Travel Thailand…Koh Samui…A Mysterious, Secret Buddha Garden.

Koh Samui The Secret Garden


Koh Samui…The Secret Buddha Garden.

On our very first visit to Thailand in 2002 many years ago now with our two young grandsons, we visited this lovely Island of Koh Samui. A beautiful island where I first fell in love with Thailand. At that time, never in my wildest dreams did I think that one day I would be living that dream.

Here I am in 2018 and living that dream…

Out exploring the island one day we saw a sign which said: ” Secret  Buddha Garden” It piqued my curiosity as a few years ago while driving in England we saw a similar sign which said, ” Secret Bunker”… so seeing this made me smile at that memory as that also was a day to remember and not what we expected.

Would this ” Secret Buddha Garden” be the same?

An unexpected delight?…

At the sign, we took the turning and was it a steep hill…we slowly made our way upwards, the uneven road presented us with sheer drops either side and the road was barely one car wide…

Yikes if we meet anything coming the other way and thank goodness the only vehicle we did meet was a motorcycle and luckily it was able to edge its way past us and away it went.

My son was driving and does not like heights at the best of times and was a tad nervous. I think we were all relieved when we spied a restaurant and were able to pull into its small car park…we were presented with the most amazing views and then came the food which was awesome…just delicious.

Enquiring about the “Secret Buddha Garden” the restaurant staff pointed upwards with a big smile… Really?…at that point, it was unanimous to leave the truck and walk!

We walked and walked and all we saw was the occasional bike which passed us going the other way…Down!

The noises which we heard coming from the jungle as we walked up the steep track were quite magnified and sounded like a chainsaw…well that was the story I told my open-mouthed grandsons it did make them walk a little quicker though …haha. It was only later that I discovered they were Cicadas and due to the acoustics on the mountain when they rubbed their wings together in unison they did sound like a chainsaw.

Suddenly the road plateaued out…We were at the top…

A group of children thailand-471700_1280

Thirsty and worn out…Our first view was a small shop selling water and a group of bemused local children were watching us and laughing probably thinking  ” mad Farangs” walking in this heat up the mountain. At that point, I was happy to agree with them…

Looking around we spied a lone kiosk

No secret garden?…Mysterious…

I had this mental picture of pretty flowers…orchids and a statue or two… There was nothing like that in sight!

Walking over to the kiosk we paid for our tickets…well, we were here so we may as well have a look…

Where is this garden? The smiling woman pointed to some steps…from where I was standing they looked wooden and slightly rickety…Oh No! My legs could not take any more…

Down and down we went… That first glimpse of this “Secret Buddha Garden” was amazing..statues carved out of stone, a tiny house, little streams, and miniature waterfalls trickling and running through the middle of this garden, a small amphitheater, all among the trees which were growing on the mountainside…Not a flower in sight…


Did it matter? Not at all…This was a mysterious, and magical a memory that has stayed with me over the years…

My research since then has told me that an old Durian Fruit Farmer in 1976 at the grand old age of 77 started to fulfill his life’s ambition and carved all these wonderful statues which he had seen in his dreams and he created them to honour Buddha.

The statues depict a number of animals, deities, and humans in various poses, including one of the man himself Khun Nim in a relaxed position sitting on a rock. Khun Nim continued to work developing his garden until his death at the age of 91.

The garden is now cared for by his relatives.

This also reinforces to me that…

You can dare to dream” and that dreams do come true…albeit you have to work hard and you must have that will and determination to make it happen just like this old Durian farmer called Uncle(Khun) Nim did.

We visited this mysteriously magical place which was way off the beaten track back in 2002 so a few years ago now and the road is no longer open to the public but only to experienced 4 x 4 drivers. But, local tour firms offer day trips up the mountain.

The new road lies directly opposite the temple Wat Khunaram near Lamai and the road leads you through some very steep hills to the Secret Garden. It is also now known locally as the Magic or Buddha garden and mysterious and magical it certainly was for me.

A beautiful mysterious, magical garden that I hope to revisit one day… I have never forgotten my visit to the Secret Buddha Garden and it has been the subject of a presentation I did for work. A short story I wrote in the Phuket Writers Anthology and a lovely memory for me which I am now sharing with you… If you ever get the chance to visit I am sure it will not disappoint. I hope you are left with that same magical feeling which I experienced.

Thank you for reading I look forward to your comments as you know I love to chat x


21 thoughts on “Travel Thailand…Koh Samui…A Mysterious, Secret Buddha Garden.

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      1344 km from where we live now… Koh Samui is the first place we visited here… we did plan to go back last year but Covid had other plans… For me it is a special place and the start of our love for Thailand.. X


  1. Renee

    This is amazing Carol! I have been to Koh Samui, and after reading your story I realize I should have explored more! Really enjoyed reading it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      It is beautiful Renee. Koh Samui was the first place we visited in Thailand and we did plan to go back last year but covid put paid to that but from the pictures we have seen its like a ghost town so much is closed… Covid has decimated many businesses here..


      1. Renee

        It is and yes. Unfortunately covid has changed so much. We can only hope that it will end soon and we an go back to some sort of normal. 💕


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    1. Carol Post author

      I hope you do has its average places like everywhere but also so many just magical places also and I love it and I am sure you will love it when you visit 🙂 x


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