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Saturday, 28 November 2009

Magic Garden, Lamai

Magic Garden, Lamai



This has been on my list of places to visit on Samui since a very long time and finally I got to got there yesterday, after my visit to the Transport office Surat Thani, branch Koh Samui, renewing my drivers license, always an adventure in itself!

Magic Garden, Lamai
Magic Garden, Lamai; The road signs opposite Wat Kunaram

One of the reasons I finally got around visiting this place, is that since very shortly, it's been more accessible than ever before. Directly opposite Wat Kunaram with it's mummified monk, near Lamai is now a brand new road that leads through the very steep hills to the Magic or Buddha Garden, see the sign above. You can't really miss it. In typical Thai fashion, there are no pre-warning or other signs though, if you miss it, that's it!

The road leading through the hills is impressive but stick to the main road, I took some other roads and all were dead ends where I had to back out of with my car, which can be interesting on a very steep hill with curves in it and a drop down at one side of a couple of 100 meters.

Magic Garden, Lamai
Magic Garden, Lamai

The "Magic Garden" or "Secret Buddha Garden" is located in the hills of Samui. A Samuian fruit farmer, Nim Thongsuk, started to build the garden in 1976 when he was 77 years old.

The old road leading to the Magic Garden, coming from Nathon led through a Military section of said road but the last couple of years, the guards used to let you pass. With the new road originating near  Lamai it's a lot easier to reach the Magic Garden.

Magic Garden, Lamai
Magic Garden, Lamai

Once inside the magic garden, after having paid an 80,-THB admission fee, you enter a beautiful piece of nature with small, miniature waterfalls and small statues are all over the place. It's a fantastic transition into a different world, walking down the stairs to the actual 'garden'.

A little stream runs through the whole garden and the above picture has two stone bodies (can you see their feet?) lying in the flow of the stream. It seems that they used some imagination and created a few unexpected scenery's. Very nicely done!

Magic Garden, Lamai
Magic Garden, Lamai; This is a statue of the founder of Magic Garden, Khun Nim Thongsuk.

Magic Garden, Lamai
Magic Garden, Lamai

I'm pretty sure that all the statues have meanings but it's difficult to near impossible to find out their (Buddhist?) meaning since there are no guides or brochures with an explanation. Near the entrance is a small sitting area with the typical Samui souvenirs but unfortunately with no actual information on the Garden.

Magic Garden, Lamai
Magic Garden, Lamai; This series of statues is the 'piece de resistance' and shows a troupe of around a dozen dancers.

Magic Garden, Lamai
Magic Garden, Lamai; The group of dancers with a group of musicians in the front. A lovely sight and beautifully located in the middle of Samui hills.

Magic Garden, Lamai
Magic Garden, Lamai


After I left the Magic Garden, I rode around in the hills, passing Durian gardens, bamboo trees, looking into steep valleys and having fantastic views over Samui, all the way down to the distant ocean.

There are plenty of restaurants and view points along the way and it's well worth stopping at some of these places and have a cold drink or get something to eat and just enjoy the scenery.

The picture above shows the road block leading into Nathon, marking the Military area. Just after I turned around, a jeep of one of the organised trips around the island came down the hill and I guess that they just pass by the blockade and continue on their way down on the main road.
The road leading to the right, as suggested on the signage was another dead end road, but I enjoyed travelling back and taking the same road down to Wat Kunaram again.

Rent a car or bike and travel around the island as described in another post on this blog but don't forget to include the Magic Garden!

Please do 'like' my Koh Samui blog Facebook page and enjoy the beaches around the island or in front of your hotel or resort and get some well deserved rest and a break. If you're done resting or need something else to do, there's plenty of things on offer on and around Koh Samui, you can go snorkeling or diving or take a dive course. You can also enjoy some of the trips I recommend, like a half day gourmet lunch and snorkeling trip at the Southern part of Koh Samui or a photography trip where you get to see the most photo genetic spots on the island or go for a drinks tasting tour if you like a tipple or two.

Contact me for more detailed information on any of the options mentioned.

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Camille



2 comments:

MoniqueSamui said...

Een leuke plek is dat! De weg langs de militairen is trouwens al een hele tijd niet meer begaanbaar voor verkeer. Er is een gat in de weg van zeker een tiental meters. Alleen brommers komen er nog langs. Heb je toentertijd een mailtje en foto's gestuurd van dat gat, maar dat is waarschijnlijk niet aangekomen?
Fijn weekend!

Camille Lemmens said...

Hoi Monique,

Heb die foto's gekregen, maar nu pas snap ik waar ze genomen zijn!