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Koh Mak

Explore and Experience
Thailandmagazine.com

Image: Thailandmagazine.com

KOH MAK, THAILAND

Authentic Koh Mak lies between the islands Koh Chang and Koh Kood. With its 16 square kilometers, Koh Mak is the smallest of the Three islands. Approximately 700 people live permanently on the island. Inland are mainly coconut and palm oil plantations. Koh Mak is mostly flat, with the advantage that you can easily explore the island by yourself with a scooter and some parts even by bicycle. In a few days you can explore all of Koh Mak with the wind through your hair. Along the way you will meet friendly locals who are happy to welcome you in their restaurant or resort. Koh Mak still has an authentic Thai feel, which is where the majority of visitors will come for.

There are hardly any high-rise buildings on Koh Mak and if there are, they are not higher than a few floors. There is also no 7-eleven supermarket here, and if it is up to the locals, there never will be. They like it to keep it local. There is currently one ATM machine in the middle of the island, so make sure you have enough cash because sometimes the ATM is out of order. Credit cards are not accepted in most restaurants.

Things to do

Snorkeling at mysterious bounty island Koh Kham

A tropical paradise, with white beaches and a clear sea with colorful fish. Unusual is the never-finished super-luxury resort with pool villas you can stroll through.

Bounty Eiland met verlaten hagelwit strand, palmbomen en een blauwe zee

Banana Sunset Bar

Banana Sunset is Koh Mak’s most popular bar. You can chill on a platform with cushions or have a sit at the tables, creating a very relaxed atmosphere. This bar is the place to be during sunset and happy hour!

Mensen Op Houten Platform Met Kussen Kijken Naar De Zonsondergang

Blue Pearl Bar, snorkeling and cocktails

A small but super fun bar built on a pier above the sea, the perfect starting point for your snorkeling session or a relaxing end of the day with a cocktail during sunset.

Lange Houten Stijger Boven Zee Met Daarop Op Een Bar En Mensen Die Een Drankje Drinken

Koh Rayang

Koh Rayang is a small, beautiful, almost cute island with an even smaller white beach, just off the coast of Koh Mak. On the island is a small, now run-down resort that once had only three rooms. What a paradise! You can still go there, rent a kayak from the Sabai Beach resort from Ao Kao Beach.

Klein Wit Strand Op Een Klein Eilandje Met Een Heuvel En Palbomen

The Kingdom of Somchai’s Affection

The Kingdom of Somchai’s Affection is a mysterious, erotic sculpture garden in the middle of a small forest. The area no longer seems to be maintained, so the sculptures are slowly crumbling and nature is taking over. A little bit creepy!

Vrouwelijk Stenen Beeld In Het Bos Met Op De Achtergrond Een Klein Huisje

Viewpoint Cape Tukata

For the active folks who like to see things from a distance. As far as we know the only “viewpoint” on Koh Mak. You reach the viewpoint via a narrow path uphill in about 10 minutes. It is a nice combination with the next door Pebble Beach. 

Blauwe Zee Gezien Vanaf Een Hoge Rots, Bij De Cape

Koh Wai, snorkeling and wildlife

Koh Wai is a small island not far from Koh Mak. You can go there as a day trip or as part of a snorkeling trip. Sleeping on the island is also possible, but facilities are limited. There is electricity only at certain times and shopping is definitely not a thing here. What is there instead? Beautiful, lush, small bays, clear water, good snorkeling and not even a handful of (basic) resorts.  A speedboat or slow boat will get you there in 30 minutes or 1 hour for 450/300 baht from Koh Mak

Koh Kradet, deer island

If you are a real deer fan, then Koh Kradet is your island! Because Koh Kradat is mainly populated by deer and they are the big attraction of the island. There is also an even smaller, photogenic island next to Koh Kradet with only one palm tree on it. You can get there in 10 minutes by boat from Leam Son Beach on Koh Mak and costs 200 baht pp. They were unable to convince us.

Party on Koh Mak?

Koh Mak does not look like a party island at first glance. There are no bars that stay open until late. Still, house parties are sometimes held on Koh Mak. But if you don’t like it, you won’t notice it either, because the smaller, more private parties are often held on secluded stretches of beach. Is this your thing? Ask around among the locals. The island is so small that if something happens it will be known to most.

