Koh Samui, Thailand
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Koh Samui was our relaxing beach vacation after a very busy 5 days touring Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park & Khao Sok National Park. After leaving Khao Sok it was about a 2-2.5 hour
drive to the Raja Ferry Port to ferry across to Koh Samui. There are 2 different vehicle ferries that journey to Koh Samui from the mainland and multiple others that you can just walk onto. The vehicle ferries are the Seatran Ferry and Raja Ferry. I used this website to do my research beforehand. I had almost purchased our ferry tickets online ahead of time, but I’m so glad we didn’t because they were close to 500 Thai Baht (~$15) cheaper in person than online, plus I didn’t know exactly what time we would get to the port. The ferry from the mainland to Koh Samui was about 2-2.5 hours with beautiful views along the way.
Koh Samui is one of the newer popular islands for tourism within Thailand. We stayed at Peace Resort which was so beautiful and kid friendly. It had a swing set, kid pool, 2 kids club, a nice selection of food, and the staff were great with the kids. We chose to stay in the 2-bedroom private pool room that had a living room and 2 bathrooms. It was a beautiful room and we put the 3 older kids in one bedroom and our youngest in a crib in the living room. Although we had a private plunge pool at the room, we’ve learned that our children are not as entertained by it as we would have thought and they just wanted to go to the larger hotel pool more than anything. We’ve tried that a few times now, and have learned our lesson that it’s not worth it for us for future bookings when the hotel has a nice pool.
Our 2 full days in Samui were simply to rest after our very busy days on the road, so all we really did was enjoy the beach, the pool and other kids activities at the hotel. If you’re looking for activities on the island to do, check here. Fun fact, the sand at our beach was relatively large grains and did not stick to your wet skin nearly as much as fine sand does which made cleanup after playing sooo much easier.
The one activity we did do with the kids was parasailing! The hotel had a brochure for a watersports company so after calling them and arranging a time, they picked us up and took us down the beach to the boat. My husband and our 4 year-old, Titus, went first because Titus is a little more timid about something that could be scary and so I had the feeling if he watched someone else go first, he’d change his mind after seeing how high we went! But since he didn’t know any better, up he went with my husband and he did GREAT! I was so proud of him! He wasn’t scared, had a huge smile on his face and was so proud of himself when it was over. Then our 6 year old and myself had a turn. I laughed to myself later because our 6 year-old is the adventurous type. She wants to push the limit and do everything possible, and in that moment I realized we’re just encouraging that behavior, but at least we’re doing it together (so I tell myself). The views from the top were fantastic and you could really grasp how big and beautiful the island is. As I’ve discussed in other posts, we usually travel with our own life vests for the kids which makes us much more comfortable planning boating activities knowing they’ll have fitted life vests.
The one thing I do want to share about is the Koh Samui airport. Fun little fact is the airport is all outside. Yes there is a roof, but no walls, and I’d never been to an airport quite like it before. You check in like normal, then continue through to an area that seems to be built like a town… a large walking street with shops all along both sides. They have everything from massages to coffee shops, clothing stores, you name it. Except that most were closed when we were there due to the low number of travelers because of Covid19. If I had known the airport was set up like this, I would not have gotten there as early as we did since it was mid-day and hot out. So we wandered and wilted in the heat for a while before cramming our double stroller into a small café with air-conditioning while we ordered smoothies. But that was a short lived reprise as it was standing room only so we were back out in the heat. Once you pass through security, the restrooms were air-conditioned with really huge, fun fish tanks in them. We hung out in the restrooms for a while looking at the fish and cooling off! Other than that it was a pretty uneventful 1+hour flight back to Bangkok.
Overall, Koh Samui is a beautiful island to visit, with various options for activities, whether you want to stay up in the hills or down by the beach. You are sure to leave rested.