Sunday, December 14, 2014
Koh Samui is a cosmopolitan melting pot, attracting budget travelers staying for a month or two in simple beachside bungalows, to the wealthiest holidaymakers dropping in for a weekend at one of the many luxury resort or villa on the many white sand beaches of Koh Samui.
I will fly my DJI P2 V+ Quadcopter to the Big Buddha temple which sits majestically on a small rocky island off Koh Samui’s north-eastern corner. Known locally as Wat Phra Yai, its golden, 12-metre seated Buddha statue was built in 1972 and remains one of the island’s most popular attractions. The Big Buddha can be seen at a distance of several kilometres and is often the first landmark people see when arriving to Samui by air.
The Big Buddha sits in the Mara posture, with the left hand’s palm up resting on the lap and the right hand facing down, the fingers hanging over the knee and grazing the ground. It depicts a time during Buddha’s journey to enlightenment where he successfully subdued the temptations and dangers thrust at him by the devil-figure Mara by meditating and remaining calm. The pose is a symbol of steadfastness, purity and enlightenment.
Then we are going to fly to the famous Wat Plai Laem it is a Buddhist temple compound on Samui's north-east coast of Samui, featuring a striking white 18-arm image of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion. Wat Plai Laem offers visitors a view into Chinese-Thai beliefs as well as some elaborate Buddhist-themed art and architecture.
Wat Plai Laem is a living and active temple, where devotees come daily to pay homage to Guanyin and the Buddha, who is also depicted in a number of statues and murals around the temple. This is a relatively new temple but the art techniques used in its creation are centuries-old and based on ancient beliefs. Adding to its feel of tranquillity, the temple is surrounded by a lake, which is teeming with fish. Visitors who make a donation to the temple are given a bag of food to feed the fish.