When deciding what beach to go to in Thailand, the list was a bit overwhelming. All the beaches looked beautiful and inviting, so the decision was a bit difficult. In the end, we chose Choeng Mon Beach on Koh Samui Island in The Gulf of Thailand. It’s known to be among the more family friendly beaches of Koh Samui. We instantly fell in love with the horseshoe shaped beach, the warm water, and the crystal clear water. Villagers walk up and down the beach selling goods, ice cream and food. The grilled corn and shrimp that are sold, are amazing and the kids loved having mid-morning ice cream treats.
Right behind the beach is a small village of shops and restaurants, so finding food and supplies and laundry is a step away.
The Imperial Boat House Beach Resort
We chose The Imperial Boat House and it did not disappoint. The hotel is surrounded by lush trees and vegetation which made it feel very secluded. We were fortunate enough to get an actual rice barge boat that had been converted into a hotel room. Upstairs was a lounge area, while downstairs was a bedroom. The hotel set up an extra bed in what was dressing area. The kids loved it as did the adults. Breakfast is included in the stay and there is a boat shaped pool and a beach side restaurant. Kids will love running from the pool to the beach.
Snorkeling In Koh Tao
We went with 100 Degrees East, a snorkeling and dive company outfitted with private speedboats and personalized service for your day adventure. We chose this company based on the fact that it is small groups and at least 4 staff members. We took a quick taxi ride to their office and were greeted with fruit and a drink while listening to some safety instructions. Fortunately for us, it was only the five of us and two other people going out for the adventure. We were taken to a speed boat right on shore and ushered on with a crew of five. Our journey to Koh Tao lasted a bit over an hour and we were ready to snorkel.
It was our youngest first time snorkeling, he was six. He took right to the warm, crystal clear water and snorkeled like a pro. A guide pointed out giant clams, schools of fish, sea urchins and much more. We were also led to a mouth of a cave, but that’s as far as we went. I couldn’t believe the amount of fish. Never had I seen so many fish, the snorkeling was great.The guides were amazing and they grabbed the attention of the children and led them on a wonderful adventure pointing out all sorts of sea life.
After about an hour of snorkeling we went back to the boat, a bit tired, but fulfilled and took off for lunch. One of the crew passed around fresh fruit and sodas and we made our way to a secluded beach for a private picnic. Once there, the kids swam and ran around the island while the tour company prepared a delicious lunch. My husband found a hammock and proceeded to dose off for a bit and I just sat on the beach enjoying the warm weather as I watched the water lap up against the shore.
We ate our picnic, headed back to boat and ventured off to one more area to snorkel. The location was a bit deeper, but still teaming with sea creatures. Schools of fish swam by, giant clams closed up as we neared and we even found the elusive Nemo, the clown fish. We ran our hands through sea anemone and felt it stick to our skin. Our adventure was up and we headed back to the boat for a lengthy trip back to Koh Samui. The crew passed around desert and sodas and some of us dosed off for the duration. By far, this was the best snorkeling we had done.
Anthong Marine Park
We decided to book again with 100 Degrees East for our tour to the Marine Park. We had such an amazing trip with them to Koh Tao that it was worth it to go again. Between snorkeling and the park, our youngest had broken his heel. He was ok, but what we didn’t realize was that the park had some of the steepest stairs I have ever climbed. Fortunately, one of the crew members carried our son on his shoulders up the stairs. I would barely call them stairs as it was at least 2 feet between each step.
Ang Thon Marine Park is an Archipelago of 42 islands in the Gulf of Thailand. The islands of this park provided the inspiration for Alex Garland’s book The Beach (it should be noted that the movie was shot on Phi Phi Le island in the Andaman Sea). We sea kayaked around tropical islands and had lunch and some time on our own beach.
Eventually we made our way to Koh Mae Island which features features an inland salt lagoon called Emerald Lake. This inland lake was caused by years of rain and erosion and eventually the roof of a cavern caving in. Although swimming is not allowed, viewing is spectacular, with plenty of fish and wildlife. This is also where the stairs are that will challenge every muscle in your body. The stairs are steep, sometimes difficult climbing up the limestone walls to get to the Emerald Lake.
Choeng Mon beach is lined with massage beds every 100 feet or so. Do not miss out on these massages. They cost about $8 USD and last about an hour. We took turns everyday getting one. One parent would watch the kids while the other relaxed with a massage while listening to life pass by on the beach. Most massage areas will offer traditional Thai, reflexology, and other types of massages.
Choeng Mon’s small, contained beach makes it easy for some great beach-combing. The shallow clear waters allowed for our kids to hunt down all sorts of wonderful sea creatures. When the tide is low, there are many tidal pools that show up throughout the beach. However, one word of caution, the rocks can be very sharp. If you are going to allow your kids to climb and explore around the rocks, make sure they have protective foot wear. We spent a lot of time, cleaning sand out of tiny cuts on tiny feet.
Garland Samui Restaurant
Throw on some flip flops and head down the main street of Koh Samui to Garland Samui where you will find some wonderful whole fish and other fresh seafood items. Very casual atmosphere which is great when bringing the kids. Wait staff are nice and the restaurant is very kid friendly.
Honey Seafood Restaurant
What could be better than eating on the beach as you watch the sunset, dipping your toes in the sand? We had a wonderful meal doing just this at Samui Honey Seafood on Choeng Mon Beach. We ordered a couple of the whole fish options as well as some of the shrimp items and it was fresh, seasoned wonderfully and the location couldn’t have been better. Kids can run around on the sand and in the water while you wait for the food to arrive, which gives the parents some time to enjoy thedusk together
Choeng Mon Beach in Koh Samui did not disappoint. It was great to watch the kids run in the water, swim, go beach combing and just be kids. It was very hard to leave this paradise. Good luck leaving.
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