Ko Samui is so big, we've split it up into areas, select one of the below for detailed accommodation and food listings in that area. Sights and general overviews for Ko Samui as a whole can be found via the icons above. Don't know where to start? Read an overview of Ko Samui's different areas.
My house is perfectly positioned to appreciate Samui’s sunsets, and it seems as though each night — insert your favourite deity here, perhaps the Goddess Ra — tries to outdo her sunset creation from the previous evening. Sometimes they are a pretty pastel pink with soft wispy clouds looking like cotton candy. Other evenings present a dramatic show with towering cumulonimbus clouds highlighted by a glowing orb sinking into the bay. These clouds are often filled with energy that will later that evening free itself as dry lightning, lighting up the night sky.
So where is the best spot to observe sunset on Samui? Unlike Phuket, Samui’s busiest beaches are on the east coast — obviously not ideal for sunset watching — so make your way to the west, or to the closer northern shores that offer western views.
Bank Rak beach (Big Buddha beach) is a popular sunset spot with locals and expats, be it little beach bars at resorts such as Dae Tong de Samui or Secret Garden, or the aptly named Sunset Cafe. For swisher spots, try Prana Resort’s Amala Restaurant (which offers Thursday nights ladies’ nights, starting at 19:00, but arrive early to catch the view). The Scent Hotel, with its colonial charm, offers sophisticated seafront dining and a bar.
Fisherman’s Village has an assortment of bars and restaurants, both fancy and simple, some with tables set out at the water’s edge, and others more relaxed with oversized beanbags and cushioned salas. Still in Bophut, try Zazen for a Morocco-meets-Asia vibe.
Choeng Mon beach, positioned on a peninsular that protrudes from the northeastern corner of Samui, sticks out into the sea enough to catch the sunset, and better yet, those lucky enough to stay in a hillside villa will get sunset views across to Ko Som and even the Ang Thong Marine Park on a clear night.
The quiet bay of Taling Ngam on the west coast is probably the best sunset location, although a little far if you are not staying this side. The Five Islands Restaurant takes full advantage of this view, and is a popular sunset wedding venue.
Early birds may want to head east to Lamai for sunrise. Grandfather Rock is a popular local sunrise hangout – er, I wouldn’t know; I don’t get up that early.
By Rosanne Turner
Last updated on 4th June, 2015.