Together with the temple of the Big Buddha, this garden was easily my highlight on Koh Samui. It’s mystical, beautiful and for me a definite must-see when you’re on the island.
Khun Nim Thongsuk, a former durian farmer, created these statues. He began his work when he was 77 and continued to do so until he died with 91. Today his family runs the park and uses the entrance fee ( 80 baht) to maintain the garden.
It lies on a hilltop, on the interior of the island. There are a lot of safaris bringing tourists up there, and I’d advise you to either book one of those or find your own driver to take you on your island tour. You have to pass a military point when nearing the garden, but even if they stop you (which they almost never do with tourists, as most do drive up to visit the garden), just tell them that you want to visit the Secret Buddha Garden and they will let you through.
There is a small parking spot and a house where you can buy some drinks, a couple of gifts and of course the entrance tickets. You then descend some stairs and immediately notice the fresh and cool air.
There is a river, cascading down the area, and filled with these small fish who nibble on your feet. It does feel nice (and it doesn’t cost anything!), so if you want some fish taking care of your feet – just out them in and rest for a bit.
The area is covered with statues, not only buddhistic ones, but also animals, such as snakes and frogs. There is also a statue of the builder and you can leave some gifts here to pay your respect.
If you’re bad on foot, however, this Garden might be problematic for you. There are a couple of steep stairs and the paths are uneven.
We went there in the afternoon, as this was the last stop during our irland tour. It was rather empty then and not a lot of tourists walked around. I don’t know if that’s different in the earlier hours, but suspect it to be. So, if you want to be mostly on your own and enjoy this calm and mysterious garden, I’d advise you to go there later. But make sure you have at least an hour before closing time, as there is a lot to discover and you definitely should not rush through this one. Take your time and relax.