When you think of Koh Samui, you might be thinking of romantic walks on the beach and couples’ massages in luxury resorts. And while it’s true that Koh Samui makes for a great couples’ destination, the island is also perhaps the most family-friendly of the Thai islands. Here are a few of the best things to do in Koh Samui with kids and the best family-friendly accommodation on the island.
Of course, you need to spend at least a few days relaxing on the beach! Koh Samui is known for its picture-perfect beaches and many of them are also great for families. The whole family can enjoy a day of sun tanning, sand castle making, swimming in the crystal-clear waters and eating at the beachside restaurants.
The following beaches are great for families:
- Chaweng – The main beach in Koh Samui with plenty of water sports and dining options. Better for older children.
- Choeng Mon – Close to Chaweng, but calmer. Beautiful sand and beachside dining options.
- Bophut – One of the most popular beaches in Koh Samui, home to the famous Fisherman’s Village.
- Mae Nam – A calm beach with good swimming conditions.
What’s a visit to Thailand without getting acquainted with the local culture? Buddhist faith is a big part of Thai identity and the Big Buddha is one of the best places for introducing your kids to this aspect of local Thai culture. The Big Buddha, or Wat Phra Yai, is one of the most famous landmarks in Koh Samui and offers scenic views of the beach and ocean. When visiting Koh Samui with kids, this is a great place to witness locals leaving offerings and to get a glimpse at the colourful ceremonies taking place at the temple.
Central Festival Samui
After you’ve toured the temples and had some fun on the beach, you might need a little air-conditioned break from the sun. Located in Chaweng, Central Festival Samui is the largest mall in Koh Samui and offers plenty to do for the whole family. Besides shopping, Central Festival offers plenty of family-friendly dining options and a “Pirate Adventure Horror House” and XD theatre. Visiting Central Festival Samui is a great way to spend a rainy day in Koh Samui and even on a sunny day, it makes for a nice break from the sun-drenched beach, for kids and adults alike.
Thai food is some of the yummiest food on the planet and let’s face it – one of the best things about travelling is that you get to try out new cuisines. To give the kids a hands-on introduction into Thai delicacies, you can sign the whole family up for a fun Thai cooking class in Koh Samui. Many resorts in Samui offers cooking classes that are suited for the whole family, or you can book a class through operators like Viator.
Thailand is known for hosting some of the liveliest and most atmospheric night bazars and walking streets in Southeast Asia. And these night time markets are not “adults only”, but kids are very welcome to join in as well. Browsing the knick knacks and sampling the local food is a great way to introduce your children to a wider world beyond their own backyard – and beyond the resort’s pool. Some of the most famous night markets in Koh Samui include Fisherman’s Village in Bophut and Chaweng Walking Street.
Give It a Miss: Waterparks in Koh Samui
Visiting a waterpark might seem like a great idea amidst the tropical heat, but it might not be the best way to beat the heat in Koh Samui. Many of the island’s water parks don’t live up to Western safety standards. Even the island’s highest rated parks have TripAdvisor reviews mentioning near drowning experiences, dangerously strong currents and general lack of safety measures. If you do decide to visit a water park in Koh Samui, do some research beforehand and keep a close eye on your kids when visiting the park.
Where to Stay in Koh Samui With Kids
There’s plenty of child-friendly accommodation available in Koh Samui. Before booking accommodation in Koh Samui with kids, it’s good to consider if the hotel, villa or resort has all the facilities your family will need on holiday. Maybe you’d prefer bunk beds or connecting bedrooms? Or maybe it’d be good if the place had a shallow pool and games and toys for the kids?
When booking through Ministry of Villas, we can check and curate all these details for you at no additional cost. You know, as opposed to you Googling the night away trying to figure out if that holiday rental does or does not have the high chair or connecting bedrooms you’re looking for.
Here are a few of our favourite family-friendly villas in Koh Samui.
Baan Kilee offers beachfront perfection in Lipa Noi. The six-bedroom villa has a 22-metre infinity pool plus a shallow pool for the kids. The villa also has a Kids Zone – a playground with swings, table tennis, toys, games and more. The grown-ups will love the villa’s swim-up bar and movie projector. After all, travelling to Koh Samui with kids doesn’t have to be just about the kids.
Location: Lipa Noi, Koh Samui
Villa Malouna has one of the coolest kids’ rooms we’ve seen in any villa. This “dormitory” can sleep up to eight kids in bunk beds and also has toys and a full-length blackboard to draw on. In total, the villa can sleep up to 18 guests in six bedrooms. Guests of all ages will love the massive 27-metre swimming pool and beachfront location.
Location: Bang Por, Koh Samui
Ban Sairee is a gorgeous tropical villa with six bedrooms. Overlooking a picture-perfect white sand beach, the villa has a private pool shaded by palm trees and an outdoor trampoline to keep the kids entertained. The villa has two rooms with bunk beds, each connecting to a master suite, meaning parents can check up on the kids with ease. The villa also offers books, toys, table tennis, Wii console and pool toys for the kids.