Circumnavigating Koh Samui by car takes just over an hour. Driving west along the north-coast of the island through busy Bophut and Maenam, suddenly the road reconnects with the sea-shore and the sight of Bang Po Beach, fringed with swaying palm trees and washed by the dazzling blue sea of the Gulf of Siam, reminds you what a tropical paradise Koh Samui truly is.
Here a string of rustic beachside restaurants and bars make you want to stop, and just gaze at this idyllic beach scene, framed by the distant islands of Anthong and Koh Phangan. This area of outstanding natural beautiful and tranquility may be just minutes' drive from the more populated centres of Maenam, Bophut and Nathon, but it is a world away.
To the north lush rainforest covered hills form a stunning backdrop to some of the island's most beautiful beaches such as Bang Po and Laem Yai, the latter being the location of the exclusive Four Seasons Resort.
Along the beaches and in the hillsides, smaller resorts as well as an abundance of luxury private villas, many with breathtaking views, offer a variety of options for visitors The atmosphere is rural and laid back, and ideal for anyone seeking a peaceful and relaxing vacation.
Bang Po is a popular spot for casual dining with many family-run restaurants serving local Thai and international cuisines. Pleasure boats often pull in here for the local seafood specialties and recently, a number of cool new beach-club style establishments offering weekend brunches have opened to take advantage of this glorious setting.
Meanwhile, if its action you're looking for, the many restaurants, bars, shops and markets in nearby Maenam, Bophut, and Nathon are not far away.