Thai islands like Koh Samui and Phuket offer up a raft of fast-paced activities for younger travellers to enjoy, from daring zip line experiences to exhilarating waterpark adventures.
Zorbing at Phuket’s Rollerball offers an afternoon of fast-paced fun for kids
Thailand is a true leader when it comes to Southeast Asia’s family-friendly holiday destinations, and for good reason. Not only does the country boast one of the region’s most well-established tourist infrastructures, making it a breeze to travel between tropical hotspots with kids, but it’s also home to a plethora of enticing activities to keep little ones entertained throughout the vacation.
Naturally, the wealth of soft-sand beaches in places like Koh Samui and Phuket provide a platter of opportunities for family fun, including swimming, snorkelling and sand castle building. But kids tend to get bored quickly – and what about when they want to try out an activity that’s not sand related? We’ve put together this handy guide of some of the islands’ finest action-packed, kid-friendly adventures as a useful starting point for your fun-filled family itinerary.
Zoom between the treetops and see the island from a whole different perspective at Samui Canopy Adventure
If you’re travelling with kids, a trip to one of Thailand’s canopy exploration centres – either in Phuket or Koh Samui – tends to kill several birds with one stone. First of all, these centres provide a base for kids to explore the nooks and crannies of the fascinating local ecosystem, getting up close to exotic flora, fauna and wildlife. Secondly, whizzing along at great speed along a zip wire right through the jungle canopy provides the adrenaline fix some kids are seeking. The best part is, an afternoon of zooming amongst the treetops can be pretty fun for adults, too.
Phuket’s Flying Hanuman Centre is located in Kathu. This eco-friendly operation is well-organised, and guests have to watch a safety video before heading up into the treetops. Samui’s Canopy Adventure offers a similar treat, and is suitable for children from the age of seven and above. Highly-trained staff are on hand to ensure safety remains the top priority here, too.
Don’t look down
Phuket’s Kidzole Flying Trapeze is an exhilarating activity for kids to try out
For thrill-seeking little ones looking for their next adrenaline fix, activities that take place far above ground are often the perfect solution. In Phuket, there’s no shortage of options. For example, the Kidzole Flying Trapeze by the beach in Mai Khao opens up the chance for young travellers to experience the thrill of flying through the air, using this famous circus apparatus. After a few moments of basic tuition, participants will be swinging from great heights in no time.
The Mid-Air Circus Arts Academy at the British International School in Phuket offers up a similar adrenaline-pumping experience. The professional trainers here will be able to walk your kids through the basics before their harnesses are strapped on and they can have a go for themselves. The centre is home to three dedicated aerial rigs for lessons including single and double trapeze, and visitors of all ages are welcomed. The youngest guests to ever take part in a lesson here was only four years old!
Need for speed
Situated in Bophut, Samui Golf Kart is the ideal pursuit for kids keen to get their adrenaline pumping
If heights simply don’t float your boat – or your kids’, for that matter – then fear not, there are still plenty of exhilarating, family-friendly activities to try. In fact, both Koh Samui and Phuket are home to their own high-speed go kart tracks for little ones that want to release their inner racing driver.
The Patong Go-Kart Speedway in Phuket is 750m long, and features a rip-roaring trail of sharp bends curves and speedy straight stretches. The establishment is set up so guests are well aware that safety is the number one priority, and to that end, the tracks are lined with red and white tyres to allow vehicles to stop safely at all times. Likewise, Samui Go Kart in Bophut is an exciting destination for kids that want to indulge in their need for speed. The vehicles are suited for people aged 10-years-old and above – but there are double karts available for visitors younger than that who are keen to go on a spin around the track with their parents.
For something completely different, Phuket’s Zorbing at Rollerball experience offers an unforgettable, white-knuckle ride. Participants are strapped into a giant plastic ball, measuring roughly 3m in diameter, with a generous airspace forming a cushion between the outer and inner parts of the structure. These flexible orbs then descend a 190m hillside track, zooming along at an impressive speed. A 40l water tank within the inner ball helps participants to stay upright throughout the ride.
Make a splash
Surf House Phuket provides a safe destination for young beginners to pick up the basic skills needed to ride the waves
When temperatures are soaring and kids need an activity that will keep them entertained as well as helping them to cool off, there’s a tonne of water-related activities available. In Koh Samui, the Pink Elephant Water Park near Maenam Beach is a prime destination. Home to lofty speed slides, water bowls and fast-moving chutes, there’s plenty here to entertain visitors of all ages. There’s also a wave pool for kids keen to chill out in between slides.
However, this isn’t Samui’s only waterpark. Located on Chaweng Beach, Aquapark Samui comprises a range of inflatable floating devices of all shapes and sizes. Bridges, slides, stepping blocks and trampolines have all been positioned in the ocean for an afternoon of sensational fun.
Over in Phuket, Kata Beach Road’s Surf House caters to older kids and teenagers. A high-pressure wave-making machine sends a four-inch swell of water up a sloping swimming pool, creating a manmade wave for beginners to master basic surfing skills. There’s a guiding safety rope to hold on to for visitors who are feeling less confident. If you slip over, the upward force of the mini wave ensures you fall upwards and can regain your balance quickly. The best part is, there’s a bar and restaurant close to the pool for adults to relax, too.
No need to go out
The expansive lap pool at Koh Samui’s Villa Blue View offers up the perfect playground for kids that want to take part in a few pool games
Of course, if you’re keen for your kids to burn some energy before bedtime, there’s no need to even leave the premises for guests staying in one of Thailand’s private villas. Many of these gorgeous properties come with their own expansive infinity lap pools, which provide plenty of space for pool games from splash volleyball to underwater treasure hunts. If you want to make the most of your villa’s five-star facilities, then you could even set up a circuit-style course of fast-paced activities around the pool. Handstands, underwater star jumps and miniature whirlpools – let your imagination run wild.
- Thailand is home to a rich and deeply spiritual culture that can pique the interests of little ones whilst on vacation. Temples, shrines and palaces can ignite their imaginations.
- If you’re heading to a particular part of Koh Samui or Phuket to do some activities with your children, use it as an opportunity to discover the different attractions in that part of the island. Make the most of your villa manager’s local knowledge,
- When you’re heading out for a day of sightseeing, always be sure to pack your kids’ swim suits and a towel. A couple of hours at the beach or water park could round off your day nicely.