One of the biggest draws to Thailand is the tropical island of fun – Koh Samui. This lovely place has so much going on for it, that everyone who comes here falls in love with it in some way.
However, there is a shortage of wholly family friendly beaches. It seems that no matter where one looks, there’s a hostess bar or massage parlour with questionably background.
But Bophut Beach is family and children friendly. It’s one of the few places on Samui that preserves the original Thai-Chinese atmosphere. There’s been a conscious effort to cater to young couples and families, instead of youth looking to party.
Arguably one of the beaches to definitely visit on your stay in Koh Samui. It has deep waters great for swimming, even in low tide, and you get a wonderful view of the mountains of neighbouring Koh Phangan island.
Bophut beach has many advantages, one of those being that it’s located very conveniently. It’s close to the airport, Chaweng and the main road leading to Nathon (the two being the biggest centers of Koh Samui) as well as the piers that run boats to neighbouring islands.
The middle of the beach in Bophut is very narrow, disappearing almost completely during high tide. But not to worry, both in the East and West ends the beach becomes wider. Most agree that the West end is more beautiful and this is consequently also where most of the upscale resorts are at.
The beach has beach bars and restaurants, as is common for Samui. Entrepreneurial and imaginative locals decorate the beach with pillows and candle lit tables in the evenings, creating a genuinely inviting atmosphere.
The middle of Bophut beach used to be a fisherman’s village. Today, the place has earned the reputation of being the most elegant place on Samui.
Much of the authenticity of the place is still visible, despite the fishermen being long gone. Chinese shop-houses line the narrow streets and many have been converted to modern use, forming an eclectic mix of boutiques, shops, bars and restaurants.
The Fisherman’s Village, with its charming and unpretentious feel, is quickly becoming the lifestyle center of the island. Visitors from all over the island come to dine and drink here in the evening, stroll the walking street and shop at the night markets.
Fisherman’s Village comes to life the most on Friday nights. This is thanks to the Walking Street which is considered the best night market on Koh Samui. Open every Friday 5pm – 10pm, there are dozens of stalls selling whatever the heart desires – from souvenirs and handcrafts to Thai barbeque and street food, even cocktails. In addition to the usual accessories and clothing, there are also a lot of unique handcrafts. You won’t be disappointed coming here.
The Wharf is a 5000 sqm open air shopping mall. It adds a huge selection of shops and merchants to the already impressive shopping scene in the village. While it’s opened from morning until evening, it’s best and liveliest during the night. At the back of The Wharf, there is another vendor market to check out, opened three evenings a week.
This is a smaller night market in the village that’s located across from the Happy Elephant Restaurant. It’s good to bring children here, because the centre of the market houses cute elephant statues painted like comic book characters. The market is only some 30 metres long, but is inviting and quaint.
If you’re organically minded, you can also check out the Simply Samui store, which specialises in all-natural skincare. Thailand is famous for its coconut oil and many tourists flock to the islands to buy it straight from the source. This company was founded already in 2005 by an English lady with a passion for healthy living. While you’re there, inquire about their amazing work with local communities on Samui.
Bargaining is the norm in Thailand and prices will be inflated. So don’t be shy to haggle and remember to quote half of the price you’re actually willing to pay. A smile and a few words in Thai go a long way to get the price down.
Bophut Hills Golf Club
Bophut Hills Golf Club is nestled on a beautiful hillside between Bophut and Chaweng. It’s fun for both beginners and experienced golfers.
Wat Plai Laem & Wat Phra Yai (Big Buddha temple)
The Wat Phra Yai and Wat Plai Laem are active Buddhist temples on the island. They house gigantic statues of the Buddha that are very impressive to see.
Samui Crocodile Farm
The Samui Crocodile Farm offers an entirely different type of excitement. Between 12-5 pm, you can see daredevil locals placing their heads between the jaws of crocodiles.
If you’re traveling with your family or are here for the honeymoon, the resorts in the West end of Bophut are nice. But to make your holiday really memorable, I’d suggest looking at the incredibly beautiful luxury villas and penthouses on Samui.
Many people don’t know just how affordable Thailand actually is. So let me show you – this tropical villa with leafy gardens, waterfalls and an infinity edged pool overlooking the ocean could be yours to enjoy for only 350$ a night. Worth a consideration!