31 October, 2022
A tropical paradise off the coast of Thailand: Our Koh Samui travel guide
1 January, 2024
24 January, 2024
Mysterious and beautiful, tropical and tempting – Koh Samui is a dazzling destination and ideal for families. Surrounded by pristine rainforests and white sand beaches lapped by the azure waters of the Indian Ocean, it's the quintessential luxury retreat. A culture stretching back thousands of years gives Thailand a unique character. The food is utterly delicious, and the welcome is warm. If you want an idyllic getaway with the family, Koh Samui is the perfect choice.
In this article, we’ll look at the best places to stay in Koh Samui for families and activities that will keep travellers of all ages happy. We'll also offer some practical advice, such as the best time to go if you're travelling to Koh Samui with a baby or toddler, and a look at some of the best beaches, towns and attractions. Our Travel Advisors are always on hand to provide tips and advice to ensure your Koh Samui family holiday is unforgettable.
The Thai way of life is incredibly family-centric, with multiple generations living together under the same roof. As a result, children and younger travellers are always made to feel incredibly welcome, making destinations like Koh Samui perfect for families. Restaurants often serve child-size portions and have menus for children, and there are plenty of family-friendly attractions to keep everyone entertained.
Koh Samui is also a very safe destination, allowing you to explore without any worries or concerns. The amenities are excellent, and the proximity of our luxury Koh Samui villas to the sugar-soft sandy beaches makes this the ideal beach holiday location. Things to do in Koh Samui for families include jungle treks and water sports, cultural treats and child-friendly entertainment such as traditional puppet shows, music and dance.
If you want sunny days for island hopping, beach-based activities or exploring, the best time to visit Koh Samui is during the dry season from December to March. This is also when most of the island’s festivals take place, so it’s a busy and fascinating time of the year when you can really immerse yourself in island life. It’s best to avoid November, as this is the height of the rainy season. Temperatures in December average around 25-29°C (78-85°F).
Koh Samui is a large island, so there’s lots to explore. However, if you’re looking for the best area to stay in Koh Samui for families, then the pick of the bunch goes to Bophut.
You’re close to all the major beaches in this region, as well as attractions such as the Fisherman’s Village, where you can find out more about the history and culture of the island, as well as browse independent stores selling handmade goods. The area has a growing art scene, and you'll find plenty of galleries selling work by local artists.
You’re also close to one of the biggest attractions on the island, the Big Buddha, and plenty of restaurants, cafés and beach shacks for snacks and food on the go or a family meal.
Koh Samui is a large area divided into smaller regions. Here is our pick of the best beach destinations and what makes each one so special for families.
If your idea of a perfect Koh Samui family holiday is focused around the beach then Chaweng is top of the list. It’s the largest beach in Koh Samui and offers up a sweep of golden sand divided into four individual beaches.
There’s more than enough room for everyone, and the waters are shallow, calm and safe for paddling and water sports. It is best to stay away from the main hotel and resort areas, which can be a bit touristy. But Chaweng is big enough for you to avoid the noise and buzz of the local bars and find a quiet spot where you can all relax. With jungle palms tumbling all the way down to the shoreline and gorgeous family-friendly villas on offer, it’s the quintessential tropical escape.
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Koh Samui and spend some quality time together, Choeng Mon is the ideal location. Quiet, tranquil and secluded, the villas that line the white sand private beaches are the epitome of luxury.
From here you can kayak to the islet of Ko Fan Noi or snorkel in clear blue water. It’s ideal for snorkelling and swimming, or ask your dedicated concierge to arrange for kayaks or stand-up paddle boards to be included with your Koh Samui villa.
If you want to get back to a more authentic version of Koh Samui, Lipa Noi delivers. This tranquil, sun-kissed bay is where you can laze on the beach and watch the local fishermen hauling their nets in from traditional boats. It’s an hour from the busy streets of Koh Samui’s main city, but it feels like it’s a million miles away. Your dedicated concierge can arrange car hire so if you do need to tap into the energy of the city for the day, you can get there with ease.
