Thailand is one of the more family-friendly vacation destinations in Asia. Islands like Koh Samui and Phuket are popular with families because they are exotic, accessible, and have a high number of attractions and activities that children enjoy.
Like any international family vacation, however, making sure everyone enjoys themselves in Thailand means planning at least some activities ahead of time. What would your kids have fun doing? Some children might be excited by the idea of sporty activities like kayaking or climbing, while others might want to spend time on the beach or try.
A Thai vacation will give your kids a chance to see a new culture and try new foods — and, of course, a well-planned vacation will have some time for mom and dad to relax and enjoy themselves as well. To get you started, here are ten family-friendly ideas for your next vacation on Koh Samui.
1. SPEND THE DAY ON CHAWENG
Chaweng is the most popular beach on Koh Samui. There are usually waves, but they’re not high, so you can easily and safely cross “swimming in the surf” off your family’s to-do list. Plenty of great restaurants and shops are right next to the sand for you and the kids to check out once the water fun is done.
This fun attraction sits in the water in front of the Monkey Bay Restaurant. The park consists of a number of huge inflatable floats, an on-the-water trampoline, and other playground-like features. The Aquapark is usually filled with young swimmers, and the owners take safety seriously. Everyone who enters has to wear a life vest, regardless of their swimming ability.
3. COOKING CLASSES
Thai cuisine can be a bit spicy, but it’s also accessible, and children enjoy the sweetness and exotic ingredients in many of the dishes. Cooking classes offered on Koh Samui are something parents and kids can enjoy together. Some classes can be quite serious, with lessons running for an entire day or even for multiple days, but others are more family-friendly. Just be sure to ask about kids participating when you book.
4. BUTTERFLY GARDEN AND INSECT MUSEUM
It’s possible to see butterflies in the wild on Koh Samui, but the Butterfly Garden features a large collection of these colorful insects from around Thailand and other countries. Once they emerge from their cocoons, butterflies have short life spans, so the Garden raises its own caterpillars to ensure the population stays consistent. The adjacent insect museum has a huge collection of bugs from all over the world as well as a bee house.
5. KOH TAO SNORKELING
Families with older children might enjoy a trip to neighboring Koh Tao, an island with a protected bay and exceptionally clear water. Several resorts and outfitters offer snorkeling trips from Samui. Groups often spend time exploring the water and meeting the marine life offshore before landing on Koh Tao itself and exploring the uncrowded, largely untouched island.
6. MUAY THAI CLASSES
Muay Thai is a martial art that’s often considered Thailand’s national sport. Kids will probably enjoy seeing a bout or two, and they can also take part in a training session. Some resorts and Muay Thai schools will let kids put on the gloves and shorts and spend some time in an actual boxing ring, with or without instruction.
7. COCO SPLASH WATERPARK
This waterpark and amusement park is the perfect choice for taking a break from the beach for a day. Coco Splash has water slides for all age groups. Young visitors will also enjoy the bumper boats, go karts, inflatable castle, and bungee trampoline ride. Little kids can splash around in one of the four swimming pools inside the park.
8. MAE NAM BEACH
This is an alternative to Chaweng and the other, more centrally located beaches. Mae Nam is usually fairly quiet. Families like to come here for this reason, and because the water is relatively shallow. Kids can safely wade along the shore and swim in the sun-warmed water.
Everyone in the family can enjoy themselves during a vacation on Koh Samui. It just takes a little bit of planning to make certain that each child (and parent!) gets a chance to do what they want during the trip. Fortunately, on Koh Samui, there is an almost unlimited list of possibilities, so finding activities to please everyone is actually quite doable.