Beaches

Mae Nam Beach For fantastic views north to Ko Pha-Ngan and gorgeous light at twilight too.

Ao Pang Ka Get away from it all in the island's southwest – it's a huge plateau of sand when the tide is out. Sunsets are divine.

Coco Tam's Not a beach, but a beach bar: make a beeline here for sundown and a gorgeous twilight on the north coast.

Chaweng Beach For its magnificent sunrises, choice of beach bars and bubbly, young mood.

Bo Phut Beach Grainy sand perhaps but terrific views out to the Full Moon Party island of Ko Pha-Ngan.

Bang Po Beach Quiet and less-visited, this is a perfect antidote to the more frantic beaches over on the east coast.

Baobab Seize a beach towel and hop on a sun lounger after lunch to enjoy Lamai Beach at its best.

Temples

Wat Plai Laem The island's most vibrantly painted temple is a picture, so try and catch it in the best light.

Wat Racha Thammaram Notable for its deep-red clay temple hall, this temple is an amazing sight.

Wat Khunaram This intriguing temple contains the upright, mummified remains of a monk who foresaw the time of his own death.

Hainan Temple Brightening up the west coast is Ko Samui's most colourful Chinese temple.

Wat Khao Hua Jook Dazzlingly illuminated at night, this temple glows like a beacon from its hilltop perch above Chaweng Lake.

Mae Nam Chinese Temple An explosion of vibrant colour near the sea at the heart of Mae Nam.

Laem Saw Pagoda On the southern shore, with superb views out to the Gulf.

Wat Samret This serene temple is home to a reclining statue of buddha, poised to enter Nirvana.

Culinary Experiences

Samui Institute of Thai Culinary Arts Turn your hand to Thai cooking in Chaweng.

Hemingway's on the Beach Fine food, fantastic views and Thai cooking lessons.

Five Islands Long-tail boat trip, followed by lunch or dinner on the beach.

Dining On The Rocks Enjoy a romantic dinner under the stars on a cantilevered verandah over the gulf waters.

Chez François For a surprise French meal. The only unsurprising thing is the unvarying commitment to quality.

Page Start a fresh, new day in the best possible fashion with breakfast accompanied by the sun rising from the sea.

Sunsets

Air Bar For the definitive wide-angle view of the gulf going golden.

Ao Phang Ka Escape the hustle and bustle to this quiet bay, with glorious sunsets in the summer months.

Beryl Bar Dilapidated restaurant/bar offering sanctuary from the tourist mayhem, and some fine visuals at sundown.

Phootawan Restaurant It's worth the effort to reach this spot in the hills, especially if you time things for sundown.

Woobar For cocktails at sunset, this is pretty much the perfect conclusion to the day.

Big John's Seafood Restaurant Dinner with a side serving of blood orange sunset tops the menu.

Hemingway's on the Beach Sunsets are big draws here from November to March.

Views

View Top For the ultimate ranging views over the tree tops and down to the sea from the top of the island.

Jungle Club Sink into a bean bag and size up the views from this terrific perch with east-coast views.

Dining on the Rocks For supreme views of the Gulf from your dinner table.

Conrad Koh Samui Exquisite views of the Gulf beyond the edge of your private infinity pool.

Mae Nam Viewpoint Long views down over the jungle canopy to the dazzling, azure sea.

Hemingway's on the Beach Delightful sea views from this beach-side restaurant.

Woobar Astonishing wide-angle panoramas at this chilled bar at the W Retreat Koh Samui.