The seven heads of each snake are draped with garlands and ribbons, their mouths fixed in a cheery hiss. Their bodies snake up each side of the steps, to where the golden Buddha sits resplendent atop his plinth. Thailand’s Koh Samui is an island where the more you explore, the stranger it becomes. At first glance it seems like nothing more than the little bit of paradise featured in the movie The Beach, with untouched stretches of white-gold sand. But if you hike, bike or ride away from the main Chaweng district, you will discover old fishing villages, mountain enclaves and ancient temples.
The mummy in Wat Khunaram is said to be that of the temple’s chief monk, who predicted his own death.
Have a taste for the macabre? Visit Wat Khunaram, where a mummy wearing sunglasses sits meditating for all eternity. After dark, the beachside nightlife starts to swing, so join the party for tropical cocktails, music and dancing till dawn.