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Post cover image: The Magic Buddha Garden (Tarnim Magic Garden)

The Magic Buddha Garden (Tarnim Magic Garden)

Date of publication: 18 Mar 2024

A trip to Koh Samui in Thailand is not only an opportunity to enjoy the snow-white beaches and emerald waters, but also an opportunity to discover mysterious places such as the magical garden, also known as the Secret Buddha's Garden. As a professional photographer living on the island, I couldn't miss such beauty and not visit this place.

Other names: Magic Garden, Secret Garden, Secret Buddha Garden, Tarnim Magic Garden

Located in the heart of the island's mountainous terrain, the magical garden is an oasis of tranquility and inspiration. Under the riot of tropical plants is a wonderful collection of sculptures and structures created by the local inhabitant for decades. They are everywhere: next to the waterfall and in the water itself, around the path, on the rocks and in the greenery, and there are some that are difficult to notice.

Along with various stairs, seating and meditation areas, it offers many opportunities for interesting angles and compositions. Walking through the garden, you can notice a small house, which was intended as a temporary shelter from heat and rain. Well, after all this time, these houses, like the rest of the statues, are interred under a thick blanket of vines and moss.


The natural elements of the garden will add a special charm to your photos. You can find something interesting in every corner of this garden.

A small artificial waterfall greets visitors, and a small mountain river flows through the garden, bringing even more freshness.

The Magic Buddha Garden is a place where nature reveals itself in different shades of green. Here you will not see flower beds and colorful flower arrangements. Instead, you are surrounded by dense jungle. The sun's rays penetrate the dense crown of the tree, creating a play of light and shadow, giving depth and intrigue to the picture.

The complete list of all locations for photo sessions, see here

The most interesting thing here is that the longer you stay here, the more you can recognize the sculpture in the seemingly shapeless stone.

Time for photography

Unlike other places on the island where the time of day plays an important role in creating the perfect photo, The Magic Buddha Garden is protected from direct sunlight by tropical greenery that provides the same lighting plus or minus. So, whenever you enter the garden, at any time of the day, you can find something special to capture with a photographic lens.

Please note: this is a very popular tourist destination, so you will often encounter tour groups. However, given that the size of the garden is actually small, it can take 20-30 minutes to inspect it, and tourist groups quickly leave the place. And you will be able to stay alone with nature and the camera.

How to get

The only way to get here is a car or a powerful bike. The local roads are steep and winding, but they are always well marked. Walking is not an option. Nevertheless, your trip to The Magic Buddha Garden is worth every kilometer you travel due to its unique natural beauty and mysterious atmosphere and is ideal for photography.


The secret garden of Koh Samui is a place where natural beauty meets human creativity and every frame becomes a work of art. Unique landscapes, solitude, natural phenomena – what else is needed for a memorable photo shoot for a lifetime.

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photo: Dimas Frolov
About the Author

Portrait photographer based on Samui, Thailand.
Originally from Ukraine, he has over 15 years of photography experience taking pictures around Europe and Asia. Multi-Award winner and author of many articles about photography.
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