19 October 2014

Koh Samui with Kids

Koh Samui - An island well-knowned as a beach paradise, packed with tourist and especially well loved by westerners. You could easily find a westerner sitting at every corner of the island. Koh Samui is also a lovers destination where couples would seek as a place for wedding, honey moon or anniversaries. For the young, groups of bachelors and bachelorettes flock the beach for the sexy full moon party, dancing to the disco beats and gulping Thai beers down their bellies. Ever wonder travelling to Koh Samui as a family trip especially with young kids? Sure, no problem! We can definitely customize the trip for the young ones. Here are some useful tips which we would like to share....

Thongsai Beach.

1.) Take a flight to Koh Samui

Though Koh Samui island may seem small, but they do have an airport supporting regional flights. One can easily get a direct flight from South East Asia region. We took a flight on Silk Air from Singapore and it was barely a 1.5 hour journey. This saves the hassle of fussy toddlers and we could skip the 1 hour 20 minutes ferry ride from mainland Surat Thani. Alternatively, one could detour in Bangkok before taking a flight to Koh Samui via Bangkok Airways or Thai Airways. 

Koh Samui Airport.
Koh Samui Airport.

Koh Samui Airport is fairly simple. There are no posh air-conditioned hallways. On contrary, you will get a free tram ride to and fro from the departure and arrival hall. Whee... off we go!

On the tram ride!

2.) Book a Family Friendly Beach Resort

It is good to do some geographical study before travelling to Koh Samui. There are many beaches and resorts in Koh Samui. As for family with young children, we would recommended to go for Choeng Mon Beach and Mae Nam beach area. Reason being that these beaches are situated at the north of the island and the waves are much gentle. These beaches are quieter and away from the hustle and bustle of the town. There are less actions around, providing a safer place for toddler to enjoy the beaches. It also serves as a great place for relaxation. However, if you are hoping for more things to see, more happenings around the resort, then Chaweng beach would probably be a better option.

Koh Samui Map.
Source credit : Melati Beach Resort & Spa

We have shortlisted 2 family resorts which were of our interest : Intercontinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort and Melati Beach Resort and Spa at Thongson Bay. We decided to go for the latter due to it's location which is nearer to towns like Bophut and Chaweng. We truly enjoyed our stay in Melati Beach Resort and Spa. Hence, it very well deserve a special dedicated review on its own! Please click here for the review.

Melati Beach Resort & Spa.
Here are some sneak peeks of the resort:

Our Grand Deluxe Room on the second floor.
The Bath and Balcony area of the room.
The pool and beach area.

The scenic night view at Melati Beach & Spa Resort.

3.) Enjoy The Sunshine And Beach

Kids love beaches, so do adults! What is the best thing which Koh Samui can offer you? It's their lovely beaches! 

See what I mean? White sandy beaches, pristine waters and a clear blue sky.........

Thongson beach.

If you are bringing toddlers, remember to pack their sand tools! Find a shady spot, splat plenty of sun screen for them, let them enjoy and get their creative juices flowing. I promised you that you will have a good half day rest while they dig away their sandy castles. A point to note, the weather is very hot in Koh Samui. So, it is a must to bring sun block cream and get the kids to drink plenty of water. 

Kye enjoying his sand play.

Oh yes, you can get messy!

Brothers having some bonding time!
Getting a dip in the water.

4.) Enjoy the Food 

One of the things which we missed the most, or at least for daddy and mummy... is the Thai food in Koh Samui. Sweet, sour and spicy are the main essence in their cooking. We did some research on Trip Advisor to look up for local restaurants which provides good food at affordable prices. When you are in Thailand, these are the dishes which one should try: tom yam soup, green curry, massamam curry, penang curry, pad thai, pineapple fried rice, and not forgetting their seafood. We also came across a dish which is called "No Name". It is basically a starter dish, sort of fried fritter with various strips of vegetables. Each restaurant prepares it differently according to the chef's desire. If you are looking for something fancy, you could go for a Royal Thai meal, or fresh seafood BBQ at Chaweng area. Many restaurants in Koh Samui do serve western meal as well. You could definitely find something suitable for the children's palate. If you are bored of Thai cuisine, there are many restaurants which serves international cuisine. You just need to look up Mr. Google or Trip Advisor.

Our dinner at Big Buddha Cafe, Bophut.

Our dinner at the View Restaurant in the resort.

Our lunch at Green Bird Restaurant at Chaweng.

Our lunch at MumThong Restaurant at Nathon town.

Royal Thai dinner at Spirit House, Chaweng.

Our dinner at The Hut, Fisherman Village.
Our lunch at Thongson Bay Restaurant.

For more details on our dining pleasures, do stay tuned for our up-coming food review for Koh Samui.

5.) Go For a Day Tour

Koh Samui is practically a small island. A tour around the island would be one of the ways to get to know about the local community and culture. A one day tour could probably cover most of the attractions around the island. One could rent a car or a scooter to go around the island. Otherwise, you could just sign up with the hotel for the day tour package like what we did. Most hotels do engage third party local agencies for tour services around the island. There are multiple tours designed to cater to different needs. Our day tour consist of the following attractions.

i) Elephant Show

ii) Monkey Show

iii) Thai Kick Boxing Demonstration

iv) Visit to Big Buddha

v) Visit to Hinta and Hinyai (also known as Grandfather & Grandmother Rock)

vi) Visit To Mummified Monk Temple

vii) Visit to Namuang Waterfall

viii) Lunch at Nathon Town

6.) Visit The Night Markets

When you are in Koh Samui, one of the activities which is not to be missed is visiting the night markets. We visited 2 night markets during our stay and they are the Chaweng Walking Street and Fisherman Village Night Market. The latter is much bigger and not to be missed. Fisherman Village Night Market is only held on Friday nights. There are many things to see and shop, ranging from coconut oil products, souvenirs, watches, toys, bags, clothes, food and snacks. If you are a alcohol lover, do not miss out their 70 baht Mojitos! I have tried one, and it is really good! Otherwise, do try out their fruit juices, especially for those stalls which will prepare the blended fruit juices right in front of you. It is not only refreshing, but they do not skimp on the amount of fruits! It is REAL fruits, that's what we are talking about! 

Chaweng Walking Street

Chaweng Walking Street.
Fisherman Village Night Market.

7.) Rejuvenate With Thai Massage

As a parent, we should reward ourselves occasionally. Getting a good massage is the best thing that we could ever do while in Koh Samui. The massages are affordable at 400 baht per hour. We had ours done at the comfort of our resort. We took turns to sneak out while the kids are having their afternoon naps. Melati Beach Resort do have a separate spa on its own. They offer a wide range of spa services. We settled for the basic poolside massage. Daddy Pok went for the aromatic Thai massage while Mummy Mae had the normal Thai body massage. 

Pool side massage at Melati Beach Resort & Spa.

Koh Samui is indeed a beautiful island, a sanctuary retreat for city dwellers. The Thai people are very happy and friendly people. Wherever we brought the kids, we were welcomed with broad smiles. Many love to exchange conversations with the kids. We felt very much at ease. We love to bring the children when we travel and hope to create lovely memories for them, and for us too!

For more pictures of our trip, do visit our album here.

For other posts on Koh Samui, please click on the links below:
1.) Melati Beach Resort & Spa

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