This is the place to come for some peace and quiet, and is the ideal destination if you want to spend some time in Koh Samui with the kids.
There’s one beach where the locals go, and that’s Mae Nam. Over 7km of pristine sand means there’s room for everyone. The villas here have a real boho feel, and if you want to immerse yourself in the culture of the Thai people there are temples, restaurants and markets close by.
The water is clean and safe for swimming, and the sunsets are incredible. You may need to travel a little further afield to find some Koh Samui attractions for children, but after a long day at an amusement park, Mae Nam is the ideal place to come back to.
A trip to the Ang Thong Marine National Park is a must on any Koh Samui itinerary. This stunning group of 42 islands is just begging to be explored, both on land and underwater, where you can see rays and a dazzling array of brightly-coloured fish and corals. It's ideal for older teens who love swimming and snorkelling.
Zip-lining has become hugely popular and the best of the lot in Koh Samui is at Canopy Adventures, where you can whizz over the tops of the trees and get a unique view of the stunning Secret Falls. A great day out for the whole family – as long as you have a head for heights…
If you’ve got some budding racing drivers in the family, Samui Go-Kart is the place to go. This outstanding go-kart centre has a winding track with plenty of twists and turns to test your driving skills. This is one for the whole family and definitely one of the best Koh Samui attractions for children and adults of all ages.
Koh Samui has some amazing water parks that are guaranteed to be a big hit with younger travellers.
Some top water parks in Koh Samui include Aquapark Samui, just a few metres away from Chaweng Beach, and High Park, located on a hill above Chaweng Beach and home to some of the steepest water slides on the island. This is a great park for older children and teens who want something a little more exciting.
· You cannot fly direct to Koh Samui so your journey will involve a stop-over, usually in Singapore. Tracing the journey on an atlas is a good idea so your children understand the distances involved. Your dedicated concierge will arrange transfers so you don't have to worry about any element of the journey.
· Let your children play a part in choosing the excursions, tours and day trips so they feel they are part of the adventure.
· Jet lag can really affect young children. It's important to ensure they stay well hydrated and follow as normal a routine as possible.
· Ask your concierge to arrange car hire so that you can get around the island easily. With over 250km² to explore, there are plenty of opportunities for days out and adventures all over the island.
· Try introducing your children to Thai food before you travel so that they can really enjoy the culinary aspects of life on the island.
· Koh Samui is hot and humid, so ensure you pack for a beach holiday. However, it can also rain in Koh Samui, so it's wise to bring a rain jacket and to have some 'rainy day' plans, such as bringing some games along just in case.
· If your children want to see the elephants, ask your concierge for recommendations for ethical parks where the animals are looked after properly with consideration for their welfare.
With the help of your dedicated concierge and Travel Advisor, you can plan the ultimate tropical escape filled with family-friendly fun. From water parks and zip-lining to simply spending time together in a luxury Koh Samui villa, you can do as little or as much as you want.
While Koh Samui is considered a 'long-haul' destination, the island paradise is well worth the planning, preparation and effort to fly to.
Once you arrive, you have some of the best beaches in Asia to explore and underwater wonders to see. Blue oceans and white sandy beaches will bring a smile to any young traveller's face. The fact that there are water parks and nature reserves to discover also adds to Koh Samui's attraction as a destination.
So what are you waiting for? Our Travel Advisors are waiting to help you plan your Koh Samui family vacation. Get in touch with us today, and let's get your adventure started.
Whether you’re after relaxation, adventure or pure foodie indulgence, here at onefinestay we know exactly what it takes to make your getaway special. With our range of exclusive concierge services, you’ll have a host of sumptuous experiences at your very fingertips. Relax with an in-villa spa experience, enjoy a feast at home with a private chef or explore the oceans in style in a gleaming yacht. What’s more, it can all be booked pre-stay, meaning all you have to do when you get there is relax.
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