#1. Take an island road trip adventure
The Koh Samui Guide will sort you out for all your transportation questions, with maps and dozens upon dozens of destination ideas – suitable for a car full of family members with all kinds of interests. While we don’t recommend heading into the jungle for exploration’s sake (we’ve made that mistake for you!), kids who love a bouncing, intrepid, hang-on-tight ride might like the journey to The Jungle Club and the kiddie cocktails waiting at the Santiburi Country Club.
#2. Explore your surroundings
We love watching little kids discover Koh Samui in ways adults never would. As such, days with no plans and activities whatsoever can turn into science lessons and nature walks that delight you both. Find out where bananas and coconuts come from! Boys can never seem to get enough of Thailand’s geckos, and the vast array of butterflies on Koh Samui are really worth the attention of any Jane Goodall Juniors. Just be sure this is a “look but don’t touch” activity and never wander from the landscaped path.
#3. Hang out at the pool
A no-brainer! You’re coming to Thailand to enjoy the sunshine. No matter how many adventures and cultural excursions you have planned, the pool will more than likely be the biggest hit. While basic beach toys are available on Koh Samui, there’s next to nothing in the way of pool toys for sale. We can’t recommend toypedo bandits highly enough – even as adults we want to play with them. Best pool toy ever invented in the universe. Have you decided which Koh Samui hotel has the best kids’ pool? There’s a lot of choice!
[Melati Beach Resort & Spa has two pools – this is its beachfront, family pool]
#4. See Thailand’s Buddhist culture
No visit to Koh Samui is complete without a visit to Big Buddha, which you’ll probably fly over when you arrive. Teach your family members what to wear to visit a Thai temple and plan to enjoy it before it gets too hot.
#5. Angthong Marine Park day trip
Angthong Marine Park is an incredible destination for a family with older children (we wouldn’t recommend it for babies and toddlers as it’s a long day in strong sun).
#6. Go to the dogs
Are you coming to Koh Samui as a family of animal lovers? If so, The Koh Samui Guide makes some blunt statements about a few island attractions – things you might want to know in advance. Instead, one of our guidebook customers, Luna, spent some time with her daughter volunteering at Dog and Cat Rescue Samui and was kind enough to share it with us.
[Find out how to help Thailand’s dogs and cats + photo credit to PACS]
TIP! Don’t forget a good coating of natural mosquito repellant whenever you head outside: We LOVE Incognito Natural Anti-Mozzie spray.
#7. Get outrageously competitive
Plan the ultimate beach tournament! When our family hits a Koh Samui beach, we can’t help but transform into rabid, expletive-prone beach tennis fiends. Whether you employ the incredibly cool Waboba Ball that bounces on water (an Australian secret our readers shared last year), or pick up a set of beach tennis racquets locally on Samui – if you make an actual tournament ladder with prize-earning points? Well, you wouldn’t be the first family.
#8. Enjoy your rainy day(s) most of all
We explain here why you’ll love a rainy day (or partial afternoon) on Koh Samui – but your family will enjoy it all the more if you come prepared. Our grown-up family (of certified horrible people) is partial to Cards Against Humanity, but families with younger members or more impressionable minds will make fantastic memories playing any age-appropriate game together in a Samui beach restaurant or on your hotel patio. Don’t forget the coconut shakes!
#9. Sand castles, beach days and coastal exploring
Let loose on the beach starting at sunrise each morning. Add a bucket and spade to build incredible sand castles, hunt for tiny, opaque crabs, or rent a kayak to explore shoreline nearby (ask about currents before you head off – on our first trip to Koh Samui we nearly bobbed to Cambodia). Safely spend all day on the beach: pack UPF 50+ kids’ swim gear, hats and rash guards . Bring the baby, too: many families bring an SPF packable pop-up tent for their babies and toddlers.
#10. Stay up late!
As in many parts of Europe, (well-behaved) kids are a welcome part of Koh Samui life – no matter the time or venue. Weekly walking streets take place all over the island and children are very much invited (and included). Lighting a lantern together is a memorable way to end a great holiday.
reflective arm bands (for walking at night on Samui)
TIP! As brief power-cuts aren’t uncommon on Koh Samui, we really recommend having pocket-sized torches/flashlights to hand. If you’re particularly safety-minded like we are, you’ll want to know that night-time visibility along Samui’s roads is not in the pedestrian’s favour. To make sure you’re visible (whether walking home from dinner or to a walking street, etc), consider packing a few high-visibility pop bands.
Get even more family activity ideas
More questions? The Koh Samui Guide was born because we ourselves can’t sit still for long, and always wonder “what’s around the next corner”. If you can’t wait to enjoy every second of Samui – do so with our 13 years’ experience and every tip we’ve got for island secrets and staying safe. Enjoy!