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Koh Mak is the third largest of the Koh Chang Islands, with a size of approximately 16 square kilometers and a local population of around 1,200.

95% of Koh Mak is privately owned by 5 families and over the years, they have kept a tight lid on its tourist development. It’s a working island too, where the mostly very flat terrain of natural forest is extensively planted with rubber and coconut trees.

The island attracts couples and families looking to kick back on the beaches, do some exploring, snorkeling and just relax into the rhythm of life.

All in all, Koh Mak is what you hope for in a classic Thai island. It’s fully aware of the tourist market out there, but buys into that market in a very guarded manner. There’s no manic rush to build, develop and promote, so enabling the island to carry on much as it always has – laid back and unassuming.


At A Glance

  • Accommodation is in smaller scale boutique resorts or bungalow operations rather than larger corporate hotels.
  • Its main beaches, Ao Kao and Ao Suan Yai, are on the north west and south west coasts respectively, with the principal village at Ao Nid.
  • Very easily reached from Bangkok by transfers, flights or buses, Laem Ngop Pier is the departure point for the speedboats. There are no car ferries.
  • Restaurants are low key affairs – mostly standard Thai, but some western and seafood too.
  • Nightlife is very laid back – no strips of bars – but there are a couple of annual festivals.  
  • There’s not heaps of things to do but diving and snorkeling over at Koh Rang make for a great day out. 
  • Offshore, Koh Mak boasts 5 small islands – worth a visit.
  • To get around, you can use a bicycle, motorbike or simply walk.  Traffic on the island is at a minimum.
  • In regard to those essentials, it has good internet coverage, an ATM, public and private health clinics and minimarts. You won’t find any 7-11s or superstores. 

UPDATED September 22 for 22/23 Season


How to Get to Koh Mak

Koh Mak is reached from Laem Ngop Pier by speedboat and from Laem Sok Pier by catamaran. Private transfers by car or minibus are the easiest way to make either boat connection, with prices starting from 3,800bt from Bangkok.

You can also fly to Trat Airport, followed by a 25 minute transfer to Laem Ngop.

Public buses, in particular the 999 from Ekamai Bus Station or the Boonsiri bus/boat ticket from the Khao San Road area, are a cheaper alternative. Share minibuses to the Koh Chang piers or Trat complete the options.

Koh Mak is a also a great place to start if you want to explore the other islands of Koh Kood, Koh Chang or Koh Wai, with daily speedboat connections and a catamaran.

Private Transfers

Head here for all the information and full details on our private transfers.

Having collected you direct from your Bangkok hotel or Suvarnabhumi Airport, we deliver you, relaxed and hassle free, to Laem Ngop Pier, ready for the speedboat.

Pick-ups from Don Mueang Airport, Pattaya, Ban Phe and Trat Airport are all available too.

Prices for an SUV style car start at 3,800bt or 4,500bt for a private minibus. This excludes the cost of the speedboat tickets but yes, we will organise them as well. We can supply child seats on request.

All transfers are, of course, available in both directions.

Cambodia

We also lay on International transfers from the Cambodian cities like Siem Reap, Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh. Or we meet you as you cross into Thailand at the borders – Had Lek, Aranya Prathet and Ban Pakkad.

Travel in Style with Us

Flying to Trat Airport

Bangkok Airways flies from BKK Suvarnabhumi Airport into Trat Airport, with the PG305 landing at 12.40, so connecting well with the speedboat at 14.00. The PG307 (from 30/10/22) arriving at 17.55 is too late for any boats across to Koh Mak, so you would need to stay near the pier and travel on the 10.30 speedboat the following morning.

Coming back, you connect to the PG306 departing at 13.10 by using the 09.00 or 10.00 boats off the island. You could also go for PG308 (from 30/10/22) departing at 18.30, but that’s a long old wait, given the last boat off Koh Mak docks at 14.15 (13.30 departure).

Flight prices start at 2,850bt per person excluding taxes for a websaver – it needs to be booked well in advance.

To reach the pier from Trat Airport, you use a private transfer, prices from 900bt for a car or a share taxi, 250bt per person.

Book Transfers to The Pier

Speedboats and Ferry

From Laem Ngop Pier, speedboats run throughout the day from 10.30 till 16.00, 450bt per person, duration of just under an hour. Going back, they start at 08.00 and end at 13.30. As of September 22, not all times given are currently running and times may also change – see the timetables here .

From Laem Sok Pier (the mainland one for Koh Kood), Koh Kut Express (from 7/10/22) runs a single speedboat daily at 11.30 to Koh Mak, 450bt per person. From Koh Mak, it departs at 09.30 to the mainland. Journey time is an hour.