Most beautiful beaches on Koh Mak

Besides several more hidden beaches, Koh Mak has two more extensive coastlines: Ao Soun Yai Beach and Ao Kao Beach. The other smaller beaches often have only one or two (luxury) accommodations on them. On a few hidden and more secluded beaches, accommodations are a bit more primitive. Here you mainly see wooden bungalows right by the sea in beautiful natural surroundings. These are really places where you can completely unwind.

Sandflies

On the beaches of Koh Mak there are sometimes sandflies, unfortunately we experienced this ourselves on the beach of Ao Kao Beach. You get small itchy bumps. Covering yourself with coconut oil helps according to the locals, you can buy coconut oil on Koh Mak. We don’t think it’s ideal, in the sun and on the beach. Another less natural option is mosquito spray with DEET. On the other beaches of Koh Mak, oddly enough, we had no problems with any.

Ao Soun Yai Beach

The beautiful, white, elongated beach is surrounded by palm trees. From this beach, which is especially popular with families, it is possible to kayak to the paradise island of Koh Kham.

Ao Pra Beach

Beautiful, quiet beach with nice shady spots and a swing here and there. Apart from the luxurious Montana Resort, there are no facilities here, making it perfect for a relaxing, luxury break.

Verlaten Baai Met Goudgeel Zand En Een Heldere Zee
Laem Tukata, Koh Mak
Twee Mensen Lopen Hand In Hand Op Het Verder Verlaten Ao Pra Beach
Ao Pra Beach, Koh mak

Ao Lom Beach

Accessible via a narrow jungle path, scooter riding is a challenge here. From this small beach you can get to one of the most beautiful snorkeling spots on Koh Mak. Be advised of currents before snorkeling.

Pebble Beach

Small mini pebble beach surrounded by high rocks that you reach by a scooter ride, a small climb and descent on foot. The beach is not suitable for lying out on but the water is super clear! Chances are you’ll have it all to yourself.

De Lucht Kleurt Oranje Tijdens Zonsondergang Boven Het Lege Ao Kao Beach
Ao Kao Beach, Koh Mak
Het Witte Langgerekte Strand Van Ao Kao Beach, Koh Mak
Ao Soun Yai Beach, Koh Mak,

Laem Tukata

Beautiful golden bay with calm sea and completely surrounded by palm trees, a super nice place to totally unwind and stay much longer than you planned. From the beach, you overlook the two islands of Koh Rayan Nok and Koh Rayan Noi.

Laem Son Beach

In the far north-east of Koh Mak lies a secluded beach. The last part of the road up to it is unpaved. The beach is surrounded by a pine forest, so there are many shady spots. There is one restaurant. You can cross to the deer island of Koh Kradet from Leam Son.

Ao Tan Beach

Ao Tan Beach is best known for its beautiful, long wooden pier. But at low tide it is not possible to swim from the beach; we think that is why they built that beautiful, long pier.  The luxury bungalows of the only resort on the beach looked nice but were closed at the time of our visit.

Restaurants Koh Mak

Koh Mak has several restaurants scattered around the island. The road parallel to Ao Kao Beach has most of the restaurants centered. and a single small local supermarket. The other restaurants are spread around the island and are worth a short walk or drive. These are our favorite restaurants on Koh Mak:

Food Art Hut

By far our favorite if you are looking for western food, especially the (vegan) breakfasts you don’t want to miss! Chances are you’ll keep coming back again and again. There are also Thai dishes, these were not bad but not our favorite on the island. 

Sabai Beach Resort Koh Mak

The only Indian on the island and therefore automatically the best and seriously delicious! Friendly owner and nice beachfront location.

Koh Mak Seafood

Koh Mak’s most popular seafood restaurant, It’s a bit secluded by the sea, but there is free shuttle service back to your hotel or resort.

Clay Pot restaurant

Good Thai food with vegetarian options and authentic family recipes run by two friendly sisters

Q Bar Restaurant

Great restaurant with delicious food; the owner prepares everything fresh himself, so you’ll have to wait a while to be richly rewarded.

Indiaans Restaurant Met Bar En Strandstoeltjes In Het Zand
Sabai Beach Resort Koh Mak

Hotels & accommodation Koh Mak

Koh Mak has a reasonable amount of resorts and hotels, but we have not seen a hostel at Koh Mak.  Our advice: If you have your eye on a certain hotel or resort, it is best to just book it, because you can often cancel up to one day in advance.

