The island’s only temple
Published/Last edited or updated: 24th April, 2016
Wat Ko Kaew Pitsadan took its name from an alternate moniker for Ko Samet coined by Sunthorn Phu in his Phra Aphai Mani literary epic.
Accessible directly from the road that runs behind Haad Sai Kaew, a happy-looking white concrete Buddha image sits around seven metres tall from the pink-lotus base to the gold-painted umbrella placed above the head. Held up in front of the chest, the index finger of the image’s right hand is bent over the thumb in an unusual mudra that we think depicts the “gesture of debate”.
Though only marginally interesting by general Thai temple standards, the big Buddha is worth a stop if you happen to be cruising by. Don’t be surprised if a soft-spoken monk appears to chat and give you a bottle of water along with an amulet for good luck. Drop a 20- or 100-baht note in the donation box if you wish to contribute to a temple building project.
Other objects of interest include a fluting statue of Phra Aphai attached to the eastern gate, and a small pavilion sporting a poignant mural that depicts the Buddha’s death, or parinibanna, in a forest surrounded by monks. Also say hi to the island dogs that come here to nap and perhaps score a meal.
David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
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