Babes in Koh Samui

So, I continue with part two of our adventures on Koh Samui. And I'm going to throw in my little tidbits, tips, and TOTALLY unsolicited advice. Don't get me wrong, I think the island is a lovely place to bring your children. The sleaze factor is fairly low, depending on what beach you visit. Its affordable to stay anywhere, eat anywhere. The people are kind. The island is fairly crime-free.

Clutching. Clutching. Trembling. Smiling.
HowEVER. There were a few times my little mom-alert went off, screaming danger! danger! in the back of my mind. Such as the elephant adventures. Ok, lets go there. I am certainly not the greatest parent on earth-yes, I let my kids watch cartoons so I can take a shower. We don't swear, watch violent shows, and we try to demonstrate good morals in front of our boys. But I think we committed a serious parent-FAIL when we permitted our boys to clamber on top of a giant animal and go wandering the forest without first carefully considering the dangers. In fact, I hadn't even given it a second thought until we were halfway through, and I realized they hadn't given us ANY instructions, advised us what to do or not do, and shouldn't we have been asked to sign a waiver or something along those lines? Shouldn't we have seatbelts or something?

My husband had a good laugh when I told him all this later. After I spend 60 minutes in a silent panic, clutching the seat in one hand and squeezing our two-year-old in the other. Har Har.

On the other hand, there are some really fun things to do with kids on Koh Samui. There are night markets where you can sample local dishes and desserts.

You can try what is (probably) the best ice cream on Koh Samui.

If you want to sit on the beach, your best bet with kids is to pick one of the island resorts and spend the day there. For a fee, you get your own beach bed or chairs, use of the beach and pool, and whatever incentives they offer up. We tried Beach Republic the first day and really liked it. We paid 2000 baht, but were given the money back as a credit toward drinks and food. And then we lived like kings for the day-not a bad deal. The last day we tried the breakfast buffet at Nikki Beach-a little more expensive, and not exactly a kid-friendly place, but the service was good and food was great. The beach, not so good.

Getting around is very tricky. Taxis are expensive, so most people rent motorbikes. I'm not a fan of putting my kids on them, so we rented a car to get around the island safely. There are no sidewalks to speak of, so I'm glad we didn't bother with a stroller. Luckily, the island has a pretty fantastic breeze, so the kids didn't get too cranky about walking around in the heat. There are places to eat everywhere, so there is little chance of your kids getting hungry. Our kids may eat thai food, but if your children don't, have no fear. All the restaurants over at the Fisherman's Village offer kid menus.

You can also visit the temples, each of which have some kind of claim to fame, or some sort of oddity or attraction. This one housed the mummified monk, who had predicted his own death and now sits upright, mummified, wearing a nice pair of Ray-bans.

Little Philip and I really were amused by the depictions on the temple too-the fearsome faces clutching their giant golden tongues.

At Big Buddha, kids can climb up the long stairway flanked by dragons to the giant golden Buddha and ring bells and gongs. Its all welcome. You can even pick up a stick and whack at the bells. For boys, that's great entertainment.

Little P even made me kneel before Buddha and "wai" with him before getting to the noisy stuff. Honestly, this break was going so well I paid him the gesture and a silent 'thank you' for such a great family retreat.

And after a small donation is given, you can sign your name or leave a message on the bottom of a clay roof tile, to be part of the temple for evermore. Or until the next hurricane season..

Every evening we retreated to this amazing duplex overlooking Big Budhha Beach. It might just be my favorite part of the whole trip. The second floor was as spacious as the first, and the boys slept comfortably in their own room, far away from the noisy nightlife. My husband and I could take a late-night dip or watch the sun go down over the island.
All in all, I would return to Koh Samui with the kids. Except for the elephants, it gets my mommy-stamp of approval.


Carole Knits said...

It really sounds idyllic. As for the elephant ride, nothing bad happened and now you know for next time.

jen said...

it's great that you just went for it and went on the elephant without thinking. great experience for you and the kids!