Activities for Children
|Fun things to do||Before the Fun Stuff|
Thong Nai Pan Noi:
Thong Nai Pan Yai:
Beyond Thong Nai Pan:
If you take your child or children to the beach you want them to have a fun time, but you also want them to be safe. Thong Nai Pan is a very peaceful place and Thai people love children. The dangers are mostly 'natural'.
In both Thong Nai Pan Noi and Thong Nai Pan Yai villages you can find basic medical supplies such as antiseptics, iodine, plasters and aspirin. For a wider range of medicine there is an excellent pharmacist in Bantai village. There are doctors attached to private clinics in Thongsala and Haad Rin. (See resources box in right hand column). Koh Phangan hospital is just outside Thongsala. It is a clean but basic hospital. All serious medical emergencies are taken by speedboat to a big hospital in Koh Samui.
The best place to pick up nappies, wipes and other kids supplies is the Tesco Lotus in Thongsala. You can find fresh milk and yoghurt at the local shops in the villages of either Yai or Noi.
|Playgroups & Kids' Rooms|
Thong Nai Pan Kids' Club
Thong Nai Pan Kids Club appears to have closed. It looks like those organising it ran out of enthusiasm or funds. It is a pity.
Panviman Resort and Spa has a kids' room with various toys. There is also a small library in the Pan Sea Restaurant. They also have bike hire and kayak hire.
Santhiya has disappointing facilities for children. There is no kids club and no advertised baby sitting services. Not very 5 star! They do offer guests kayaks. There is also a library with a DVD rental section (not free). Kids will love the Santhiya swimming pool.
The same as Santhiya, Rasananda is not geared to entertaining children. They don't have a kids room. Indeed they seem to discourage bringing kids: only 1 child is allowed to stay per villa; there is no kid's menu or other kids facilities; and, children are charged a compulsory breakfast that costs 1,500 Thai Baht a day.
|Fun in the Water|
Both Thong Nai Pan Noi and Thong Nai Pan Yai are great for swimming. The water slowly gets deeper and so is ideal for young children. During May to August the water is very calm and ideal for less confident swimmers. Many of the resorts also have swimming pools.
Snorkeling and Diving
There are several places that offer snorkeling trips. These are often trips around the island that include an hour or so snorkeling at Koh Ma. The dive shops will also take people out snorkeling at the same time as they do dive trips. While these snorkeling trips will provide snorkels and fins they probably won't have armbands or floating rings. You can find out more about snorkeling and diving on our watersports page.
There are several resorts that have kayaks for hire. Some charge and some provide them free for guests. They are suitable for 2 people and so an adult can take a child out to paddle around the bay. We don't advise you to leave the bay. For more about kayaking see the watersports page.
|Fun at the Beach|
Thong Nai Pan Noi and Yai offer a range of activities to entertain children. Both beaches have beach volleyball courts. A game usually gets going in the afternoon but is often dominated by adults.
You can buy a frisbee in a shop. This is an ideal activity for the beach or in the surf.
Next to Dolphin Bungalows on Yai and next to I Sea Bar in Noi there is a beach swing to enjoy.
To stretch the legs there are a few walks the family can do. There are viewpoints to enjoy at Santhiya on Noi and at the southern end of the beach on Yai. (see places to visit). On Yai the small temple is worth a visit. If you are on Noi take the steps up to Panviman from the beach and check out the decking next to the swimming pool. From here you can often see giant monitor lizards sunning themselves on the rocks.
TV / DVDs & Internet
That ally and enemy of parents the TV is available on both beaches. The big 3 hotels have a good range of channels that includes the cartoon network and a couple of movie channels. Santhiya have DVDs for rent. Rasananda villas include a DVD player. You can find plenty of places selling cheap (and pirated) DVDs in Thongsala. Don't expect any entertainment from the TV in Phuwadee rooms. Buri Rasa has satellite TV in the rooms.
Although many restaurants and resorts offer wifi don't expect high speed broadband. You have to leave your computer on for a long time to download a movie. There are also a few internet shops. The computers are often old. You might find one with a game on it, but the price per minute fee of using a computer makes this an expensive entertainment option for kids.
|Fun in Koh Phangan|
There is plenty of fun to be had for both adults and kids on Phangan Island. Despite its reputation as a party island, most of the island is untouched by the hedonism that has become central to the economies of Bantai and Haad Rin.
You can rent a jeep for 1,000 Thai Baht and go exploring. There are a number of temples to check out. The Chinese Temple on the road to Mae Haad has a great view. The island is still 90% untouched rain forest. This combined with the fact that there are over 20 beaches on the island makes a lot of nature to explore.
Elephant trekking, ziplines and kiteboarding
On the road to Bantai at the top of the big hill there is a place where you can do elephant trekking. Nearby is a place with canopy ziplines and jungle tours that offer the chance to see monkeys and birds. On Bantai beach there is a company that will teach you kiteboarding. This is flying a kite and using the wind's pull to drag you through the water on a surfboard.
Archery and wakeboarding
In Chaloklum there is another elephant riding place as well as an archery school. Chaloklum also offers wakeboarding - like waterskiing but with a board that resembles a snowboard.
Just outside the main town of Thongsala there is a place that has paintballing. This is an activity not suitable for children under 12.
|The Samui Archipelago|
If you are staying for more than a week you might want to take the kids to Nang Yuan island next to Koh Tao. It is a set of 3 islands joined by a sand bank. It is one of the natural wonders of the area. Lomprayah do boat trips to Nang Yuan from Thongsala port.
Ang Thong National Marine Park
Ang Thong National Marine Park has spectacular scenery, a large interior lake, lots of fish to see snorkeling and some great kayaking possibilities. Dive shops and other tour operators will take you to the national park.
Another excursion is to Koh Samui. There is a giant Buddha, an aquarium, go karts as well as cinemas, bowling alleys and large shopping malls. A visit to Koh Samui is also good opportunity to top up on supplies that you can't find in Koh Phangan. Big C and Tesco Lotus in Koh Samui have nearly everything you could want to buy, including toys.