Wat Plai Laem is a Buddhist temple complex in northeast Samui with a striking white 18-armed idol of Guanyin, the goddess of mercy, and a large lake. The temple’s intricate and ornate blend of Chinese and Thai architecture was created by Jarit Phumdonming, one of Thailand’s leading artists. The goddess is flanked by two long halls displaying colorful murals and frescoes depicting Buddhist mythology and stories.
Wat Plai Laem is a Buddhist temple complex on the northeast coast of Samui with a striking white 18-armed image of Guanyin, the goddess of mercy and compassion. Near the Big Buddha Temple, Wat Plai Laem offers visitors a glimpse of Sino-Thai beliefs and elaborate Buddhist art and architecture. Wat Plai Laem is a living and active temple. Devotees come here every day to pay homage to Guanyin and the Buddha, also represented in many statues and murals. Around the temple. The artistic techniques used in its manufacture are centuries old and based on ancient beliefs.
The temple is surrounded by a lake teeming with fish for added peace of mind. Visitors who donate to the temple will receive a bag of food to feed the fish.
What are the highlights and features of Wat Plai Laem?
The giant Guanyin statue is an imposing white structure in the center of the temple grounds. It is imposing and serene, showing Koh Samui’s strong Chinese heritage. The temple’s intricate designs were created by one of Thailand’s leading artists, Jarit Phumdonming. 2 long corridors flank the goddess with colorful murals and frescoes depicting Buddhist myths and stories. Guanyin is believed to be a source of unconditional love and a protector of all beings.
His variety of weapons is an example of his ability to reach out and help worldwide. She is also considered a fertility goddess, and many who come here pray for her help in having healthy children. Some believe Guanyin helps protect seafarers. Other outstanding features of Wat Plai Laem include a giant white statue of the Laughing Buddha, beautifully carved teak front doors, and an ornate ubosot (ceremonial hall) on an island in the lake.
Good to know about Wat Plai Laem
Wat Plai Laem is open to visitors throughout the day and is particularly lively during Chinese festivals such as the Lunar New Year. As this is a sacred place, it is imperative to dress and behave courteously. Be sure to wear shirts or scarves that cover the shoulders, long pants or shorts, and avoid beachwear. Devotees often wear white clothing when visiting the temple. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.
To get to Wat Plai Laem, take Route 4169 into the northeast region of Samui and then turn onto Route 4171. It is close to the Big Buddha Temple, about 3 km north of Samui International Airport. 3 km east of Bophut Beach and 7.5 km from Chaweng Beach.
The interior of the temple is even lighter than its facade. Its walls, shutters, and doors are covered with paintings depicting episodes from the life of the Buddha. He sits on the lotus throne under the Bodhi tree – he is under the tree where Prince Gautama attained enlightenment. Two young golden monks stand in front of the Buddha. If you go through the temple and exit on the opposite side, you will see a statue of an old monk with a vivacious expression.