Bang Rak is home to the giant golden statue of the Buddha at the Wat Phra Yai (the temple) which is one of the best-known landmarks in Southern Thailand.
Although visible from afar, it's hard to appreciate the size of this 12 metre-high edifice until you get close to it. The temple itself is well worth a visit and there's a range of gift and souvenir shops and several small restaurants in the grounds.
Close to the Big Buddha statue is the new and modern ferry pier, with it's regular runs each day to the nearby island of Koh Phangan.
The Bang Rak area is quiet and uncrowded, and so much safer and less stressful for driving than many other places on Koh Samui.
Bang Rak Location
Bang Rak is situated on the north east coast of Koh Samui. Heading east from here will take you to the small and sleepy Choeng Mon, and continuing by road in this direction will lead to Chaweng, which is six or seven kilometres from Bang Rak. Going in the opposite direction (west) quickly leads to the adjoining and delightful Bo Phut.
If you are arriving by plane, your approach to Koh Samui airport will take you over Bang Rak. Watch out for the Big Buddha statue on your approach!
Bang Rak Beach
Koh Samui's Bang Rak Beach is an attractive and quiet alternative to the busy bustle of Chaweng Beach. There's a small, calm bay sheltered by headlands at each end of the beach, with stretches of sand alternating with rocks and rock pools. For more information go to the Bang Rak Beach page.
Bang Rak Entertainment & Nightlife
Bang Rak has it's fair share of restaurants and bars and there's a lively nightlife, with lots of scattered girly-bars, three or four English-style pubs, more than a handful of sports bars, and restaurants galore.
Bang Rak Shopping
At the most eastern end of the Bang Rak area (Big Buddha) is the newly-built pier with its small complex of shops, bistros and cafes around it. Also, not far from here is the intriguing Bang Rak fish and fruit market.
There's not so much in the way of development here, but follow the road westwards for four or five hundred metres and you'll soon begin to see shops and resorts lining the road.
You'll find internet cafes, tour and travel shops, ATM machines, and several small convenience stores, such as 7-11. Plus, of course, the array of small food stalls, shops, cafes and souvenirs that are to be found at the Big Buddha Temple itself.
Bang Rak Accommodation
There's a more or less unbroken ribbon development along the road here with many small good-quality beach resorts and several bigger ones, although none of them are in the 5-Star bracket. Both the Saboey Resort and Punnpreeda stand out as quality examples of boutique resorts, with the Samui Mermaid Resort offering a larger range of rooms and from 500 baht a night for an aircon double.
There are numerous small family owned resorts and houses to rent on the landward side of the beach road and this is one of the few places on Koh Samui where you can find vacancies in the high season.
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