Located on the north coast of the island of Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand lies Big Buddha Beach.
Although the official name of the area is Bang Rak, the beach takes its name from the 12 meter tall statue of The Lord Buddha which sits atop a small hill on the island of Koh Farn at the western end of the beach.
The island is connected to the mainland by a causeway and is home to a large temple and school, restaurants, coffee shops, tattoo parlours, arts & crafts shops and holiday clothing stalls.
This temple is a major attraction to both tourists and pilgrims all over the world. The beach itself stretches approximately 3 Kilometres from The Big Buddha to the rocky point at the eastern end of the beach.
The main road for the beach and village alike runs parallel beside the beach. Big Buddha Beach is the closest beach to the Samui airport which is only a couple of kilometres back off the beach.
Being close but not too close to the abundant nightlife and noise of Chaweng beach, Big Buddha Beach is popular with people who don't want to be too close to the action but not too far either, or those who simply want a quiet vacation on a quiet beach.
The beach is long and the sand is fine, the water not too deep and safe for children, it is great for a day at the beach swimming, sun baking, reading your book, whatever you like to do at the beach for the day.
The rocky point at the eastern end offers some interesting spots for snorkelling and rock-walking inspecting the rock pools and the sea life in them. Accommodation is abundant and ranges from inexpensive bungalows to up-market villas and everything in between. Along the beach are many of these resorts and all have bars and restaurants so nothing is better than a stroll along the beach to choose your place for lunch and drinks.
The main road and surrounding area has a village feeling and offers a wide range of shops and services such as supermarkets, internet cafes, dive schools, travel agencies, car & bike rentals, post office, petrol station and just about everything else you could think of or need.
At the Eastern end of the beach surrounded by classic Thai architecture and gardens is Ban Sabai, one of Thailand's most popular independent health spa operations. Spend a day here and revitalise your whole body and soul.
To the western end of the beach is the immediate regions only HyperBaric Chamber for when SCUBA divers get into decompression problems. This unit has saved many lives already. Big Buddha Beach offers a lower cost and more relaxing alternative to having your holiday or vacation on busier beaches such as Chaweng or Lamai. Life is quieter and slower at Big Buddha.
But not totally quiet. Big Buddha Beach has its share of entertainment and nightlife with several restaurants and bars offering live music of various kinds and is famous for the Sunday Music Festivals at Secret Garden Resort towards the eastern end of the beach. Popular with visitors and locals alike, the Sunday live music sessions often attract crowds of hundreds but being right on the beach there's always plenty of room.
Several new property developments located back off the beach on the other side of the main road are beginning to appear and all are doing their best to keep the design and work to an attractive standard. These developments will eventually offer more up-market villa type accommodation for visitors and residents.
Being so close to the airport is only one transportation advantage; Big Buddha Beach is also directly opposite Koh Samui's sister islands Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. One large and 2 smaller ferry and boat piers at Big Buddha offer regular ferry and speedboat transport to Koh Phangan and Koh Tao or even back to the mainland.