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Koh Samui Guide: How to Have a Fuss-free Family Holiday

Baan Jakawan Koh Samui Villa at Chaweng Beach from theluxenomad
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With Easter and then summer holidays on the horizon, there’s no better time to book a Koh Samui villa

As you might have gathered, here at Sassy Mama we think it’s always a good time to take a trip to Thailand! In addition to bustling Bangkok and old reliable Phuket, there’s Koh Samui, which runs the gamut from sleepy white sand beaches, to lush jungles, to ultra-luxe villa escapes and everything in between.

With some help from our friends at TheLuxeNomad, we’ve put together a Samui primer to ensure you can have a super fun, fuss-free family holiday.

Getting There & Getting Around
Where to Stay (Neighbourhood Guide)
Things to do with Kids
Accommodation Options

Image by Kevin Bosc

Getting There & Getting Around

You can fly non-stop to Koh Samui on both Bangkok Airways and SilkAir. The flight is a super quick 1 hour and 40 minutes. Nice!

In terms of transport, many Koh Samui villas come with a car and/or driver (fancy!), but if not there are still plenty of ways to get around the island, which is about 15 kilometres at its widest point and measures about 25km top to bottom. There’s the ever-popular songthaew – basically a converted pickup truck with a roof and bench seating in the back (probably not the most toddler-friendly option!). In addition, independent travelers can hire their own motorbikes. There are also taxis and ride-sharing services (including Grab) available.

Image sourced via Getty

Where to Stay (Neighbourhood Guide)

For a relatively small island, Samui offers a wide range of experiences to suit every taste (and budget), from back-to-nature lovers looking for a Swiss Family Robinson vibe, to luxury aficionados looking for a hilltop retreat, you’ll find your ideal spot on Samui. Here are the main areas:

  • Bophut: A laid-back former fishing village now filled with a mix of villas and resorts, lots of restaurants, and a sandy shore that makes it popular with beach bums.
  • Chaweng: Popular for its 7km stretch of pure white sand beach, Chaweng just might be the prettiest spot on Samui. It might also be the most crowded (and has the islands most bustling nightlife, too).
  • Choeng Mon: Featuring private hideaways and secluded luxury resorts overlooking a series of bays with white sandy beaches and rock formations, this area is popular with families and just five minutes from Samui’s famous Big Buddha Temple.
  • Laem Set: At low tide the beach on this sleepy southwestern corner of Samui isn’t swimmable, but the views of coconut palms and huge boulders are still pretty postcard-perfect. And you can definitely still score some in-villa spa treatments!
  • Lamai: Low-key and charming, Lamai offers easy access to a beautiful beach and an authentic Muslim fishing village, where you’re apt to find some of the island’s best fresh seafood!
  • Mae Nam: Translating to “river,” Mae Nam is a peaceful with a mix of beaches and mountain views that comprises north-facing forests and calm, swimmable waters (which admittedly aren’t quite as crystalline as other spots on the island). It does have a rainforest zipline, though!
  • Taling Ngam: Do you love your sunsets? Set up shop at this area on the island’s western coast, which features plenty of pristine beaches and is convenient to Na Mueang Waterfall.

Want the full lowdown on each area of Samui? Check out this roundup!

Image by Flight of the Gibbon

Things to do with Kids

Aside from the obvious choices – go to the beach or swim in your villa’s amazing pool – there are plenty of ways to explore Samui’s natural beauty and fascinating culture. You could charter a yacht and go island-hopping for the day (try to spot some pink dolphins along the way!), or zipline through the trees to explore the rainforest and waterfalls. (NB: This is for kids 7 and up, though younger kids can ride tandem with a parent or guardian!)

Samui also offers plenty of land-based adventure – like go-karting and football golfalong with the ever popular Samui Water Park at Mae Nam Beach.

On the culture front, there’s the Big Buddha, Wat Plai Laem, Chaweng Boxing Stadium, the Bophut Fishermen’s Village, and the Chaweng Night Market, just to name a few!

Accommodation Options

Koh Samui is filled with everything from rustic beach shacks to luxury resorts, but for our money, and when you’re traveling with kids, it’s a no-brainer to opt for one of the island’s fab villas.

The Luxe Nomad manages a huge variety of villas across Koh Samui. Many might remember Baan Jakawan, a 7-bedroom villa in Chaweng Beach that we ran a giveaway for last Christmas. Blending traditional and modern architectural styles, Baan Jakawan is a luxury pool villa that’s perfect for families or a big group of friends. All seven bedrooms feature an ensuite bath (including a bath tub!), and it’s all anchored by its incredible Thai-inspired, open plan living and dining areas, which look out over the water and the villa’s own infinity pool. Which, oh by the way, has its own swim-up bar along with a full outdoor kitchen and grill!

It really doesn’t get much more fuss-free than this, mamas: Baan Jakawan is an easy 10 minutes from the airport and 5 minutes from bustling Chaweng, and includes the services of a chef, housekeeper, villa manager and concierge (as well as daily continental breakfast).

Sounds pretty awesome, right? There’s still availability over Easter weekend! Check out for their full range of Koh Samui villas, mama!

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