The Koh Mak Retreat/ Plub Pla Koh Mak Retreat

Beautiful resort with great sea views and cool infinity pool. With a jacuzzi on your private terrace for the fortunate ones.

Mira Montra, The Beachfront Resort Koh Mak

Modern and luxurious resort with pool and beautiful bungalows right by the sea. It is the only resort on Ao Pra Beach. This gives it the feel of a private beach.

Koh Mak Cococape Resort

The resort itself has no beach, but you can snorkel from the private pier or take a dip in the pool. The fun Blue Pearl Bar is part of the Koh Mak Cococape Resort. Hotel guests can use it for free. Outsiders pay 200 bath per person.

Hidden Beach Resort

Recently renovated bungalows in a magical spot that you would love to keep to yourself. There’s a cozy wooden bar on the beach for sunset drinks.

Zwembad Met Luxe Ligbedjes Direct Aan Zee
Mira Monta Resort, Koh Mak,
Kleine Paradijselijk Wit Strand Aan Een Kleine Baai Omgeven Door Palmbomen.
Hidden Beach Resort, Koh Mak

weather

Koh Mak, have, like the rest of Thailand a tropical climate. The average daytime temperature is 30 degrees and at night it will not get colder than 20 degrees. Koh Mak has a dry season and a rainy season. The rainy season is roughly from May to October. Some hotels close their doors then. This is the time to sleep in luxury resorts for little money, because prices can drop significantly in the rainy season!

Although in the rainy season there are also dry periods and many showers fall in the evening and night, it is something to keep in mind that there may be a heavy downpour. Because if you really come for a sun and beach vacation to Koh Mak this can be a bummer. We ourselves travel to Thailand very often in the rainy season but we have only had a few totally rainy days.

Best time to travel Koh to Koh Mak

The best travel time for Koh Mak are the months of December, January, February and March. The sun then shines an average of 8 hours a day and the days with precipitation per month can be counted on 1 hand. The water temperature on Koh Chang remains around 28 degrees all year round.

Hours of sunshine

Average monthly sunhours in Ko Chang, Thailand

Temperature

Average min and max temperatures in Ko Chang, Thailand

Rainfall

Average precipitation (rain/snow) in Ko Chang, Thailand

Humidity

Average relative humidity in Ko Chang, Thailand

transport

On Koh Mak, traffic is very rarely jammed and you certainly won’t encounter exciting hairpin turns like on Koh Chang. Therefore, Koh Mak is also a fine island if you have had much scooter experience yet. Because the island is virtually flat except for a few steep hills, cycling is for the most part a great alternative. 

On several places on the island there are signs for (bicycle) routes, although you will not easily get lost on Koh Mak. 

On Koh Mak you don’t have to pay a deposit or leave your passport behind when you rent a scooter or bike, a copy of your driver’s license is enough.

There are a number of pickup trucks/taxis on the island. Upon arrival at the pier, cabs are ready to take you to your hotel or resort. You pay 50 baht per person for this. Some hotels offer a free pick-up service and wait for you at the pier. 

A special feature on Koh Mak is that you can also rent your own golf cart and drive it yourself! For 1,000 baht, you can rent a six-seater golf cart for 24 hours that you also get to drive yourself and explore Koh Mak with your friends or family! The rental company is located on the pier of Ao Soun Yai Beach.

Scooters Langs De Weg Richting De Pier

How to get to Koh Mak

From Trat, the mainland closest to Thailand, it takes between 45 minutes and an hour to get to Koh Mak. To get to Trat from Bangkok, you have several options. You can buy a bus ticket, rent a private cab or take the plane. Obviously, the plane is the fastest option. 

 

From Koh Mak to Koh Kood several boats depart daily and visa versa . The speed boat takes 30 minutes and the slow boat an hour. Transportation on Koh Kood to your hotel or chosen beach is included in the price.

From Koh Mak to Koh Chang is about 1 hour by speedboat and 2 hours by slowboat. Several boats leave each day. 

 

Because flying in Thailand is often cheap if you book well in advance, this is definitely worth considering.

For the most up-to-date boat, bus and plane times including prices for Koh Mak, check out 12GoAsia and/or enter your departure date and city in the table below. Have a great trip!

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