The Secret Buddha Garden (also known as Magic Garden) in Koh Samui was probably the highlight of our stay on the beautiful island. I loved everything about Koh Samui, but stumbling across this garden was like finding a little piece of magic.
We discovered it when planning our route for the day on the Koh Samui map that we picked up. Almost in the middle of the island was marked Secret Buddha Garden – it looked intriguing, so after a quick Google search to see what it was about we quickly decided to put it on our to do list for our day exploring the island.
The garden is located up in the hills of Koh Samui, surrounded by thick, lush jungle. They are the creation of an old Samui fruit farmer, Nim Thongsuk, who began erecting the statues and temples around his family’s land in 1976. The statues depict various animals, deities and humans in various poses. They are surrounded by overgrown jungle giving it an ancient ruins feel, with a water stream flowing through the center setting the peaceful atmosphere that surrounds the gardens.
Getting there is a little bit tricky. We found a few articles online saying that you can only get up to the garden if you have a 4×4 or if you go with a tour. But we asked a local and they said that we should be able to get up to the top on our scooter. So off we went.
Hoping we took the right turn, we started driving up, and up, and up. And then we got to a dead end…so turned around and started going down again until we found another road. Eventually after climbing who knows how high, our little scooter got us to the top and we found the garden.
It really wasn’t at all what I was expecting. The moment you walk in you instantly feel the peace and tranquility of the gardens. There’s a flowing water stream through the middle, with small waterfalls providing the perfect background noise while you wander around the gardens. There are statues scattered all over, in the most random of places. There are also a few small temples, which look like they were built hundreds of years ago. All covered in moss, spiderwebs, hanging trees and roots from below.
My favourite part of the gardens were the statues of the deities, all placed in strategic positions, telling a story of the past (not quite sure what the story was, but it was fun to imagine).
Secret Buddha Garden details
Getting there: The Secret Buddha Garden is found on a hilltop, just off Route 4169 (ring road) at Baan Saket. You can either go by yourself on a scooter or hired 4X4, or you can join a tour group (can be booked either through your hotel or at one of the many travel agents scattered throughout the island).
The Secret Buddha Garden sits at the top of the Tar Nim Waterfall peak, there are plenty of stops along the way to the top to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the waterfalls and views.
Cost: If you go up the garden by yourself, you’ll have to pay 80 Baht entrance. This should be included in the tour price if you opt to do a tour.
Don’t forget: Your camera, you’ll want to take a thousand pictures of this place!
If you’ve got a day to explore Koh Samui, I’d definitely recommend stopping at the Secret Buddha Gardens. The cool jungle is also a great place to cool off from the islands heat (although still humid!).