Koh Samui: The Ultimate Zen Getaway

BY RICK TAN

 

Be it day or night, Koh Samui, Thailand, is a tranquil getaway destination where you can put your worries away. Here are five activities and attractions you must check out!

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1. Secret Buddha Garden
A gem tucked away in the hills of inner Koh Samui, the secret Buddha garden features a unique collection of statues that is surrounded by sublime views and greenery. It is the brain child of a fruit farmer, Nim Thongsuk, who began by building a temple and statues around his family’s verdant land.

The statues represent animals, deities, and humans in diverse poses, including the creator himself. Mainly inspired by Buddhist folklore, each work of art has a story to tell. He continued to work on this masterpiece until his death at the age of 91.

The garden also comprises of a waterfall and stream flowing through a plant organ, which gives life to the surroundings. It is ideal to visit during the day with a 4-wheel drive vehicle due to the challenging terrain that awaits with majestic views along the way.

2. Wat Khunaram
For this temple, there’s more than meets the eye. There’s a mummified monk, Loung Pordaeng, who is kept on display in a glass casket. Some may find it a disturbing sight but for the Thais, it is meant to be worshipped and symbolises the belief that death should be embraced. It seems that in 1973, Loung Pordaeng predicted his own death at the age of 79. Before his death, his followers were instructed to keep his body in a glass casket in the temple as an inspiration for people to follow the teachings of Buddha.

3. Samui Cultural Centre and Fine Art of S.E.A
Founded by Khun Chart, this cultural centre is a mixture of culture and religion in Thailand. Statues relating to myths and legends can be found. Besides that, replica garments from the royal family are also displayed.

4. Big Buddha
The golden 12m-tall statue of the seated Buddha was built in 1972, and symbolises steadfastness, purity and enlightenment. The scenic sea and beach view from the platform is simply awe-inspiring. There are also stalls where collectibles, souvenirs, and food can be found.

5. Real Guns
This interesting yet thrilling activity could be dangerous, but that’s exactly what makes it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Here, you can try and shoot real guns at a rifle range.  Albeit pricey, some argue that the unique experience is priceless and hence well worth every penny.

 


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