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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!

Deserted beaches... Koh MakCoconut anyone? - Koh MakArriving in Koh MakAround 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.

Driving around Koh MakMaruey Beach in Koh MakKoh Mak ViewpointExploring Koh Mak by motorbikeOrganic-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.

Farming is popular in Koh MakAn Organic Farm in Koh MakCheers! - Koh MakHotspots 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:

Happy Hour at the Banana Sunset Bar in Koh MakBanana Sunset Bar in Koh MakBeautiful sunset in Koh Mak

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!

Koh Kham from a distanceKoh Kham, small island near Koh MakKayaking from Koh Mak to Koh KhamTo 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 palmtreesGetting there

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!

Rocky beach in Koh Mak

Best Hotels Koh Mak

Bamboo Hideaway Resort, Koh Mak

Bamboo Hideaway Resort - $$

The Bamboo Hideaway Resort lives up to its name: it’s literally hidden away on the island. Jake, the owner, is super nice and takes excellent care of his guests. There’s a swimming pool, Mexican food and it’s a great place to watch the sun go down. You’ll have a great stay!

Happy Days Resort, Koh Mak

Happy Days Resort - $$

These wonderful bungalows, directly on Koh Mak’s most beautiful beach, are surrounded by palm trees. The beach – Ao Suan Yai Beach – is within walking distance from the main pier and has lounge chairs. You can easily paddle your way to Koh Kham, and explore the island, from here.

Would you like to visit Koh Mak?


Author Sander

Former elementary school teacher, storyteller, sports enthusiast, and adventurer. Love to do the "impossible", which is usually the exact opposite of what’s expected.

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