As a parent myself, I know that holidaying with the kids is not always relaxing! To ensure that everyone enjoys their time away, it’s important that there’s plenty to keep everybody busy and great beaches are a good place to start. Koh Samui is a tranquil retreat and if you choose the right resorts, holidaying with the kids needn’t be a stressful experience.
With a manageable flight time of around two and a half hours from Singapore, this Thai gem could be an option well worth considering. Here’s my Koh Samui travel guide to the best areas for those of you travelling with little ones.
Best for relaxation – Bophut Beach & Mae Nam Beach
Koh Samui as a whole provides a more peaceful family holiday than western Thailand destinations such as nightlife-centric Phuket. And if you’re after the ultimate in Koh Samui rest and rejuvenation, Bophut beach offers shallow waters, a quaint Fisherman’s Village and a laid-back atmosphere. Aside from the beach itself, which provides a natural sandy playground for the kids to enjoy, there’s also a host of nearby restaurants and cafes. If you’re looking for a change of scene, the Pink Elephant Samui Water Park is around a 15-minute drive away and is packed with exciting water slides and splash parks for all ages to enjoy.
Mae Nam Beach is another chilled-out spot worth considering. The beaches are gorgeous and though it was traditionally a backpacker’s destination, now it is home to several luxury family hotels. If the kids need to let off some steam, drive a kilometre south of Samui Ring Road to try out Samui Disc Golf. Originating from 1960’s California, this fun game, which involves throwing a frisbee-like disc into a tree-like basket, is great fun. There are 9 holes and multiple tree locations, making it suitable for kids, beginners and advanced players alike. There is also an American snack stand and Clubhouse onsite selling pizzas, wings, meatball subs and sandwiches.
Best for action – Chaweng Beach & Lamai Beach
As well as offering a selection of child friendly hotels and resorts, the Chaweng Beach area is perfect for those looking for a lively vacation. It’s the biggest and most upbeat area of Koh Samui and there are plenty of water sports to try out, such as jet-skiing and snorkelling, as well as a wide expanse of soft sands that are ideal for creative castle making. There is a huge selection of bars and restaurants, as well as exciting nightlife to sample, if you’re lucky enough to be able to find a babysitter for the evening. Drive inland for around 25minutes to find family friendly attractions such as Minigolf International.
Travel just south of Chaweng Beach to find another lively option; Lamai Beach. If you have older children or teenagers who are up for adventure, you could drive to the Lamai Overlap Stone, a huge boulder which sits 150 metres above sea level. You can drive or cycle part of the way, but the final path must be walked, so ensure you all have appropriate footwear. From the top, you can enjoy stunning views of Lamai Bay. The Coco Splash Adventure and Waterpark is also close to Lamai Beach and you can walk to it in around 15-minutes. It’s packed with water slides, has a lazy river and also a mini-golf course.
Once you’ve settled on an area, you’ll need to find a hotel to suit your needs. There are numerous family-friendly options, so do your research and have a check-list of your requirements to hand. If you have young children, consider one that provides kids clubs, crèche facilities and entertainment, so that you can enjoy some grown up time too. Make sure you keep the little ones safe, by packing appropriate sun protection cream, hats and swimming costumes. Mosquito repellent is also a good idea. Happy children equal happy parents, so it pays to do be prepared. Happy holidays to you all!