Phuket or Koh Samui for Families with Grown Ups

Planning Thai holidays in Phuket or Koh Samui for families with grown ups. What will convince the young and what appeals to the older generation? A beautiful, quiet Thai mansion with direct access to the beach may be on everyone’s bucket list. Excursions into nature and cultural exploitations appeal most probably only to one part of the family, parties and shopping to the other. Illusory dreams to make all happy? Nope!

Thai holidays in Phuket or Koh Samui for families with grown ups. How to organise an unforgettable, happy family holiday on a tropical island in Thailand.

A few weeks ago I heard of Thai mansions on the website Luxury Retreats – Villa Rentals & Vacation Rentals for the first time. I’d been contemplating for awhile a holiday in Phuket or Koh Samui for families with grown ups. Could one or both of the islands match the needs and wishes of our grown ups? Thai holidays are a good bet to convince young adult family members to fit a family reunion into their busy schedule.

Thai holidays in Phuket or Koh Samui for families with grown ups. How to organise an unforgettable, happy family holiday on a tropical island in Thailand.
Sunset, Phuket, by Tawan Rapipong (Unsplash)

Thai Holidays in Phuket or Koh Samui for Families with Grown Ups

We are empty nesters and our kids live spread over three continents. The grandparents and extended family live in different countries as well. Our adult kids have a work-related busy schedule, meanwhile the older generation is busy with their own, no less occupying activities.

On our latest travels through the United Kingdom, we house sat for a family in Scotland during winter time, whose kids live and work in the south of England.

They went for Thai holidays with their grown ups and best friends..

Their family reunion was a huge success! Many happy party pictures with sundowners on the beach reached us on our mobile.  Meanwhile we battled the stormy winter weather in freezing Scotland. They liked their Thai holidays so much that they booked their next family get together for the next year right away, after returning to the United KIngdom.

Thai holidays in Phuket or Koh Samui for families with grown ups. How to organise an unforgettable, happy family holiday on a tropical island in Thailand.
Night Market, Phuket Town, Ian Mackenzie (Flickr)

Holiday Requirements for Families with Grown Ups:

  1. Destination reachable with cheap flights  √
  2. Tropical temperatures √
  3. Stunning beaches closeby √
  4. Beautiful nature √
  5. Culturally interesting places and events √
  6. Various activities from water sport to spa-treatment √
  7. Bars and shopping opportunities √
  8. Spacious luxury villa or a Thai mansion to rent √
    • Private pool in beautiful garden
    • Sufficient bedrooms and common space for all
    •  Functional kitchen for joint cooking
    • Quiet setting but not too far from the hustle and bustle of parties if desired.

Based on this checklist I will point out if I’d rather choose Phuket and Koh Samui for families with grown ups.

Koh Samui for Families with Grown Ups

White sandy beaches fringed with coconut palms surround the second largest island of Thailand. Rainforest covers the mountains in the interior of this tropical island. It is situated south of Bangkok, off the east coast of Kra Isthmus.

Koh Samui’s Beaches

Most of Koh Samui’s fifty kilometres of coastline consists of white-sandy beaches which make it one of the most popular destinations in Southern Thailand. You’ll find lively beaches with lots of entertainment or secluded ones for a relaxing day, reading a book in the shade of a palm tree.

Or maybe you choose to rent a Thai mansion with private beach access..

Thai holidays in Phuket or Koh Samui for families with grown ups. How to organise an unforgettable, happy family holiday on a tropical island in Thailand.
Swing on the beach, Koh Samui, by Yoori Koo (Unsplash)

Activities on and around the island of Koh Samui

Koh Samui’s Cultural Sights

If it’s a mummified monk at Wat Khunaram, the red temple of Wat Sila Ngu, the temple with the best views at Phra Phutthabat Chamlong Khao Hua Chuk, the twelve meter tall, sitting golden statue of Buddha on the tiny island Wat Phra Yai just off the coast of Koh Samui and others. There is plenty architectural and cultural heritage to discover.

Thai holidays in Phuket or Koh Samui for families with grown ups. How to organise an unforgettable, happy family holiday on a tropical island in Thailand.
Wat Plai Leam, Koh Samui, John Cook (Flickr)

Nature and Parks of Koh Samui

The mountainous interior offers walks and some more demanding hikes to waterfalls. At the coast you’ll find some weird shaped rocks, gently called Ta (Grandpa) and Yai (Grandma) by the locals, with a folkloric story to them. From Koh Samui it’s worthwhile to do a day trip to Ang Thong National Marine Park.

Water sport activities in Koh Samui

The water is warm and the temperature pleasant all year around. Best conditions for almost any kind of water sport. To explore the underwater world you will find plenty snorkeling and diving opportunities. If you’d like to keep your head above water, you can rent a kayak, do stand-up paddling, rent a motorised boat or whatever you may wish.

On my research I found another place in Thailand which would also tick the boxes for a family reunion which makes all of us happy.

