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, with a couple of options now from Laem Sok too. There are no car ferries.
- Restaurants are low key affairs – mostly standard Thai, but some western and seafood too, great cafes also.
- 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 – all worth a visit, with a private speedboat available to make a day tour.
- 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 health clinic and minimarts. You won’t find any 7-11s or superstores.
UPDATED June 23