As Thailand’s second largest island, Koh Samui dazzles with its mountainous forests, blissful white sand beaches and plush dining opportunities. A destination adored by all types of travelers, this glistening isle is also home to some of Thailand’s greatest cultural offerings, including the golden Big Buddha that lies inside Wat Phra Yai Temple.
Not just for trendy backpackers and once-in-a-lifetime holiday seekers, Koh Samui is also the perfect place for a diverse family vacation. Here, we reveal the very best family things to do in Koh Samui, that will keep both you and your whole tribe happy.
You’ll also need somewhere to stay during your trip, so make sure you check out our range of incredible, family-friendly villas situated around the island.
Go Sea Kayaking in the Gulf of Thailand
Thanks to its wonderful position in the Gulf of Thailand, there are plenty of fun family things to do in Koh Samui – and sea kayaking may just be one of the best! There are many tour operators offering escorted trips into the ocean, including Koh Samui Tours, where you can paddle over the glorious waters of Ang Thong National Marine Park, to the north of the island.
Head off along the shoreline from Nathon Pier and soak up the incredible island vistas before you, exploring the sandy coast and Green Lagoon of Koh Mae Ko, and traversing the caves of Koh Tai Plao – we can’t think of a better way to enjoy Koh Samui with your little ones, can you?
Tel: +66 (0)6 1394 1444
Email: [email protected]
Cost: From 8,580 THB for a party of four
Witness the Beauty of Loy Krathong Lantern Festival
Loy Krathong Lantern Festival is one of the ultimate family-friendly things to do in Koh Samui. This spectacular light event takes place each year and sees thousands of lanterns, candles and incense light up Thailand. If you’re in Koh Samui during the event, be sure to make time for this remarkable.
During the full moon in November, you can witness magnificent paper lanterns being released into the sky over Lamai Beach, or floating baskets (krathrongs) set sail over the waters of Chaweng Lake. Magical and truly child-friendly, Loy Krathong is one of the most unmissable things to do in Koh Samui!
If you’re looking for more amazing events for the rest of Thailand, take a look at our dedicated guide to the country’s festivals.
Address: Various waterways across the island
Dates: Monday 11 until Wednesday 13th November 2019
Take a Temple Tour Around the Island
With so many amazing religious landmarks across the island, you may find yourself overwhelmed. Yet thanks to Samui Explorer, you can now see all the island’s temples in one, action-packed day! The local tour operator offers private, personalised trips to the region’s fantastic spiritual sites, from Phra Yai and the Big Buddha to Laem Sor Temple. The ultimate customised family day out, soak up the beauty of Thailand’s faith and see every side of Koh Samui with your kids.
Enjoy a Forest Trek to the Na Mueang Waterfalls
The Na Muang Waterfalls should be on everyone’s To-Do list. These two majestic cascades can be found around 12 kilometres from Nathon Bay. The best part about the falls is the gorgeous jungle hiking route that leads to the stunning natural park. Grab your walking boots and pack a picnic, because your kids will love getting out into nature to witness one of the island’s most spectacular sights.
Swim in the natural pool at the base of the first Na Muang fall then head uphill to enjoy the smaller of the two cascades. Isn’t it a great way to enjoy the ultimate outdoors day on Koh Samui with kids?
From Nathon, head along the main road until you reach the entrance to Na Muang. The entrance is just one kilometre from here and from the car park, walk around 100 metres to the first fall. The second is around 100 more metres away.
Meet Gentle Giants at Samui Elephant Sanctuary
What better way to experience the natural wonders of Thailand than with a visit to Samui Elephant Sanctuary? One of the ultimate family-friendly things to do in Koh Samui, this respectful facility is the first of its kind on the island and lies in 10 beautiful acres of rainforest. The perfect spot for their retirement, you and your young ones can get up close with these stunning gentle giants, feed them, walk with them and watch them as they bathe and play.
Plus, the park is supported by elephant conservationist, Lek Chailert, founder of the Save Elephant Foundation, making this amazing destination entirely responsible.
Address: 43/2 Taweerat Pakdee Road, Tambon Bo Put, Amphoe Ko Samui, Chang Wat Surat Thani 84320
Tel: +66 95 269 8343
When exploring Koh Samui with kids, why not take to the island’s numerous off-road trails on a quad biking adventure? Viator offers one, two and four-hour excursions, where you and your kids can explore the region’s most scenic routes is a truly exciting way. Get your adrenaline flowing and drive through lush jungle landscapes, pass valleys and rivers and even discover the island’s numerous magical waterfalls. Plus, children under 12 go free with an adult!
Address: 92 84310 126/92 Moo 3, Surat Thani 84310
Cost: 1,790 THB for adults
Unwind on Chaweng Noi Beach
Sometimes, all you need is a relaxing day on the sand, especially when you’re on vacation with your kids! Watching the hours melt away on Chaweng Noi Beach is a fantastic way to unwind. This long strip of white sand is quiet, calm and beautiful, while still being in easy distance to the restaurants, bars and resorts of the area.
Sunbathe on the sands, paddle in the waves or go snorkeling in the waters of the island. A trip to this island would not be complete without a visit to this lovely coastal bay.
If you’re inspired to discover more of Thailand’s gorgeous beaches, read our dedicated guide to the best secret coves around the country.
Address: Bo Put, Koh Samui District, Surat Thani
Experience the Spirituality of Visakha Bucha Day
Visakha Bucha Day is a very important event on the Buddhist calendar, making it one of the most unmissable family-friendly things to do in Koh Samui! Taking place annually on the full moon of the sixth lunar month, it marks three significant moments in Buddha’s life: his birth, his education, and his death.
To celebrate, the Thai community visits their local temple to offer food to its resident Monks. On this day you can witness magical processions, with people carrying flowers and candles, or releasing paper lanterns into the sky.
Address: Various temples across the island
Date: Sunday 19 May 2019