Phuket for Families with Grown Ups

Like Koh Samui, Phuket is a mountainous island covered with rainforest with some of Thailand’s most beautiful beaches.

Beautiful seaside Thai mansions are available to rent for big family reunions like ours.

The young will find plenty party opportunities with nightclubs, bars and discos for example at the main resort town Patong or in Phuket Town. The old shophouses may also entrap the girls, when we’d rather enjoy a Thai massage while admiring the sea view.

Phuket’s Beaches

Along the west coast are almost indefinite sandy beaches. Some of the coastline around Patong attract party crowds, while others more to the north, offer more remote and quiet stretches of beach.

Thai holidays in Phuket or Koh Samui for families with grown ups. How to organise an unforgettable, happy family holiday on a tropical island in Thailand.
Raya Island, Phuket, Nicolas Vollmer (Flickr)

Activities on and around the island of Phuket

Phuket’s Cultural Sights

Phuket offers some pretty impressive Buddhist temples which shouldn’t be missed on a tour around the island. In Patong you’ll find Wat Suan Khiri Wong Temple. It is the centre of local Thai Buddhism. Throughout the centuries a large Chinese community migrated to Thailand. You’ll find as many Chinese colourful shrines as Wats in Phuket.Thai holidays in Phuket or Koh Samui for families with grown ups. How to organise an unforgettable, happy family holiday on a tropical island in Thailand.

Nature and Parks of Phuket

Khao Phra Thaeo National Park

In the north of Phuket Khao Phra Thaeo National Park is waiting to be discovered. The Park covers approximately 2,200 square kilometres and hosts Phuket’s last virgin rainforest. It is also home to Phuket’s Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre. Hiking trails in the national park lead to the spectacular Ton Sai and Bang Pae waterfalls.

Sirinat National Park

A long stretch of remote sandy beach lies in the north of Sirinat National Park, a nesting ground for protected sea turtles. They were the original reason to establish this National Park with about ninety square kilometers of beach, mangroves and coastal forest in the north of Phuket.

Similan Islands National Park

If you are into diving, this is the place to go. Similan Islands National Park is an archipelago with nine small islands.

Thai holidays in Phuket or Koh Samui for families with grown ups. How to organise an unforgettable, happy family holiday on a tropical island in Thailand.
Sleeping Monkey, Koh Samui, by VITALIY ANOKHIN (Unsplash)

Water sport activities in Phuket

Along the west coast of Phuket you’ll find an abundance of water sport activities to choose from. Boat tours from Phuket include all kinds of activities under and above water.

First on my bucket list would be to visit Similan Islands National Park.

It’s one of the top 10 dive sites in the world.

Which is better, Phuket or Koh Samui?

The amount of options for a family reunion on Koh Samui and Phuket is abundant. The decision which of the islands to choose for our Thai holiday might depend on available flights and accommodation. I couldn’t say if Phuket or Koh Samui for families with grown ups is better. Younger and older generations with varying interests and desires find their needs met on both of the islands. It’s always possible to come back the following year to visit the other island.

Thai holidays in Phuket or Koh Samui for families with grown ups. How to organise an unforgettable, happy family holiday on a tropical island in Thailand.
Kayak Trip, Koh Samui, Jeroen Beltman (Flickr)
Read here about the Seychelles and Mauritius, which may also be great for family get togethers.

Do you know of suitable holiday destinations other than Phuket or Koh Samui for families with grown ups? Please add them in the comments.

This article is sponsored by Luxury Retreats, Luxury Villa Rentals & Vacation Rentals.

Thai holidays in Phuket or Koh Samui for families with grown ups. How to organise an unforgettable, happy family holiday on a tropical island in Thailand.

Author: Marcelle Simone Heller

I’m searching for natural beauty and wilderness, while I’m travelling relentlessly to find delightful places and encounters with wildlife. I try to capture the thrill of the moments in photography and words, hoping to inspire others with the love for animals and nature.

5 thoughts on “Phuket or Koh Samui for Families with Grown Ups”

  1. Yes I agree how suitable Thailand is for families with grown up children. I haven’t yet made it to Phuket but I did visit Koh Samui -which I agree is such a great place to visit 😀 #FeetDoTravel

  2. A different view of two places I have avoided due to the ‘Chiang shirt’ brigade, I will certainly give them another think in future!

  3. Oh, thanks for comparing the two. I’ve heard a lot about both and would have been torn! I think I’d still head to both though should I make it over to that region one day! The temples and beaches are just amazing! #FeetDoTravel

  4. Love the idea of 50 km of sandy beaches. The red temple of Wat Sila Ngu looks gorgeous. What a great combo – beaches, culture architecture, nature parks – hikes and water falls, and snorkeling and diving. Sounds like my kind of place. I want to go to both! Thanks, they go on my list for Thailand.

What do you think? Your comment is most appreciated.