Secret Buddha Garden
Secret Buddha Garden or Magic Garden Na Mueang Surat Thani Thailand
Nestled high in the hills of Koh Samui to the north-west of Lamai Beach, among lush tropical vegetation and cool inviting streams, lies Nim Thongsuk’s creation known as The Secret Garden. Nim Thongsuk, a local durian fruit farmer, started his spectacular creation after his retirement in 1976 at the age of 77. He was a creative and innovative farmer and his efforts played a great part in making Samui famous for its durian fruit. He then gathered a team to help create the garden before opening it to the public for viewing of its numerous statues of Buddhist deities, shrines, temples and figures. Each statue was created with intricate detail and tells a different story representative of his ideologies. Set amidst a winding stream with its many miniature waterfalls, this enchanting garden with its beautiful natural surroundings is the epitome of peace and tranquillity. Nim Thongsuk continued developing his depictions of humans, animals and deities, including a statue of himself sitting on a rock, until his death at the age of 91.
Reaching the Secret Gardens is somewhat difficult due to the steep and rugged terrain and a 4wd vehicle is suggested for most visitors. However, for the more adventurous there are a number of locations where one can stop for a breather to take advantage of the spectacular views of the durian fruit farms, bamboo trees, coconut plantations, beaches and beautiful scenery below. Upon reaching the entrance to the gardens you are greeted by a small sitting area where souvenirs and memorabilia can be bought. They make wonderful gifts for friends and relatives or for your own mantelpiece as a decorative ornament and reminder of this majestic and magical excursion. As you enter into the actual garden you can’t help but feel a transition into a magical world shaded by lush vegetation and surrounded by waterfalls and the vast amount of figures which greet you by surprise at every turn.
At roughly 35 Thai Baht to the US Dollar, 80 Baht is a small price to pay for this enchanting and magical piece of paradise in the Samui interior highland, and a visit to Thailand will be incomplete without a visit to the Secret Garden. Also known as The Magic Garden or Heaven’s Garden, it offers a unique and memorable experience unlike anywhere else in the world. Whether by guided tour or solo trip, this is surely one excursion not to be missed.