The northern coast, which stretches from Ao Taan to Ao Ta Long and onto Ao Tao Kai is barely touched by tourism, with just two resorts at the eastern end, Koh Mak Green View Resort and Cinnamon Art Resort.
One of the original island communities is found up in the north west and several other tiny collections of wooden houses are dotted along the sea-line, hidden down tracks which run through the forest. Its beaches are a mixture of coarse sand, volcanic rock and mangroves trees, with low tide seeing the sea retreat way out into the bays.
Out to Ao Taan
From the pier at Ao Suan Yai, the road cuts across the island to a crossroads, and by continuing straight on, heads out towards the north and north east coasts respectively. For a few kilometres, it makes its way through the rubber trees and cultivated fields, past the tracks on the right leading to Bamboo Hideaway and Sea Breeze on the eastern coast, before reaching the clearly signed turning to Koh Mak Green View Resort.
The road or track eventually emerges out from the forest onto the coast of Ao Taan, with the resort, and its unique papiermâché-like sculptures of crabs and snakes laid out along the rocky beach. It is possible to continue right thought the resort and make your way along the shore further north, following the trails and tracks, but on foot only.
By going back to the turning to Koh Mak Green View Resort, in fact the only option unless you set off on the walk above, you can then continue straight to Cinnamon Art Resort, again on the Ao Taan coast. The road does also bend to the right at this point and is signed for Little Moon Villa.
Cinnamon itself lies at the very end of a good paved track, with a sweep of rocky beach and nothing else around, except a dramatically long pier stretching out into the bay. From the the very end of it, the view across to Koh Kradat or the view looking back at the untouched coast of Ao Taan and Ao Ta Long make the trip out here more than worthwhile.
The wilds of Ao Ta Long
Returning once more to the main crossroads coming up from Ao Suan Yai, the road also offers an option to the left and this leads to the heart of one of the original Koh Mak communities, where wooden houses, some in the forest, some by the water, sheds for drying rubber and other assorted buildings are scattered along the coast of what is still Ao Ta Long.
Beyond them, there is nothing more than a well worn trail which hugs the shore before joining up with the warren of walking paths and tracks, some signed some not, in the forest at the north of the island.
If you continue to the every end, it is effectively possible to join up with the route through the coconut plantations which has come from the northern end of Ao Suan Yai and to arrive at the small strand, Turtle Beach or Ao Tao Kai.
Return to Koh Mak Beaches