Answers from Our Experts (1)
Compared to the popular Thai beach destinations of Phuket and Pattaya, Koh Samui is considerably more laid-back on the whole and offers a great variety of family-friendly activities beyond simply hitting the beach. Here are our Forbes Travel Guide editors’ picks for the best things to see and do with kids in Koh Samui:
1. Elephant Trek. Kids of all ages will remember exploring Koh Samui’s verdant jungles atop an elephant for years to come. One place where you can do it is Namuang Safari Park, which offers elephant rides through coconut plantations, elephant and crocodile shows and the chance to feed elephants by hand.
2. Island Safari. Jungle safaris are another great way to take a detour off the island’s beaten track and explore tropical Koh Samui in an open-back 4x4 vehicle. Mr. Ung’s Magical Safari Tours, which conveniently operates out of Chaweng Beach, offers safaris both in 4x4s as well as on elephants.
3. Wat Phra Yai. Located at Big Buddha Beach on Koh Samui’s northwest coast, just above Bophut Beach, Wat Phra Yai is home to literally one of the island’s biggest attractions. Unless your kids have traveled extensively around Asia, they’ve likely never seen a seated golden Buddha that’s 15 meters tall — and it’s a sight they won’t soon forget.
4. Samui Butterfly Garden. Beyond walking through a covered garden filled with hundreds of colorful butterflies, this peaceful hillside spot also offers glass-bottom boat rides over the nearby coral reefs.
5. Angthong National Marine Park. A small archipelago of 42 islands just off the shores of Koh Samui, Angthong National Marine Park provides for a wonderful day trip for the whole family, whether you want to go swimming, snorkeling, kayaking or just lay around on a secluded beach.