Phuket and Koh Samui are home to a plethora of glorious beaches, whether you’re on the hunt for a tranquil sunbathing spot or an active day of family games.
Bang Tao Beach is one of Phuket’s family favourites
Gleaming blue oceans, soft sands and palm fringed views have earned Thailand’s beaches a global reputation. The Kingdom is home to more than its fair share of gorgeous family-friendly beaches, and many of those form the coastlines of Koh Samui and Phuket. Whether you’re keen to escape the crowds with your loved ones to indulge in a chilled seaside day out, or perhaps want to try out some of the exhilarating water sports activities, there’s always an ideal coastal gem not too far away.
Many of Phuket’s finest family-friendly spots are peppered along the west coast of the island, which means they benefit from exquisite sunset views. Koh Samui is also home to a broad variety of beachside attractions, with the majority of developed beaches situated on the east coast of the island and the beaches on the sunset coast a lot quieter.
We have rounded up six of Thailand’s most family-friendly beaches to visit on your next private villa vacation.
Magnificent Mae Nam
Mae Nam Beach is on the north coast of Koh Samui
The glowing golden sands of Mae Nam beach stretch along the northern shore of Koh Samui, with Bophut beach to the east and Bang Po beach to the west. While Mae Nam was once acknowledged as one of the island’s supreme backpacker hotspots, a handful of high-end resorts have now sprung up in the area to change the scene. Either way, Mae Nam retains a spectacularly laid-back charm, perfect for families in search of a spot to get away from the hustle and bustle of busier beaches like Chaweng and Lamai. The water is calm for most for the year, making it a great for swimming.
Treasures of Choeng Mon
This upmarket stretch of sand provides the ideal destination for families
If you’re on the lookout for a exclusive stretch of sand to enjoy with your family on the northeast of of Koh Samui, Choeng Mon could be a good choice The beach extends through a series of beautiful bays, each of which is home to a small peppering of high-end resorts. Thanks to the number of secluded bays that form Choeng Mon, it’s never too hard to find a secluded spot to set down your beach mat and relax with your loved ones. There are a handful of local restaurants, including a fine selection of seafood eateries where you can tuck into the catch of the day for lunch or dinner.
In love with Lamai
Lamai is one of Koh Samui’s most popular beaches
After Chaweng, Lamai is the most developed beach on Koh Samui – so there’s never a chance you will run out of things to do if you visit this area with your family. However, it exudes a slightly more chilled out vibe than its east coast counterpart, which makes it an ideal balance for families. There’s a wealth of options in terms of bars, restaurants and shopping and an array of health and wellness choices. If you’re on the lookout for Samui’s finest photo opps, then don’t miss out on the chance to visit Lamai Viewpoint. Thanks to its lofty vantage point, it offers impressive views of the ocean.
Beautiful Bang Tao
The northern end of Bang Tao beach provides a laid-back, secluded spot
Stretching for four miles along Phuket’s spectacular western shoreline, Bang Tao beach home to a collection of high-end resorts, as well as a traditional fishing village. The Laguna Phuket resort complex dominates the middle part of the beach. However, the northern end has been left relatively untouched by development, which makes it the ideal spot for families looking to get away from the crowds. Thanks to the sleepy atmosphere, there’s usually plenty of space for families to spread out and play games. If you’re in the area and searching for alternative activities to keep kids entertained, it could be worth checking out the nearby Anthem Wake Park, Phuket Adventure Mini Golf or even horse back riding.
Nai Harn Beach has an idyllic, tranquil atmosphere
Popular with locals and tourists alike, Nai Harn is one of Thailand’s most impressive beach gems. Situated on the island’s southernmost point this fine stretch of flat sand retains a laid-back ambience that is ideal for families. There are only a few hotels and restaurants in the vicinity, so Nai Harn never feels too busy – although it does tend to attract more people at the weekends. The calm, warm waters are ideal for families that want a beach suitable for swimming – although beware of the rip tides that occur between June and October. Thanks to the sublime water, Nai Harn is also ideal for snorkelling. In low season the waves are a sometimes large enough for surfing, and definitely good enough for kids who want to have a go at body boarding.
Kamala is an ideal location for family fun
Situated on Phuket’s glorious west coast, the sublime stretch of sand that is Kamala Beach is enveloped by tropical greenery. It’s a largely unspoilt destination for families in search of a relaxing spot to spend the day, and a range of activities are available towards the northern end of the beach. During high season, the water is clear and calm – perfect for swimming and snorkelling. Jet skiing and parasailing are also available if you head towards the southern end of the beach to rent the necessary equipment. If you’re in the mood for some lunch, there’s a range of restaurants serving up Thai and Western classics. The northern end of the beach is also home to a choice of sophisticated beach clubs, including Café Del Mar Phuket.
Fun and games on the beach
Frisbee golf offers an entertaining alternative to a regular game of frisbee
If you’d like to play something a little more out of the ordinary than beach volleyball, why not have a go at beach frisbee golf? Set up targets (or holes) using items you brought to the beach, like sunglasses, sun cream, towels etc. Each person in the family then takes turns throwing the frisbee as close to the targets as they can. Water bucket relay is also a fun alternative to the standard set of beach games. Divide the family into two teams. Give each participant a cup, shell or some other item that can be filled with water. Set up two buckets – one for each team – about 20m away from the waterfront. Then take it in turns running down to the sea and back, filling up your water bucket as quickly as you can. The first team to fill it wins.
These are tips on what tasty goodies you should pack for a picnic with your family on a Thai beach.
- Thailand’s tropical fruits are a great picnic option. Ask your villa’s professional chef to prepare a fruit salad of mango, watermelon and pineapple to keep you refreshed throughout the day.
- Pastries and other baked goods are ideal for a beach picnic hamper – especially if someone in the family has a sweet tooth.
- For a local savoury snack, ask your villa’s professional chef to barbecue some chicken satay skewers and peanut dipping sauce in advance.