Thanks to its romantic coastal setting with azure blue sea waters and white sand beaches, Koh Samui has acquired a reputation of being the ideal couples’ destination. While this picturesque island in the Gulf of Thailand is a couples’ and honeymooners’ paradise, there is no reason why it can’t double as a family holiday destination as well. From resorts tailored to suit the requirements of families to a host of activities that both parents and children can indulge in, this popular holiday destination offers everything you need for a relaxing, rejuvenating holiday. This travel guide for a family holiday in Koh Samui tells you everything there’s to know about planning and pulling off a memorable trip:
Best Beaches to Explore on Your Family Holiday in Koh Samui
Beach time is definitely the highlight of any vacation by the sea. When there are kids involved, you’ve got to invest some thought is picking out the ideal beach where everyone in the family can let their hair down and truly relax. Some place with fewer people, calmer waters and ample space to move around uninhibited sounds about perfect. These are the 4 top beaches that deliver on each one of those parameters:
Taling Ngam is a tranquil beach on the Southwest side of the island. With a jungle closely hugging the white sand and the calm blue sea water engulfing it on the other, Taling Ngam makes for a picturesque sight. The stunning view of the Ang Thong Marine Park in the distance further accentuates the experience. The place is essentially secluded, save for a couple of hotels and resorts in the vicinity, which makes it perfect for some quality family time. The decline here is extremely slight, so the sea remains calm, allowing kids to wade in a long way before the water begins to get deep. The surrounding jungle offers some much-needed respite from the sweltering heat, making this beach perfect for late morning outings.
This is another picturesque beach that is just right for families with kids. There is fine white sand in abundance and sea water runs shallow for nearly 100 metres, which means children have ample opportunity to splash around or play in the sand. The high tide might result is small waves at this beach, it is advisable for parents to keep an eye out. The Lipa Noi Resort located on the beach allows visitors to access their showers, toilets and even hire kayaks for a fee, which is a blessing, as messy kids can quickly turn into an irritable lot to handle.
Mae Nam is a popular, busy beach in Koh Samui, and if you look at its perfect post-card setting with a long shoreline and lush cover of jungle vegetation, it’s not hard to see why. The good thing is that you can still find ample quiet spots and empty stretches along this beach, as long as you and the kids are up for taking a walk. Mae Nam is dotted with a host of restaurant, which makes it ideal for an evening outing followed by dinner.
This lesser-known beach in the north-western part of the island is the best place to watch a beautiful sunset and immortalise it in your memory. The sand on the beach is not as fine as it is on the other beaches and there are some rocks in the water too, but you also get the chance to spot some coral here. With virtually no visitors around, Bang Por gives you the feeling of being alone on a deserted island. There is a generous cover of palm trees not too far away from the water, so you can relax in shade and escape the brutal sun for a while.
Things to Do on Your Family Holiday in Koh Samui
While beach hopping and soaking up the sun and sand fits the idea of a relaxing holiday perfectly, you’ve also got to keep the kids entertained. Thankfully, this beautiful Thai island holds a lot of promise on that account. From water parks to adventure activities and a unique game called football golf, there are plenty of activities you can enjoy together on your family holiday in Koh Samui:
Ang Thong Marine Park
The Ang Thong Marine Park that covers 42 islands in the protected Central Gulf Coast is one of the key attractions around Koh Samui. A visit to this marine park makes for an exciting experience for adults and kids alike, as you get the chance to spot dolphins, otters, and turtles in their natural habitat. If the kids are old enough for a hike, you must plan an excursion to the ‘Mother Island’, home to a stunning inland seawater lake. Besides, there are plenty of opportunities to indulge in cave exploration, kayaking and snorkelling here.
Pink Elephant Samui Water Park
Nothing quite says exciting as a visit to a water park, especially when your travelling party comprises kids. Located in a palm grove near Mae Nam Beach, Pink Elephant is specially curated for families with young kids and there are a host of fun water slides to explore here. From Lighthouse Tower to bowl slides, lazy river and wave pool, you name it and they’ve got it. While your kids splash away, you can lay back and relax in a Jacuzzi, and wind up the day with drinks and dinner at the bars and restaurants housed in the park.
If your kids are above eight years of age, this is one activity that must feature on your family holiday in Koh Samui itinerary. Get a bird’s eye view of Koh Samui before zip-lining at the speed of nearly 80 kilometres per hour. Being suspended nearly 6,000 feet above the ground, overlooking the lush green rainforests and the vast ocean, is sure to send your adrenaline surging and how!
This sport unique to the island stems from a combination of football and golf. There are 18 holes spread over well-manicured green and you’ve to steer a football into these holes using only your feet. Now, that certainly makes for a fun family activity. The beautiful setting of the Samui Football Golf course amidst coconut plantations with an incredible view certainly enhances the experience.
Paradise Farm Park
Situated on top of Khao Pom – the highest mountain in Koh Samui – Paradise Farm Park allows you to interact with a wide variety of animals in a tranquil forest retreat. The park spread over 20 acres is home to kid-friendly animals such as deers, emus, ponies and goats, so that children can play, feed and observe them in their natural habitat. The highlight of this experience is Molly and Marcha – the duo of bilingual parrots who talk to you in English and Thai. Equipped with a swimming pool, playground, beautiful gardens, waterfalls and restaurants, it’s a great place for a day-long outing on your family holiday in Koh Samui.
Best Resorts for Your Family Holiday in Koh Samui
The best place to stay varies as per your personal preferences and holiday goals. To help simplify that decision for you, here’s a selection of some of the best family-friendly resorts on this gorgeous island:
Elegantly appointed and equipped with impressive facilities, the Anantara on Bophut Beach is cosy, family-friendly resort. The place stands out for its immaculate tropical gardens, lotus pond, traditional Thai architecture and rooms with stunning views of the sea beyond its infinity pool. The rooms are spacious enough to accommodate a small family of four, and if you prefer to have kids in a separate room, their rooms with connecting doors come in handy. The resort’s The Baan Ling Noi Children’s Club offers a wide range of attractions for the kids such as trampolines, sand pits, and entertainment room with games, toys and DVDs. They also conduct yoga and cooking classes that you can sign up for as a family.
This sprawling resort on the Mae Nam beach is a great choice of stay during your family holiday in Koh Samui. The resort offers a variety of accommodation options – from family villas, suites with private plunge pools and two-bedroom duplex – to choose from. The swimming pool on this property, which boasts of being one of the largest free form pools in all of Asia, is a key attraction. Besides, the resort runs plenty of kid-centric activities that include table tennis, darts, workshops such as Thai cooking, as well as a water sports centre for kayaking and windsurfing free of charge.
If you are looking for a more intimate experience, the Rockey’s Boutique Resort is the place to be. Located just 5 minutes from the Lamai Beach, this resort has connecting rooms as well as gorgeous two-bedroom beachfront suites, both perfect for accommodating families. There is a dedicated kids’ playroom where you can leave your kid under the supervision of the staff while you hit the spa, enjoy a game of billiards or just enjoy a drink by the pool. The in-house Bistro restaurant also features a special kids menu.
The Peace Resort is both a kid-friendly and a pocket-friendly option of stay for your family holiday in Koh Samui. Located on the virgin Bophut Beach, the resort houses 122 rooms, bungalows and pool villas set against the backdrop of tropical gardens. There is a dedicated kids’ pool on the property, complete with a wide selection of pool and beach toys. A part of the open space has been developed as an outdoor play area with slides and swings. There is also an indoor games room equipped with games, toys and colouring options.
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