If you’ve ever been to Koh Samui in Thailand, you know that there is just so much to love about the beautiful island and its people who are absolutely full of life. There is really everything you could want here, including fantastic restaurants, amazing nightlife, and tons of outdoor and physically active tourist stops. If you are okay with standing in some lines and doing some waiting, there are many things to do with a family in Koh Samui.
Koh Samui is very popular, but you will still be able to find some moments of peace and serenity. It has all of the amenities that you would need to have a great family vacation: family, fun, shopping, and eating. You can have a full trip without ever leaving Koh Samui – even if you want to do some things that are fun and interesting.
Take a look at our top 10 things to do in Koh Samui with a family:
1. Hike to Waterfall
If your family is a little weighed down from eating all of the street food and gourmet food from restaurants, hiking to a waterfall is one of the best options to keep your bodies moving. While there are a number of ways to get to the waterfalls in Koh Samui, including scooter or taxi, but the best way to do it is to go on an adventure.
There is a well cleared narrow trail leading through the jungle that will take you to the falls. It is a relatively easy walk there, even for youngsters. It is a bit on the long side so make sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring water. Another must? Extremely strong mosquito repellant.
2. Visit Nathon, the Capital
Nathon is the capital of Koh Samui and that means that there is a lot going on for tourists and locals. It is the main port as well, meaning it has a lot of goods and T-shirt shops. You can pick up a cruise along the shores, catch a few sightseeing tours, or just people watch while you enjoy some great food. The restaurants here are all top of the line. Of course, there is also a white sand beach on its edges.
3. Visit Ang Thong Marine National Park
One of the most popular tours, the Samui Island Tour, can take you on an all day excursion to look at this national park. You are able to snorkel, kayak, and hike throughout the jungle. You are able to see all of the beauty that this place has to offer. The hiking is difficult a bit and steep, but there is a built-in rope that will help you out. If you have a younger child, you might to strap them to you.
Still, the view from the top is such a reward that the somewhat steep climb is worth it. Something to remember is that the park is closed in November and a lot of December. The tours also fill up quickly, so make sure to plan in advance.
4. Take the TK Snorkeling Tour to Koh Tan
There is another tiny island in Koh Samui that many people enjoy visiting. It is called Koh Tan, which is just to the south of Koh Samui. There are gorgeous white sand beaches and water that is absolutely perfect for snorkeling, which is good because there aren’t many places that work well for snorkeling on the rest of the island.
You can see tourists all over this island, running around, playing sports, and interacting with different kinds of fish. For kids, the fun starts as soon as you take off on a long tail boat.
5. Spend the Day at Paradise Park
This is a park that is located atop a hill, giving adults impressive views while the children play. Kids love going to Paradise Park because there is a zoo there where they can feed birds, pet iguanas, and have fun with children from all over the world. Bring along a swimming suit for the infinity pool. There is a lot to do here for everyone, so you could make an all day event out of it. Bring a picnic or eat at the nice restaurant.
If you want some more fun, skip paying for a tour and instead rent a scooter. Getting around is very simple and there isn’t a lot of traffic because the hills are steep. Still, you want to practice a little bit before driving your children around.
If you do want to take a day trip to somewhere that isn’t as filled with people, you can take a day trip or a night trip to Koh Tao or Koh Phangan. There are many tours that run out of Koh Samui so that your family can move easily from place to place. If you are interested in water activities, you can go to Koh Tao for some of the best diving in Thailand or Koh Phangan for the absolutely amazing snorkeling. Both are a lot of fun, it just depends whether you are looking for something more relaxed or something with some more excitement. You could spend an entire vacation in either place, but a day is enough to get the best parts of either.
This is highly recommended by almost everyone who goes, especially for people who have children that like a little more room to run around.
7. See the Big Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Yai)
The Big Buddha statue sits on a small island right off of the northeast corner of Koh Samui. It is known to tourists as the Big Buddha Temple but to locals as Wat Phra Yai. This is a golden, 12-meter Buddha statue that is one of the most popular attractions.
It can be seen from miles around and it is often the first and last site people see when arriving by air. The statue sits in the Mara posture with his left hand palm resting up and the right hand facing down. It depicts a time during Buddha’s journey to enlightenments when he was free of the temptations and dangers presented to him and he remained calm.
The temple gives a brief history lesson of the area and provides many picture taking opportunities.
8. Lamai Beach
Lamai Beach is, simply put, one of the most gorgeous beaches in the world. It isn’t as touristy and busy as some of the others, but it does have a lot of amazing amenities. You’ll find great restaurants and delicious seafood with views of the beach. You can even sip cocktails while you watch your children play.
The sand here is safe and clean, making it a great place for playing.
9. Coco Splash
If you want something that is strictly for your children in Koh Samui, Coco Splash is definitely the place to go. It is a fun and innovative waterpark located in the Lamai Beach area. There are tons of different features including water slides, pools, diving areas, and splash zones.
Even better, there are plenty of lifeguards and people helping to keep your children safe. There are even areas for younger children.
10. Visit Bo Phut and Fisherman’s Village
Finally, the Bo Phut and Fisherman’s Village is a gorgeous white-sand beach that has some of the best shopping and food anywhere in Thailand. A lot of the culture here is inspired by French culture, so it gives you a little bit of a different outlook on the area. Of course, everyone speaks English so it makes for a great place to buy things and haggle over prices.
Kids will love all of the colors, music, and dancing.