Also from Laem Sok Pier, Boonsiri’s 10.45 catamaran goes onto Koh Mak after stopping at Koh Kood, reaching Ao Nid Pier at 12.45, price at 400bt per person. The return is at 11.00. As of September 22, this service is not operating, it may restart for high season 22/23.

Island Hopping

Bang Bao Boats runs a one daily wooden passenger boat between the islands. From Koh Mak to Koh Kood, departure time is 11.00, 300bt, one hour. From Koh Mak to Koh Chang, it’s 400bt, with a time of 14.00, taking 2 hours. This service stops during low season, June to October – see the page here for other options in that period.

From 7/10/22, Koh Kut Express will also start its own speedboat at 09.30 from Koh Kood to Koh Mak and 12.00 in the other direction, 450bt, 1 hour.

The other speedboats from Bang Bao Boats and Kai Bae Nor Nou as well as the Boonsiri inter-island catamaran have not run since March 2020, with no word yet on whether they will restart for the 22/23 season.

Public Bus, Share Minibus

In this section, we provide all the information and full details on buses from Bangkok.

Look out for the 07.45 and 09.00 999 from Ekamai Bus Station to Centerpoint Koh Chang Pier, from where you simply hop in a songthaew cab, 50bt per person, for the 10 minute journey to Laem Ngop Pier. Return trips are at 14.30 and 16.00. As of September 22, only the 07.45 down (back at 14.30) is currently in service.  

You’ll also find details and the chance to book the 05.00 Boonsiri combo bus/boat which leaves from the Khao San area to Laem Sok Pier, arriving on Koh Mak at 12.45, 900bt per person. And the Koh Chang version to Centerpoint Pier (from the same company) also at 05.00, 850bt per person,  gives you a further option. As of September 22, the Boonsiri to Laem Sok Pier service is suspended but the Koh Chang one is available. 

There’s a full round-up and accompanying timetables for the public buses and share minibuses from Ekamai Bus Station to Trat.

Finally, we also feature some other minibus services such as Rayong and back to Bangkok from Laem Ngop Pier.

 


Resorts and Bungalows

Koh Mak resorts, bungalows and hotels are centred on the two principal beaches at Ao Kao and Ao Suan Yai, with other resorts also found on the more remote south, east and north coasts.

Top end resorts include The Mak, Seavana Resort, Plubpla Resort and Mira Montra Resort. Depending on the time of year, rooms here start from 4,000bt but in peak season expect to pay considerably more.

Koh Mak does have two small hotels at Makathanee Resort and Islanda Hotel with the cheapest rooms at 1,500bt going up to 5,000bt and more.

Villa Allure, By The Sea, Little Moon Resort and Ao Kao Resort serve the boutique market – rates from 2,000bt upwards.

Mid Range and Budget

For mid range bungalows and rooms – assume prices from 1,500bt to 3,500bt (family) – Seabreeze, Sea View, Corsita, Prompakdee Resort, Palm Beach, Lazy Day The Resort, Big Easy, Baan Koh Mak and Bamboo Hideaway are just some of the resorts worth a look.

Meanwhile, if you are on a stricter budget, you should try the accommodation at places like Hanoi House, Joe’s Corner Hostel, 2 Cans, Rayang Island and Island Huts – bungalows range from 300bt upwards.


In the main page of our resorts section, we provide recommendations in all the different budget categories – from luxury to traveller. In addition, we bring you our detailed snippet accommodation guides for each area.

You can then explore further by going to that individual area page for the full run-down. Choices made, all that remains is for you to head over to our affiliates at Agoda.com and Booking.com to make the reservation.


Beaches

The main beaches on Koh Mak are Ao Kao Beach and Ao Suan Yai Beach on the south west and north west coasts respectively. Both are lovely long stretches of sand with shallow, clean blue waters.

Ao Kao has resorts and bungalows spread out along its length, with a narrow little road running behind offering a few restaurants and shops, everything very laid-back.

The beach at Ao Suan Yai is home to just a few of resorts at the southern end and near the pier, with its northern end wild and undeveloped. Its neighbour Ao Pra Beach, its neighbour, has become better known with the arrival of Mira Montra Resort.

Ao Nid is the island’s administrative area, with a clinic, school, temple and the main pier.

The other coasts – south, east and north – are more remote affairs, but they do still have some great resorts scattered about, as well as a couple of fabulous untouched beaches.


Things to Do in Koh Mak

You’ll find plenty of things to do in Koh Mak, both on the island or out on the water.

At sea, activities range from snorkeling trips and diving over in the Marine Park of Koh Rang or further afield at the wreck near Koh Chang. There’s also a day trip to Koh Kood which includes a waterfall visit or you can kayak out to the offshore islands such as Koh Kham or Koh Rayang Nok.

