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Tarnim Magic Garden
Local agricultural farmer, Khun Nim Thongsuk is famous for 2 reasons. Firstly, his pioneering advancements in durian fruit farming. Thanks to Khun Nim the local fruit is well revered for its taste and longevity once picked. It's one of the most sort after fruit exports in Asia.
Secondly, the project he decided to build in 1976 at the youthful age of 77, Tarnim Magic Garden.
Khun Nim travelled daily from his home in Namuang to farm his fruit on the peak of Pom Mountain. Here he developed a deep spiritual love for his surroundings and decided to build a place where people could come to enjoy the peace and nature as he once did and as a final resting place for himself that reflected the heaven he would be moving on to.
Here in the Magic Garden you'll find all sorts of sculptures, enclaves and houses with thick vegetation growing wild on the roofs. The houses were initially built for traveling monks who may require shelter or a place to rest on their journey.
The garden has a beautiful fresh water stream with sectioned waterfalls. There are stone seating areas positioned strategically to enjoy specific areas of the garden.
On the left of the first house you encounter are two sculptures laying side by side on top of the stream. These sculptures are of Khun Nim's grandparents, built in their loving memory. The flowing water and exposure to the elements has worn the sculptures, but take a close look and you'll see.
Dotted around the stream are turtles and other wildlife, such as a giant bird with a snake in its grasp. On the left hand side of the stream you'll also notice sculptures of two men sitting peacefully in adjoining enclaves, this is Khun Nim and his father.
As you reach the bottom of the garden you'll find the masterpiece of the project. An amphitheatre like area with many sculptured angels, smiling with a welcoming raised hand as a group of musicians keeps everyone entertained.
Behind the angel sculptures you'll find a staircase leading up to a tomb. With his wife by his side this is where Khun Nim Thongsuk was finally laid to rest at the age of 91. You can see why he picked this spot, it has a great view of his wondrous garden creation.
Tarnim Magic Garden can be found at the top of Pom Mountain. Most tours visit this site, and hotel operators can arrange bookings for you or organise a private tour. If you choose to visit yourself a 4x4 or car will get you there easily. A scooter will also do the job, but please be aware the road is long and steep in areas, not for novice riders. Also keep an eye on the weather, it can change very quickly on Koh Samui and getting caught up this mountain in a storm is not a lot of fun.
The road to the Magic Garden is off the 4169 directly opposite the Mummified Monk at Wat Khunaram Temple. Check out The Mountain Grand View Viewpoint while you are here, one of the best views on Koh Samui.
The price of entry is 80 Baht per person.