The vast majority of the population consider themselves Buddhists. While the devoutness of their practice varies just as it does with religious peoples throughout the world, the temple remains a cultural focal point for every village. Many of the more high profile Wats in the country have become tourist attractions, but remarkably, the presence of foreign visitors does not seem to distract or disturb those residents who come to pray. On Samui, two Wats are home to the displayed bodies of monks who were mummified some 20 years ago.

Some residents go to the local temple regularly to pay their respects to the Buddha, others go at times of misfortune or when they are visited by doubt and uncertainty. But all Buddhists go sometimes. As everywhere in Thailand, Samui’s temples range from the simple to the grand, and the latter attract many thousands of tourists each year.

If you visit a temple, please dress appropriately and be sure and remove your shoes before entering. When sitting or kneeling, be careful not to point your foot directly at the Buddha or worshipers.

Most of the free tourist maps available widely, indicate the locations of Samui’s many Wats