Keeping your children happy on Koh Samui

By Alan Arkin

Elephant rides and shows in Samui

Koh Samui has emerged to become one of Thailand’s top travel destinations. The island offers some truly wonderful attractions and has some of the country’s most breathtaking natural areas. Comprised of waterfalls, forested areas lined with mangrove and lush vegetation and gorgeous beaches, Koh Samui is a natural paradise.

This child-friendly destination holds a wealth of attractions geared towards little ones. Whether the kids frolic in the crystal clear waters of the Andaman Sea or feed the monkeys at the national marine park, they won’t run out of things to do on Koh Samui.

Elephant trekking 
What kid doesn’t love elephants? A ride on these gentle giants can prove to be the highlight of any trip. On an elephant trek, children can sit back and see the island’s interior from amazing heights (for children anyway) and enjoy the ride. A typical trek last for about 30 minutes, but longer trips can be arranged. There are elephant trekking venues located throughout the island which are very reasonably priced.
Activities and sports on Samui

Sports
Junior golf enthusiasts can try their hand at Treasure Island Mini Golf. This pirate themed mini golf course makes for a perfect outing for the entire family. Situated just a stone’s throw from the Beach road, the venue offers nine and 18 hole courses and is ideal for kids. Tel: (077) 413 267.

A slightly messier sport is paint ball. Samui Paintball is located in close proximity to the Samui International Hospital in Chaweng and is another spot that makes for a wonderful time for the whole family. Tel: (077) 422 538.

Extreme sports
For a more adrenaline-filled day, there are a number of activities that will excite the young and young at heart. For the truly brave, bungee jumping is an adventure sport that has become extremely popular in Koh Samui. One of the top jumping sites is Jungle Bungy Catapult on Lamai beach. This activity will satisfy thrill-seekers and also makes for great photo opportunities. However, this sport is geared towards older kids. Tel: (077) 422 667.

Another action-filled sport that both younger and older children can participate in is go-kart racing. There is a wonderful racing course called Samui Go-Kart, which is situated just off the 4169 Ring road west of Bo Put village. Tel: (077) 245 041.

Jungles and waterfalls
The opportunity to explore the jungles or play near a thunderous waterfall is a dream come true for most children. The Hin Lad Waterfall offers a jungle walk along its picturesque path and also has one of the most beautiful waterfalls on Koh Samui.

A day trip to Ang Thong is a good family outing

Ang Tong National Marine Park 
Just a 45-minute drive from Koh Samui is Ang Tong National Marine Park. The park is comprised of over 40 tiny islands and offers visitors wonderful white sand beaches and hidden lagoons. The park makes for a perfect daytrip for the entire family and gives kids an opportunity to run wild and explore an unspoilt island.
More on Ang Thong Archipelago

Monkeys, butterflies and reptiles
On Samui, gibbons are everywhere and primarily for working purposes. For centuries, local monkeys have been used for climbing the trees to pick ripe nuts on coconut plantations. Now, with tourism on the rise, many of the monkeys have hung up their coconuts bags and now entertain visitors with their cuteness and dexterity. There is a fantastic theatre on the main road behind and between Chaweng and Bo Put village.

For those who prefer to visit more menacing creatures while visiting Koh Samui, head to the Samui snake or crocodile farms. These farms delight and spook children at the same time with their snakes, crocodiles, killer scorpions and creepy spiders.

There is also a spectacular butterfly farm on the island offering a wonderful way to see these beautiful insects in their natural habitat. The Samui Butterfly Garden is situated near Laem Natien and is home to hundreds of butterfly species. A trip to the butterfly farm is a definite ‘must-do’ if you have children. Tel: (077) 413 490.

The Playroom 
The Playroom is situated on South Chaweng beach road and is undeniably one of the most exciting places for kids and video game junkies. The Playroom offers a vast number of toys and the latest games. Tel: (077) 230 626.

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