Looking for things to do in Koh Samui with kids? Stuck for ideas and suggestions? We’ve put together a guide all about Fisherman’s Village especially for families. Read on for shopping, food, and sightseeing suggestions that will keep kids entertained and happy for the morning, afternoon and evening.
Fisherman’s Village, on a Friday and Monday night, is for people who love lively and bustling markets with lots to see, buy and taste. The street comes alive from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
If you and your family have adventurous tastebuds, you won’t be disappointed. Scroll down for all you need to know about food and dining at Fisherman’s Village.
If you need to pick up some souvenirs, gifts, or have some keen little shoppers in your family, you can find what you are looking for here. All the usual souvenirs with some unique trinkets can be found. Read more about shopping and bargaining below.
For some people, it’s a little touristy and busy, so try going on another weeknight if you prefer a more low-key atmosphere.
Alternatively, you can skip the markets altogether and head straight to the beach for a seafood dinner as the sun sets. Recline on beanbags and sip cocktails as the kids play on the beach. Scroll down for cafe and restaurant recommendations.
Don’t miss the banana pancake. Instead of going to one of the restaurants, you can eat and walk as you meander through the markets. Try coconut rice dumplings, fried insects, kebabs, pad thai and all kinds of food on skewers. Grab some coconut ice-cream in the shell and crepes after dinner. Turn the walking street of the markets into your own portable dining table and experience the tastes of an outdoor Thai market.
Restaurants line the beachfront. Most are geared towards tourists. You’ll find all the menus in English. There’s lots of seafood and Thai restaurants with grilling stations on the beach. But if you’re looking for something different read on.
The owner is from Italy and is very nice and welcoming. There’s homemade pasta on the menu and the tiramisu, made in house, is worth saving room for. It’s right on the beach. The fettuccini with seared tuna, pistachios and cherry tomatoes is delicious, and the thin-crust pizzas from the wood fire oven come recommended. They also have fresh seafood cooked to order. With a view of the electric blue water at night framed by palms, this casual Italian eatery is worth a visit if you’re looking for a break from Thai food. It’s also suitable for kids.
This cafe is delicious and nourishing. The white wooden interior is cool, calming and homey. There’s a pool out back if you need refreshing. On the menu you’ll find falafel tortilla, quinoa wrap, and fresh juices all served in good portion sizes. There’s also some chicken and fish dishes on the menu. There’s a veggie patch on the premises that partly supplies the cafe. After eating out all the time, this place is a healthy alternative. And, surprisingly you can pay with Bitcoin. It’s the vegan cafe of the future.
Chez Francois is a fine dining French restaurant in a relaxed atmosphere tucked in a backstreet near Fisherman’s Village. The focus is on food and not the view. The restaurant seats about 12 people at most, so it’s better for older kids, as there’s no room for little ones to run around. Make a reservation before going. There’s a set menu, so if you have special dietary requirements call ahead and mention them. There’s often lamb, beef cheek, duck and foie gras on the menu. Don’t expect a fine dining experience that you would in Paris and you won’t be disappointed.
Grab a fresh coconut and watch the fire performance from Coco Tam’s where bean bags and tables spill out onto the beach. Enjoy pizzas, smoothies and cocktails with lots of different areas to sit. Pick a place to recline, drink and watch the papaya sunset, eat round the table with family and friends, or choose the bar with swings instead of stools.
Go early to get a table and before the staff get over worked. The food and drinks might be slow because it gets really busy. On Fridays there’s a DJ, so if house music isn’t your thing, choose another night to go. Sip a cocktail as the kids play on the beach before the pizza arrives.
If it’s Thai food you’re after, there’re lots of restaurants behind the main strip and you’ll find a few up the narrow alleyways. For a homey Thai meal, try The Oasis.
Overall the restaurants along the beach cater to tourists and have fantastic views of the ocean. The food stalls cater to tourists and locals, and can be a great way to enjoy a pre-dinner snack.
Some people say that the prices are higher than normal, but you can haggle, and if you don’t get the price you want, move on as you’ll probably find it further down the street. You’ll find small shops selling trinkets, souvenirs, swimwear, artwork, straw hats, bamboo woven mats, and more. The street stalls aren’t set up till the evening, but you can still get some shopping done during the day in the brick-and-mortar stores and most of the cafes are open, too.
The wispy remnants of a pier surrounded by water make this beach look like a laid-back fishing town with elongated islands sleeping on the horizon. It’s lovely for a swim and a walk. You can play games on the beach with the family. It’s calmer and more laid-back than Chaweng Beach.
Walk along the beach as the sunsets with views of Koh Phangan. Head to the west end of the beach and you’ll see mangroves. There’re shallow areas for kids to play and the waves are gentle. For some people the sand is coarse, but think of it as a free pedicure as you walk.
The Surrounding Area: Sightseeing suggestions
#1 The Big Golden Buddha
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Experience the spiritual side of Samui. The Big Buddha is a short taxi ride from Fisherman’s Village. There’re plenty of taxis around this area. The sculpture is impressive. Kids will love it. Shorts and skirts are okay, but you’ll need to cover your shoulders (shawls are provided). Entry is free. You can spend about an hour there. There’s a pancake cart out front that will provide some needed sustenance. You can also do a bit of shopping there, too.
#2 Wat Plai Laem
If you want to continue temple hopping, visit Wat Plai Laem. It’s a great place to explore buddhism and a true Thai temple experience. When you enter, you know that you are in Thailand. It’s a 10-minute walk north of the Big Buddha. It’s a nice place to visit anytime of day, but in the morning it’s more quiet and you might see a monk or two wandering around. Kids can feed the fish and turtles in the surrounding lake there.
Check out the 18-armed statue of Guan Yin – the goddess of mercy and compassion. Ask your kids what they think she’s holding in each hand. For kids who are into photography, there’s lots to document, and so much to distract young and inquisitive eyes and minds. At sundown the temple complex is illuminated by lanterns.
This could be a good place to visit before you go to the night market and enjoy a beach dinner in Bo Phut
#3 The Samui International Meditation Centre
Before you hit the hustle and bustle of the night markets, take the family to the meditation centre for an authentic experience with the monks. It’s a secret spot and something unique that you can experience with your family. People at the centre are friendly and speak English and Chinese. Everything is free, but you can make a donation. It’s walking distance from Fishermans Village.
Fisherman’s Village is a place you can take the family in Koh Samui for an afternoon and evening with enough to entertain kids. It’s a great alternate to Chaweng, which tends to be more suited to the backpacking crowd. Fit in some temple hopping and meditation, or treat the family to a massage by the sea before hitting the night markets and grabbing some dinner by the sea.