Koh Samui is one of Thailand’s family-friendly vacation spots. Islands such as Koh Samui and Phuket are popular with families because they are exotic, easily accessed, and have a variety of attractions and activities for children. A Thai vacation will expose your children and allow them to experience a memorable holiday of trying new food, seeing new places, and experiencing a new culture. To get you started, here are 9 family-friendly ideas for a fabulous time in Koh Samui with kids.
1. The Fisherman Village
Markets are a must-see wherever you go in Thailand, and one of the best is in Bophut, Koh Samui. Every Friday, there’s a fantastic night market where you can find amazing souvenirs, great deals on clothing, and tasty street food. Throughout the rest of the week, you’ll find plenty of retailers, nice restaurants, and massage parlors.
2. Lamai Viewpoint
If you’re looking for an exciting day out in a place with a spectacular view of Koh Samui with the kids, head to Lamai Viewpoint. This place is perfect for a family day out because it has a traditional wooden funicular that takes you to the top of the mountain where you can enjoy a drink in the bar while admiring the breathtaking views. You’ll also find some gardens and the Valentine’s Stone at the base of the viewpoint.
3. Namuang Waterfall 1 and 2
Children love waterfalls, and the opportunity to swim in one is the icing on the cake. Namuang Waterfalls 1 and 2 are the most popular activities on Koh Samui for families traveling with kids, and it’s easy to see why. Waterfall 1 is a short but pleasant walk from the main parking lot. You’ll have to navigate some slippery rocks as you approach the falls, so keep an eye on the kids. Namuang waterfall 2 is a little further away and a 1 km hike from the car park, and it offers great rewards of gorgeous scenery and refreshing waterfall!
4. Visit the Big Buddha
The Big Buddha is one of Koh Samui’s most popular tourist attractions. It is 12 meters tall and was built in 1972, locals call it Wat Phra Yai. At its base, you’ll find some street food and souvenir stalls. A walk up the decorated steps will bring you to the base of the big Buddha, where you’ll also find some lovely wishing bells and stunning views of the coastline.
5. Spa Day
While in Koh Samui with kids, one of the most relaxing things to do is to go to the spa! Massage parlors can be found all over the island, ranging from tiny beds on the beach to luxurious spas in five-star hotels. Opt for a foot massage after days of traveling the island; it’s a great way to soothe tired legs and it’s also good for circulation. Other than that, you and your girls can also get your nails done at some of these places. If you opt to give the kids a massage, simply tell the therapist “not hard” and “no stick,” and they will understand.
6. Lamai Night Market
Lamai Night Market, like the Fisherman’s Market in Bophut, is an exciting place to take the kids. The market is open every night, but if you are around on the weekend, go to the Lamai Sunday Night Market. A whole street of food stalls serving everything from fried insects to crispy potatoes can be found here. The atmosphere is electrifying, and the market is always bustling with locals catching up over a beer and a bite to eat. This is also a good place to buy souvenirs, fashionable clothes, and fake branded goods if that’s your thing. Make sure you bargain hard, because most vendors will accept 25% of their initial asking price, and there will be several stalls selling the same items. You’ll quickly get a sense of what the price should be.
7. Get Your Hair Braided
Obviously, this is better suited to children with long hair rather than short hair, but it’s worth a shot. The end result is obviously adorable, but it’s also quite functional, especially in Thailand’s hot weather. While it can take a long time to complete, making it unsuitable for fidgety children, it is inexpensive, pretty, and helpful.
8. Enjoy Beach Day
If you’re visiting Koh Samui with kids, you’ll undoubtedly spend a lot of time on the beach. I assure you that you will not be disappointed. The sand on Koh Samui is soft and sandy, the sea is turquoise blue, and the vibe is relaxed. Choose one of these family-friendly beaches on Koh Samui, or try them all! Bring some beach shoes because, while the sand on Koh Samui is perfectly silky, it can be quite sharp in the water and on the rocks.
Because of its proximity to so many other activities, Bophut beach is ideal for spending an entire day. It’s lively enough to keep the kids entertained, but not quite as crazy as Chaweng. The sand is soft, and the water is ideal for swimming. Because the beach is right next to Fisherman’s Village, there are plenty of shops and restaurants for when you need a snack or to get out of the sun. Watersports are available for adventurous children to try. Every night at 7.30 PM, the fire show begins outside of Coco Tams, so if you can, stay until then.
Lipa Noi, on the west coast of Koh Samui, is one of the most beautiful places we visited. Because of its location, it is also one of the best places on Koh Samui to watch the sunset. Lipa Noi is not a crowded beach; in fact, when you visit, it is likely to be deserted. This makes it ideal for small children because there is plenty of room for them to run around, jump on the rope swings, or splash in the sea. The downside is, that there isn’t much else for them to do. But you can take this as an opportunity to do a beach picnic, have a great family time, and sun-bath.
Taling Ngam Beach is also on the west coast of the island, but it is located further south. Another one that feels deserted but is breathtakingly beautiful. They say the beach has the softest sand on the island and marvelous sea colors. There’s not much to do here except admire the scenery. A traditional Thai village and the jungle surround the beach. It has the feel of one of those hidden gems you only hear about in travel guides. There is a small shack-style restaurant on the beach’s edge where we could enjoy a cold drink while watching the gently lapping waves.
Crystal/Silver Beach is a must-see beach on Koh Samui. Children will enjoy scrambling over the massive smooth rocks and playing in the silky sand. The water here is so clear that you can see tiny fish swimming between your toes. When you’re hungry, stop by The Crystal Bay resort for lunch and gaze out at this little stretch of tropical paradise.
Lamai Beach is one of Koh Samui’s busier beaches. It is popular due to the numerous restaurants, bars, and shops that line the sand. There’s plenty to keep the kids occupied for the entire day. Watersports are available for those seeking adventure, and massage shacks provide the ultimate relaxation. Although it can get very crowded, because it is one of the longest beaches on Koh Samui, you can always find a quieter spot. There are plenty of boulders to climb, as well as fire shows in the evening.
Ta Yai Beach
Ta Yai Beach is a hidden gem in Koh Samui that hasn’t been explored much by other travelers. The beach is named after a small restaurant that also sells cold drinks in the area. It’s right on the edge of Lamai Beach, on the other side of the Grandma and Grandpa rocks and it can be reached via a small path at the back of the parking lot.
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9. Day Trips from Koh Samui With Kids
Pig Island or Koh Madsun
The kids will have a great time walking among the many pigs that live on the island and it’s relatively easy to get to the island, all you need to do is to take a boat ride from Koh Samui, which will take about 30 minutes. Once there, you can explore the sand and jungle, have a drink or snack at the food shack, play in the water, or simply relax in the sun. It’s pure heaven!
Trip to Ang Thong National Park
The Ang Thong National Park is an archipelago of 42 islands jutting out of the sea that looks like they’ve stepped out of a travel brochure. The Beach by Alex Garland was inspired by this location. Most tours include stops at the stunning Emerald Lake and the opportunity to snorkel in hidden coves. If you can entice your children away from the beach, a short hike into the jungle to one of these limestone towers is well worth it.