Samui Wining & Dining
For some of the best water fun on the island, head away from the sea to Samui Water Park Pink Elephant!

For some of the best water fun on the island, head away from the sea to Samui Water Park Pink Elephant!Koh Samui. A tropical island with dreamy white sands, palm-fringed beaches and a sky full of little fluffy clouds. It’s a holiday paradise. It’s a couple of weeks lazing by the pool and sipping cool drinks. It’s absolutely perfect – except for one small thing. The kiddie factor. If you’re here with your kids, then that adds another dimension to it all. It means that you’re always on the lookout for great restaurants – meaning not just good food but a play corner too. And, essentially, everything you do is geared to the kids; keeping them happy, keeping them safe, keeping them entertained. If they’re very young, they’ll play for ages with the little friends that they’ve made. But the closer to their teens that they get, the easier it is for them to get bored.


It can be tricky, striking the right balance. But, in the last few years, more and more fun things have emerged. Organised games on the beach. Resorts with nannies and playrooms. Shopping malls with playgrounds and rides. And now, appearing half way through last year, a splendid water park, with features and rides that are geared to kids of all ages, grown-ups included! Interestingly, it’s not close to the sea. And it’s also not based in Chaweng. But instead, rather cleverly, it’s on the comparatively new road that goes over the mountain from Maenam to Lamai, about 1.5 kilometres away from the ring-road, on Soi 1 in Maenam. And its name? Samui Water Park Pink Elephant.


“Yes,” chuckled Khun Cat, the park’s manager, “when we started, nobody knew where we were. So we made some eye-catching signs of a pink elephant with arrows to point the way. And this kind-of stuck, with a lot of people calling us just the ‘Pink Elephant Water Park’. Ask a taxi driver for Samui Water Park and he might get confused. But say ‘Pink Elephant’ and he’ll know right away. Anyway,” Khun Cat continued,For some of the best water fun on the island, head away from the sea to Samui Water Park Pink Elephant! “there’s no need to come here in a taxi, which will be expensive. If you go onto our website and contact us, or phone us, then we will arrange transport for you to come here for only 150 baht.”


That’s a point to be stressed, the part about the ‘pink elephant’. The full name of the park is ‘Samui Water Park’. But look on the Internet and there’s another park, a different one, with almost the same web address. So it’s worth noting that the website address has ‘asia’ tacked on the end, as you’ll see at the bottom of this story.


This park is something rather special. Yes, I know we’re a little coconut island, and more than a few things are made out of bamboo that’s held together with sticky tape and string. But everything at Samui Water Park is constructed to world-class industrial standards; exactly the same sort of quality and engineering that you’ll find in, say, Florida. And the staff are very safety-conscious. In fact it might be worth pointing out that there are a couple of rides which are considered to be ‘adult’ – they are high, complex, fast and twisty (The Twister and the Superbowl Tower). And if your child is less than 1.3 metres in height, whatever their age, they won’t be permitted to ride on these particular attractions. Everything here is faithfully geared to safety; on the Superbowl ride, for example, there is a technique and sliding position needed. And the staff will demonstrate this to everyone who goes on it.


Although the ground-area is quite big, this isn’t a huge park and there are just 15 attractions in total, designed to cover all ages and needs, from the slow and placid to the fun and furious. The Lazy River, for example, is a 300-metre moat that circles the park, and has an artificial current. You can either drift around languidly, carried by the tide, or use one of the floaty devices on hand for this purpose. In similar vein, the wave pool is another lazy-day ride. For some of the best water fun on the island, head away from the sea to Samui Water Park Pink Elephant!And there are several flumes of different intensities. Furthermore, it’s all fresh water. Just compare this to an afternoon at the beach, where there’s no variety and every wave that catches you unaware scours your sinuses and coats your eyeballs with salt. The main thing to be said for the beach, really, is that it’s free.


Something to be aware of right from the start, though, is that you and your kids are going to get a serious dose of sun, even on those days that are cloudy. You need to prepare for this. Lots of sun cream is an absolute must, plus sunblock for tender areas and the usual hats and T-shirts. And another tip: buy some spare cheap plastic flipflops, the sort you can cheerfully junk at the end of your holiday. The sun here really does get hot, and this means that some of the rides, in particular the ones with metal steps, can heat-up to the point where it’s painful on bare feet. Happily, there’s enough shade from the bushes and trees inside and around the rides to make things bearable overall.


This question doesn’t arise with the restaurant area, however. And it’s not just an eatery, there are also two pleasant and shady bars (one’s even got an outside Jacuzzi!), plus an ice-cream and coffee space. The prices here are very reasonable, and Thai food and snacks are served alongside Western items such as sandwiches, burgers, chicken nuggets and fries.


It’s generally a very reliable indication as to the integrity of a venue in the way they respond to comments posted on TripAdvisor. And Khun Cat spends several hours a day ingesting these comments and composing pertinent replies to most of them. This isn’t Florida, it’s Samui. And this water park hasn’t been created to cater for thrill-seeking teens, but rather for everyone in the family, young and old alike. Thus if you take this on board and go prepared for a lazy day of sitting, then splashing, then sipping, sitting and splashing some more, you won’t be disappointed. You may even be thrilled, in fact!


 Rob De Wet


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