Top 10 Things To Do in Koh Samui, Thailand with Kids

April 19, 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Thailand

We’ve been to Koh Samui twice, staying a month each time, and it makes for a great family destination. It’s a beautiful island with world-class beaches, great restaurants, a hopping nightlife (if you’re into that), and a number of activities for kids, including island tours, waterparks, elephant rides, and even paintball and go-kart races. Koh Samui is more popular and crowded than nearby Koh Phangan, but you can still find quiet beaches with plenty of serenity. Plus Koh Samui has all the amenities you might need or want: plenty of small markets, large mega-malls, babysitting services (inquire at any of the large resorts), and four quality hospitals, should you need one.

  • Author: Cindy Bailey Giauque

  • Website: My Little Vagabonds

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Visit Ang Thong Marine National Park

The popular Samui Island Tour ( can take you on an all-day excursion to this world famous national park ( You can snorkel, kayak, and best of all, hike the steep jungle trail to the top of a small mountain with the help of a built-in rope. The resulting spectacular views are reward enough. Keep in mind this park is closed in November and most of December. You can sign up with almost any travel agency you find on the streets of Koh Samui.


Spend the Day at Paradise Park

This park is located atop a hill with an impressive view of the island below. Kids love it because you can feed the birds and pet the iguana. They have a nice, open-air restaurant and an infinity pool, all good for a fun, lazy day. For added adventure, skip paying extra for a tour operator in favor of renting a scooter or two and finding your own way there via Google Maps. There isn’t much traffic en route but some of the hills are steep.



See the Big Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Yai)

It’s impressive and fun. At the base of the Buddha, there are souvenir shops selling amulets and religious artefacts, as well as clothing and T-shirts. There are also food stalls and a few small restaurants.



Visit Coco Splash

This fun, adventurous waterpark was created by an expat French couple with kids, and is very popular. Located in the Lamai Beach area, the park works great for kids of all ages. It was our son’s favorite thing to do on Koh Samui!


Visit Bo Phut and Fisherman’s Village

This alleyway along a stretch of white-sand beach is packed with boutique restaurants and bars and colorful souvenir shops that are mostly French-owned or inspired. It’s a great place to eat, shop, and if so inclined, ride a jet ski.


Lamai Beach

This is simply a long, gorgeous beach, bordered by large, beautiful rocks. It is also the second most popular beach in Koh Samui after Chaweng, but less touristy and busy and more family friendly. They also have amazing beachfront restaurants. We enjoyed tasty seafood served up at Bamboo, from where we could watch the kids play in the waves while we sipped our cocktails. There are also plenty of market stalls and souvenir shops inland from the beach.



Hike to a Waterfall

There are a number of scooter or taxi-accessible waterfalls in Koh Samui. The humid, narrow jungle trail from the entrance to the falls is a family adventure! Do wear strong mosquito repellant, though.




TK Snorkeling Tour to Koh Tan

There is a tiny island called Koh Tan, located almost swimming distance to the south of Koh Samui. It has white sand beaches and perfect snorkeling–which is great because the rest of the island is not really made for snorkeling. After signing up for a tour at the TK restaurant, a long-tail boat will take you over there. You can also rent a kayak for the journey.



Visit Nathon, the Capital

Nathon, the capital town and main port, is great for food and shopping. It has a casual, backpacker’s feel with a large number of souvenir and T-shirt shops. When cruise ships park on Koh Samui’s shores, this is the town in which the passengers get deposited for the day. Good restaurants include Mumthong, Lucky’s, and Sunset, with its white sand beach coming right up to it.


Take a Trip to Nearby Koh Phangan or Koh Tao

Koh Samui is great, but if you want something quieter, or you want to go scuba diving or snorkeling, take either a day trip or—as we did—an overnight side trip to either Koh Tao or Koh Phangan. Koh Tao is considered Thailand’s best dive sight, and Koh Phangan, with its serene, white sand beaches has both great snorkeling and diving. We especially enjoyed our stay at Island View Cabanas, right on Mae Haad Beach on Koh Phangan, for its easy access to the island’s best snorkeling. (


Koh Samui offers so many seemingly endless family activities, there’s little chance you’ll get bored.


Guest Post Bio

In late 2014, Cindy Bailey Giauque and her family got rid of all their possessions to travel the world nomadically for at least two years. She blogs about those culturally-rich, off-the-beaten-path travel adventures at Cindy is also a writer who’s written for Glamour, Bay Area Parent, City Sports Magazine, and others, and believes in living life with passion and purpose.

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