If you thought Koh Samui was only about diving, you have probably not heard about the fascinating secret Buddha Garden tucked away in the lush green hills. It’s called the ‘secret’ or ‘magic’ garden for a reason. While getting here is slightly tricky, once you are here, your senses are instantly rewarded with fascinating sights of animal sculptures, Buddha statues, and the scent of tropical plants and trees that adorn this verdant hilltop garden. This captivating enclave adds an angle of tranquility and calmness to the island primarily known as a hot spot for people looking for an adrenaline rush.
An insight into the history of Secret Buddha Garden
This garden envelops the entire area and offers outstanding views of the island’s coconut plantations and rolling hills. More than the serene background and laid-back ambiance of the place, its fascinating history charms visitors as well. The temple-like structures look like they are hundreds of years old offering a window to the past, while the statues and sculptures portray old tales from the Buddhist folklore.
But what seems like a remnant of ancients is actually the imagination of a humble farmer. The magic garden was envisioned by Nim Thongsuk, a Thai fruit farmer who wanted to build Koh Samui into a significant attraction for tourists. The garden was built in 1976 and when he retired from farming, Thongsuk opened the property to the public. He also employed several architects to create more intriguing statues and structures.
What To See In The Secret Buddha Garden
People visiting Koh Samui Island come to the garden as a part of their day trip or it is included in their tour package. In the garden, you can find numerous figurines in different poses – sitting down, standing, waving, dancing, and playing musical instruments. Besides the statues of gods and goddesses, you can also see animal sculptures in the park such as a bird pulling out a worm from the pond.
Each statue has a unique story to tell. Seen here, a group of musicians poses for a performance. Image: kohsamuitravelhub.com
The entrancing appeal of the garden attracts tourists from far and wide. Each intricate stonework has a story to tell and it is said that any Thai local can tell you the meaning and mythology behind each of them. But because there are no guides or brochures, every visitor is free to give their own interpretation and let their imagination go loose. This is a place where every visitor will find his own personal discovery and take back untold stories to tell to friends and family.
Amidst the animal sculptures and Buddha statues, don’t miss out the image of Nim Thongsuk, the owner of the garden who envisioned this breathtaking beauty. He can be seen sitting and relaxing in the cool shade of trees. Don’t forget to thank him for this heart-soothing creation.
A serene atmosphere
As you walk into the garden, you will immediately feel a sense of calm and tranquility engulf you. The vibrant midday sunlight that breathes life into the statues creates a contrasting mosaic of light and shade. Above, the trees sway gently with the breeze that blows inland from the gulf.
The sound of rushing water from the stream soothes the soul of the garden’s fortunate visitors. Image: nashaplaneta.net
A peaceful stream flows through the garden, adding up to the aesthetic appeal of the place. The sound of a small waterfalls serves as the perfect background music as you explore the landscape.
How to get there
The Secret Buddha garden is situated in the Na Mueang district of Koh Samui island, and most of the local tour operators run day trips to this place.
The Secret Buddha Garden is open throughout the year and there is an entry fee of 80 Baht per person. As this is not a temple, there’s no strict dress code. However, we would suggest that you wear comfortable clothes and shoes as you will be doing a lot of walking. But its all certainly worth it!