Koh Mak. Koh… who? This star-shaped island is located in eastern Thailand, just below big brother Koh Chang and above big sister Koh Kood. It’s a relatively unknown island, and the average tourist usually gives it a miss – but hopefully you won’t! Koh Mak is DEFINITELY worth a visit, and in this post we’ll tell you why!
A first acquaintance with Koh Mak
We basically knew nothing about Koh Mak Island. But we were in the neighborhood, so why not give it a visit? Without any expectations we jumped on the boat from Koh Chang to Koh Mak.
“We’ll stay two nights max”, we said to each other on the boat.
But two nights turned into five, because we really enjoyed our stay on this tropical surprise!
Empty beaches, clear waters and a lovely chilled atmosphere.
Welcome to Koh Mak!
Around the island
We quickly checked in, dropped our backpacks and within 30 minutes of arriving we jumped on our motorbikes to explore the island. No need for a deposit; one old student pass was enough to rent two brand new motorbikes!
We cruised around the island on dirt and gravel roads and were treated to hidden bays, cute bungalows and beautiful viewpoints.
Organic-farms and rubber trees
We immediately learned how chilled and small Koh Mak actually is – even during high season (November to February).
Instead of large beach resorts, you’ll find little bungalows run by local families on Koh Mak. Often it’s a side-business, because many inhabitants own a piece of land for farming.
Although the island is mainly covered with rubber trees and palm plantations, organic farming is becoming more and more popular. You’ll find small vegetable gardens with banana plants and pineapple shrubs all over the island.
Hotspots on Koh Mak
In truth, there’s not much to do in Koh Mak during the evening – other than chilling. But that’s good news because that leaves more time to enjoy the sunset!
In the south of Koh Mak you will find the Banana Sunset Bar. It’s always Happy Hour here (although the menu tells you differently) and you’ll score two cocktails for the price of one while enjoying the sunset. Add some live music and life is good!
More cool hotspots to check out are:
- Koh Mak Pizza – for a freshly baked stone oven pizza.
- Grand Ocean Seafood – for a stunning view and great Thai food.
- Bamboo Hideaway Resort – friendly owner and outstanding Mexican food.
- Good Times Resort – spacious bungalows in a green garden.
- Food Art Hut & German Bakery – delicious breakfasts with freshly baked bread.
- Blue Pearl Chill Out Pier – drinks on the pier with stunning views.
- Happy Days Resort – beautiful bungalows right on the beach.
- Koh Mak Art House – for drinks with a great atmosphere in the evenings.
- Thai Food – the best Thai restaurant is opposite Koh Mak Art House.
Koh Kham: a tropical paradise
While visiting Koh Mak you can also check out Koh Kham. Koh Kham is a tropical island which you can get to by kayak from Koh Mak Resort in half an hour.
On Koh Kham you will find pearl white, sandy beaches and crystal clear water. Plus a few state-of-the-art bungalows that are around 80% completed, although construction has been put on hold until further notice.
But you can ignore all that because in Koh Kham you really are in paradise!
To Koh Mak or not to Koh Mak?!
Okay, okay, okay… we admit that besides a kayak trip, a snorkel trip (which is a must!), the sunset, and a sweet breakfast, there’s not much to do on Koh Mak.
We also have to mention that Koh Mak does not even have an ATM or 7-Eleven. Plus, the island is plagued by sandflies every now and then – which did not bother us during our stay by the way.
All in all, Koh Mak was a great discovery. The atmosphere is really unique and has a local feel to it. From the inhabitants, we’ve heard that no additional accommodation may be built, so the unique atmosphere will remain for now.
Koh Mak’s accessibility depends on the season.
During the rainy season (June to October), there are hardly any boats that go to the island. The best time to visit Koh Mak is during the cool season (November to February), although the months March to May are also good options.
On Koh Chang (Bang Bao Pier), a slowboat departs for Koh Mak at 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM. In addition, Koh Mak is accessible several times a day by speedboat from Koh Chang and Koh Kood. So it’s best to combine Koh Mak with the above-mentioned islands!