We spent two weeks on the island of Koh Samui where we stayed in a hotel and rented an apartment as we trained at Jun Muay Thai in Lamai.
Koh Samui is an idyllic thai island in the Gulf of Thailand that is located around 700km from Bangkok. The island is quite small and can be driven around in a couple of hours.
How to Get to the Island:
Koh Samui has an International Airport so the easiest and fastest way to the island is to fly. Another option is to catch a bus or train down from Bangkok. We decided to take an overnight train from Bangkok leaving at 7:30pm at night and arriving in Surat Thani at 6:30am the next morning.
Surat Than is the closest major town to Koh Samui. From there it is a 1 hour bus ride to the Donsak Pier and another 45 minute-1 hour ferry ride to the island. We ended up arriving on the island around 11:00am the next day.
Transport on the Island:
There are taxi’s and songathews on the island but the best way to get around the island is by private transport. It is very reasonable to rent a motorcycle or car when you are on the island. We decided to hire a car to fit us all in comfortably and it was a great decision. With our own transport we were able to discover new beaches everyday and visit many different attractions.
Where to Stay:
If you are travelling with children you will want to stay in a quiet area of Koh Samui away from all the nightclubs and ladyboy shows. We stayed in Lamai when we were on Koh Samui because it was close to our kickboxing classes. Lamai area is pretty mellow. It is one of the busier places on Koh Samui which means it also has more amenities and has a nice stretch of beach also.
Lamai has a Tesco Lotus and has lots of reasonably priced accommodation. Lamai is also home to many different kickboxing establishments, Yoga lessons, Detox retreats and Raw food restaurants so we enjoyed staying here.
If we were to visit again and not have to be in a particular area we would look at staying at Lipa Noi, Taling Nam or Mae Nam/Bophut area. These areas have beautiful almost deserted beaches and if you are travelling with kids will enjoy the peacefulness. Even though they are not close to lots of amenities, it is only a short drive to anything on the island.
What to do:
There are many things to do on Koh Samui with kids but our favourite was hanging out at a different beach everyday. You are spoilt for choice here and if you are looking for a deserted beach somewhere you will definitely find it here.
Other things we enjoyed were visiting the many markets on the island. On Friday Bophut has a night market at the fisherman’s village, on Saturday Chaweng holds a night market and on Sunday it’s Lamai’s turn. The night markets have an amazing array of street food and lots of goods and clothing for sale. We enjoyed the Lamai markets the best.
The second time we visited the kids had all planned out what they were going to buy . (Our private apartment was above the street that holds the market.) Tesco Lotus car park in Lamai also has a night market on a Tuesday in the car park and that was great too.
The boys enjoyed visiting Tesco Lotus to visit the arcade. The arcade has a small indoor playground and many games and rides. We paid .30 cents per game and $1.80 for a 50 minute play in the playground.
If you are visiting Koh Samui with the kids why not try something different? It is home to many different retreats and classes. We participated in a Muay Thai Kickboxing camp with the children and had the best time. Other classes that had us interested were Yoga and Meditation (not with the little one we would have tag teamed for this one) raw food cooking classes and detox and colonoscopy retreats.
Koh Samui in Thailand has it all. There is an abundance of beautiful beaches, good Thai food, 5 star accommodation choices and health retreats. Thai people also love kids and they are welcome everywhere.