Take a chill pill
Ring Road, Bang Po
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Relax Bar & Restaurant, along Ko Samui’s quiet Bang Po beach, is a great chilled out spot to tuck into a Thai or Western meal, or to sip on a cocktail during a lovely beachside sunset.
This open-air restaurant consists of numerous salas, all rigged out with bright cushions and a few more tables set out at the water’s edge; fuchsia orchids and an array of other blossoms add to the already colourful lanterns and textiles. The place has a chilled, beach-bar vibe and you’ll see a few chickens going about their business and cats lazing under salas. It’s a good place to bring kids, as a few wooden swings hang from the sturdy trees, and a bit of beach-combing in the rocks can keep them busy too.
The menu has a vast selection of Thai dishes as well as a few Western options too, such as club sandwiches. Prices are reasonable considering the seafront location; expect to pay around 500 baht for a meal for two with drinks. Salads, fried rice and pad Thai all average about 120 baht, while Thai soups such as tom yum or tom kha are 150 baht, as are the Thai curries. Spicy papaya or seafood salads range between 120 and 150 baht.
The food is good, although some dishes were slightly sweeter than we liked – palm sugar is a common ingredient in Thai cooking. But it’s easy enough to ask them to leave out or cut down on the sugar in whatever you order. Our pad krapoaw moo (fried minced pork with basil and chilli) was cooked to perfection, served with a fried egg on top of the rice (130 baht), and the fried tofu with beans sprouts came in a delicious broth (110 baht).
Relax is open into the evening and is a perfect spot to catch the sunset. There’s a good selection of cocktails too, which you can take advantage of during regular happy hour specials. Although there aren’t any contact details as such, there’s no need to book in advance as plenty of salas and beachside tables are spread out in the attractive garden. Just look out for the swinging lanterns and a bright purple sign, inviting you to ‘Relax’.
Relax Bar & Restaurant
Ring Road, Bang Po
The restaurant is located a few hundred metres before the hill leading to the Four Seasons if coming from Mae Nam side, or shortly after the Four Seasons if coming from Nathon.
By Rosanne Turner
Last updated on 28th September, 2013.