ko Samui, Thailand, connected to that island by a short causeway 3 kilometres (1.9 miles) north of Samui International Airport. As its name indicates, it is home to a giant, 12-metre-high (39-foot) gold-painted Buddha statue. Since being built in 1972, it has become one of Ko Samui's main tourist attractions and a major landmark.
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