Smiling Buddha | Wat Plai Laem | (Koh) Samui Island

Explore, November 6, 2009


Wat Plai Laem, located in the north of Koh Samui, near to the Big Buddha, was built in 2004. Khun Jarit Phumdonming, architect/artist of the temple, spent more than three years adding finer details to the exterior.


The temple is also famous for the hundreds of big fish living in the lake and waiting to be fed (food is available at the temple for a small donation of 10 Baht per pack).


Great fun to photograph in the location - such vibrant colours!!! Weather was quite overcast so HDR saved the day.


This Chinese-style, smiling Buddha, was a giant – about 30 metres high.


3 exposures tonemapped in Photomatix Pro.



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Link to Thailand’s premier image gallery: Thailand Showcase Gallery


  • mennomenno. 5y

    This is awesome.....beautiful vivid colours, great perspective and symmetrie !
  • Todd Tobey PRO 5y

    what an amazing temple... the colors really pop!!
  • Jeff Bergman PRO 5y

    Wow - this is amazing. Such beautiful colours you captured here.
  • Nikos Daskalakis 5y

    You photography enhances and promotes the beauty of your country.
  • Petia Burova 5y

    From your pictures i am studing many things of your country.They are very beautiful!
  • Artie Ng PRO 5y

    you have really given us an insight into the beautiful part of thailand which we do not normally get to see
  • T Glow 5y

    great visual impact..............impressive work !!!!

    Incredibly eye-catching and enchanting. The processing is magnificent here.
  • Dan Beecroft 5y

    Very cool shot congrats
  • Dan Ballard PRO 5y

    Whoa thats cool!!!!!:))))) Nice job!!
  • xavibarca PRO 5y

    Superb shot Igor. Fantastic compo, sky and trademark 3D look!
  • ♥ Sabrina Dacos ♥ 5y

    Wow, fantastic!
  • Popeyee 5y beautiful
  • Jerry Ipsen 5y

    Nice bright colors!
  • David Butali 5y

    wow such colored!
  • William Cho PRO 5y

    A truly grand and spectacular entrance. Lovely rendition!
  • Tan Yilmaz PRO 5y

    Wow, what a riot of colour, excellent perspective.
  • G Vargas PRO 5y

    Awesomely surreal! Great work!
  • Photo--Graphy 4y

    Beautiful !!!

  • baidege125 4y

    This is the Happy, Smiling, or Fat Buddha. He is also called Budai hesang, or Hotei, the "cloth bag" monk. A thousand or so years ago in China during the Song Dynasty, he was a popular monk believed after his death to have been an emanation or reincarnation of the bodhisattva Maitreya (Mile, Miroku), the Future Buddha. The Happy Buddha traditionally is placed on an altar in the center of the first entrance hall of a Buddhist temple, & always faces the entrance door to greet visitors. He usually holds a bag & a rosary.
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Taken on October 7, 2009
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