Back on land, renting a bicycle or motorbike is fun way to explore the island, with its maze of tracks, trails and a couple of deserted beaches.

If you want a proper work out, you can pop in the island’s Muay Thai gym, join a yoga class, enjoy a few sets of tennis or try the unique sport of  disc golf.

Alternatively and less energetically, there’s a very interesting local museum down near the main pier or a cooking school nearby. 

Islands Near Koh Mak

5 small islands – Koh Rayang Nok and Koh Rayang Nai, Koh Kham, Koh Kradat and Koh Pii – lie just offshore from Koh Mak. 

You can kayak to them all, though bear in they do have entrance fees; Koh Kham at 200bt per person, Koh Kradat and Koh Rayanag Nok at 150bt per person.

Both Koh Rayang Nok and Koh Rayang Nai are located off Ao Kao Beach, with accommodation available at Rayang Phurin Resort on the former. Its sister island is uninhabited.

Koh Kradat has accommodation too though it’s normally only used by Thai packages . Koh Kham, which lies off Ao Suan Yai beach, boasts an unfinished luxury resort. 

Meanwhile, Koh Pii is just a rock but known for its excellent snorkeling.

Full details over on the page.


Koh Mak Weather

For the full guide to the climate and seasons on Koh Chang Islands, please head here.


Restaurants

Our Koh Mak restaurant guide takes you round the island, picking out the best places to eat and drink on the island, whether it be Thai food, western alternatives or coffee shops.

Thai

For Thai food, Ao Kao has plenty of choices along the strip behind the beach, with the best of them, Kon Ginsen. Look out too for Food Garden, Nuchzabmachs, Chill Cafe and Clay Pot.

You can find cheap and cheerful diners for one dish meals along the Ao Nid road down to the pier – Peaw, Om and Dum Noodle or on the connecting road between Makathanee and Good Times ResortPim Jai and Mam. There’s also a few no-frills restaurants which have appeared in the last year on the north coast road (near to The Mak), all good for grabbing a quick bite whilst out and about exploring.

Head to Laem Son for delicious somtam by the sea overlooking Koh Kradat. And behind the beach at Ao Suan Yai, Koh Mak Organic Farm is well worth hunting out for its dishes prepared as much as possible using produce from the garden.

Koh Mak Seafood in Ao Nid is the island’s premier seafood restaurant, with tables out over the water and a few very interesting local choices among the usual fare.

Western

For western options, the tiny M.A Bistro in Ao Kao offers a fusion menu of beef, vegetarian and fish dishes, with daily specials. Little Red Oven, same area but at the far eastern end, knocks out the pizzas, whilst 12 Bars just down the hill from Islanda Resort, gives Koh Mak a taste of Japan.

Cafes

For coffee and cakes, sandwiches and snacks, Food Art Hut next door to Little Red Oven is a long standing island favourite. Also in Ao Kao, Ball Cafe combines coffee and breakfasts just across the road from By The Sea. Meanwhile, overlooking Ao Nid Pier, Coffee and Sweetcake has a lovely vantage point to go with its own cakes and brews.

Resorts

For resort dining, The Mak is open to non residents – fabulous views and all very photogenic. Day Beds at Seavana too has a prime spot on the beach and the in-house diner at Ao Kao Resort is yet another good choice.

Nightlife

You don’t head to Koh Mak for its nightlife, it really isn’t that sort of island but there’s still a few places where you can kick back for the evening. 

At Ao Suan Yai Beach, head to the pier for two relaxed spots – I Talay or just to the right, Thai Sabay Bar.  Or down the sand at Seavana, Day Beds offers a full bar, pool table and lots of comfort (hence the name).

On Ao Kao Beach, Monkey Bar at Monkey Island is another favourite beach bar with a penchant for reggae. It has live music too. Mango Bar, roadside, is a small friendly place at Monkey Island‘s entrance. Talay (it means sea in Thai) at Baan Koh Mak or the in-house bar at By The Sea give you another couple of options. The very laid back live music venue, Art House, near Good Times Resort, is currently closed.

For sunset, as well as a pool table and live music, try…who else but Banana Sunset – they are over on the south coast. The very hip, Hidden Beach, the small resort in the south west of the island, completes the round-up.

And having said, “you don’t head to Koh Mak for its nightlife”, there are actually two annual clubbing festivals.

  • The German curated Thaibreak runs from dusk till dawn over 3 days in late March.
  • Fly To The Moon, a Thai event attracting the hipster Bangkok crowd, cranks up the volume around either Xmas or Songkran (April).