Samui Wining & Dining
Things to do on a glorious tropical island when it’s simply pouring down with rain!

Things to do on a glorious tropical island when it’s simply pouring down with rain!A chum of mine is in the wedding business, and he told me just last week that in the last two months he’s had 27 weddings, and only eight of them had sunshine. The very disappointed bride, groom and entire entourage had to put up with a restaurant with the rain blinds down for all the rest, which is not what you expect on Samui.


But, then, on the other hand, Samui’s weather in the last two years has had people shaking their heads. We’ve had a rainy season with no rain, and then this year, the rain has been around every day, and it’s like the whole island has been hijacked. We always get our rainy season in October, November and a bit of December. But not this year it seems.


If you actually like the rain, and opt to come here in the rainy season, all well and good. You know what to expect. You’ll probably get a few days of nice cool, moist, sun anyway. But when you come here expecting day after day of suntan weather and don’t get it, what can you do? Plus everything’s a lot more fraught and tense if you’re here with your kids – there’s only so long that you can plug them into an iPad.


But if you go online to have a look what your options are, you’ll get really annoyed. There are all sorts of slick-but-useless websites giving you all sorts of misleading advice. It’s all about click-thrus and advertiser revenue. Some of the places you’ll read about closed down long ago, and these websites are irritatingly out of date. Fortunately, however, if you’re reading this, there’s a real live person writing it, and it’s bang up to the moment!


The first point is, no matter where on Samui you’re staying, if you think the rain has set in for the day then it’s easy to take a taxi and head for where the indoor activities are. The second point is that many of these are all in the same area - Chaweng. And the third point is, even if the rain keeps on and on, Chill out right on the beach at Bang Kao’s weekly night market.then you can always take a taxi to another part of the island for the afternoon, tomorrow.


Central Festival is the obvious focal point, with not only shopping, but entertainment, playing and eating all in one place. It’s thankfully somewhere that offers ongoing distractions to children at that awkward ‘cool’ age, between eight and 12, where a suggestion of anything connected to kiddies’ playgrounds and rides will prompt that dreaded teenage response; the eye-roll and sigh.


As far as activities go then there’s a ‘Major Cineplex’ movie theatre here, with all the latest releases. There’s another kind of theatre also; the ‘XD Theater 6-D Motion’ rides on the first floor (up the stairs and follow the deep bass sounds) will keep the kids occupied for quite some time, as there are several choices of virtual ‘ride’, all with moving seats and gut-wrenching effects. And right next to this is the Pirate Adventure Horror House. And almost directly beneath this, down on the ground floor, is a small-but-pleasant kiddies’ playground, if you’ve got younger children in tow.


There are three Tesco Lotus stores now on the island, but the one with the most distractions and entertainment is the one you’ll find on the ring-road at the edge of Chaweng. And here you’ll discover the most-addictive ‘kiddies arcade’ for children under around seven or eight – so much so in fact that it’s really hard to pull your kids away. This is located in the connecting strip which runs between the Tesco supermarket and Home Pro. (And while mum oversees the kids, Chill out right on the beach at Bang Kao’s weekly night can wander up to Home Pro to gaze longingly at the arrays of 70-inch flat screen TVs.). This is where you’ll also find the other of Samui’s cinemas, the second and up-to-date and comfortable Major Cineplex


And then, saving the most fascinating for last, there’s Escape Break in Lamai; part of the Beach Republic Resort. We’ve written long articles on this before (Google it!), but suffice it to say that this is a full three-hour engagement, where you have to solve clues to escape from a series of locked rooms. It’s really addictive, and there are four different themes to pick from, but it’s not for younger children.


Of course there are other things to do when it’s pouring with rain, but mostly you don’t need me to point them out to you. You can head for your resort spa and get a massage or a facial. You can go into town for a tattoo! You could even head off for a Thai cooking class. In fact, when you think about it, there’s probably more to do over here than there is back in your home town – especially when you want the rain, rain to go away!


 Rob De Wet


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