One of Koh Samui’s less known attractions is the Laem Sor Pagoda in the South West corner of the island. This part of Samui is not much visited and quiet, compared to the beach resorts on the Eastern side of the island.
The Laem Sor Pagoda sits right at the end of the somewhat rocky beach of Bang Kao. The pagoda has a golden glowing appearance, especially in the sunlight, when the contrast with the blue waters of the ocean make for some beautiful images. Actually, the pagoda is not gold but built from yellow colored tiles that make it look golden from a distance.
Guarded by two large yaks
The entrance to the pagoda is guarded by two large very colorful yaks, which means “giant”, standing in front of the pagoda, each holding a large sword. Behind the yaks in the pagoda stands a golden colored Buddha image.
The Boat Hall
About a hundred meters away from the pagoda you will find a building called the Boat Hall. This building with glass walls contains a small boat.
Inside it is the wax figure of the monk who build the pagoda and used the boat. This monk is highly revered, local people come here to prey and if their wishes come true, they buy a small model boat and put it inside the large boat.
On the other side of the pagoda is a small forest and a lake. There are some tables and benches here too, making it an excellent place for some relaxation in this tranquil, peaceful environment. There is a visitors center where you can find all kinds of information about the pagoda.
The Wat Laem Sor temple
The pagoda is part of the Wat Laem Sor temple complex, which covers a huge area. The temple Wat Laem Sor itself is located a bit out of sight away from the pagoda, set in a beautiful jungle like environment.
Great views from the top of the hill
Also part of the temple complex, located on a hill just West of the Laem Sor Pagoda is another pagoda called the Khao Chedi, which is white colored. It takes a bit of a climb to get there, but once arrived you will have some of the greatest views of the area and the surrounding islands South of Koh Samui.
Due to its location far away from the main beach resorts this place is usually quiet, and very well suited for some relaxing while enjoying the views.
On Buddhist holidays it can get busy when local people come here to make merit and pay respect to the Buddha.
How to get to the Laem Sor Pagoda
The Laem Sor Pagoda is located in the South Western corner of Koh Samui close to Bang Kao village.
Following the main road, Route 4170, just past the village of Baan Bang Kao there is a turn to a smaller road leading to the beach where the pagoda is. This location is relatively far away from the beach resorts on the Eastern side of the island.
The best way to get there would be by taxi. Make sure the driver turns on the meter or agree on the price before leaving. If you book a return trip, the driver will wait for you.
Admission & opening hours
As the Laem Sor Pagoda is located on a public beach, you can visit any time. During sunlight hours the pagoda looks at its best with its beautiful golden glow. There is no admission fee.
In spite of its location on the beach, the Wat Laem Sor is an active temple where Buddhist people come to pay respect to the Buddha. Please dress appropriately, no revealing clothes like beachwear.