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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Koh Phangan Temples & Shrines – a spiritual journey through Koh Phangan
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Koh Phangan Temples & Shrines – a spiritual journey through Koh Phangan

People come and go, but Thailand's beautiful temples and shrines remain a constant reminder of its rich cultural heritage. Here are some of the best temples and shrines to see around Koh Phangan.

1

Wat Phu Khao Noi

The oldest temple and meditation centre on the island, Wat Phu Khao Noi is situated atop a small hill near another prominent temple in the area. There are several old buildings that make up the temple, but the most important is a pagoda which is designed in a traditional castle style. The pagoda is used to preserve Buddha's lyrics which are kept on a large base, surrounded by smaller pagodas. Buddhist imager covers the many walls around the temple premises and there are lots of interesting details if you look closely. The meditation centre also doubles as a monastery and supports training in Buddhism for young local kids on vacation. Most lessons are in Thai, but it is possible to find a handful in English during certain times of the year.

2

Wat Srithanu

The only temple located near the Sri Thanu beach, Wat Srithanu is one of the smallest temples around, but it is beautiful enough to worth a visit. The temple features a traditional Thai design of pristine white walls, and vivid red and gold framing the rooftop, doors and windows. Immaculately landscaped gardens surround the temple. Make sure not to miss the impressive sight of two five-headed nagas standing on either side of a staircase.

3

Wat Pha Sang Tham

This temple is situated amid a lush tropical forest so you can expect to see plenty of elephants and Buddhist imagery around the massive courtyard. Tourists don't come here much so it's less crowded than other well-known temples and much more serene. The stunning temple used to be more hidden, but after the road leading up to it was opened up, you can view the temple from the other end. There's lot of spirit houses scattered around the grounds and Buddhist detailing is everywhere. This is a temple where you want to take your time for exploring.

4

The Chinese Temple Guan Yin

The most popular temples on the island, and also the largest, the Guan Yin temple complex is set on a hill top, making it hard to miss when driving by. The temple is devoted to Guan Yin, the goddess of Mercy, which is the female representation of Buddha. More like a shrine than a temple, this is a great place to experience chines culture, and enjoy the beautiful architecture around the premises. Because of its popularity, it can get a bit crowded during the day. If you're staying at a Koh Phangan Resort, in the area, such as Anantara Rasananda Koh Phangan Villas, do check with staff what the best time to visit would be.

5

Wat Samai Kongka

Probably one of the strangest temples you will ever see, the temple is offers visitors a visual journey through Buddhist heaven and hell. Visiting with a guide is recommended if you want to know exactly what each representation means, as well as various ideas behind it.