5 islands lie offshore from Koh Mak – Koh Kham, Koh Kradat, Koh Rayang Nok, its adjoining sister Koh Rayang Nai and the tiny Koh Pii.
Koh Rayang Nok offers a small resort, while Koh Kradat’s basic accommodation is used by Thai weekenders. Koh Kham has an unfinished luxury resort and the final two, Koh Rayang Nai and Koh Pii are uninhabited, the latter no more than a rock.
There are entrance fees at Koh Kham (200bt), Koh Rayang Nok (150bt) and Koh Kradat (150bt) and they can be visited with on boat trips scheduled through your resort.
The energetic can also kayak across to these islands without too much bother.
Koh Rayang Nok – Koh Mak Islands
Koh Rayang Nok is a gem of a little island, with a single resort and a white sands beach. A small wooden bridge connects it to a rocky outcrop at its northern end and from the island’s western shore, Koh Rang dominates the far horizon. You can kayak across in about 45 minutes from Ao Kao with a half day hire from Holiday Beach Resort at 300bt.
The island does have an entrance fee of 150bt, which you must pay on arrival, with a cold drink as one of its perks. Small boats ply back and forth from the resorts on Ao Kao for 300bt including this fee, with Makathanee Resort and Holiday Beach the places to try.
Rayang Phurin Resort
The island resort has 12 bungalows, singles and doubles, on the beach and on the hillside. Restaurant and small bar on the sand. Pick up from Koh Mak on arrival with the speedboat or they drop off on their way past from Laem Ngop.
Koh Kham – Koh Mak Islands
Situated off Ao Suan Yai on the the north west coast of Koh Mak, this is a very pretty private island with entry of fee of 200bt. Boats leave every 2 hours from the pier at Koh Mak Resort for 300bt with the fee included, returning 3 hours later. You can book this at Koh Mak Information Point behind the pier or it is a very gentle paddle in a kayak, easy to rent from the same place.
On the island, a shack serves drinks and snacks, the drink being free with the entrance fee.
Koh Kham Resort
There is ongoing construction of a new exclusive resort, Ananya Hideaway and the workers, mostly Burmese, do not mind if you have a look round. Apart from sifting the immaculate white sand, they are not overly busy as disputes between owner and architect mean the project is currently on hold and the whole island back up for sale at 1.5 billion baht.
Boat trips from Koh Chang tend to arrive mid morning.
Koh Kradat – Koh Mak Islands
Off the north east tip of Koh Mak, Koh Kradat is a very flat low lying island, thought to resemble a sheet of paper floating on the waves, hence the name, Koh meaning island and Kradat, paper. It is very much a working environment with a population of about 20, who farm the coconuts and go fishing. There is a Thai style package resort, a restaurant, small inlet for the boats and most curiously, a thriving herd of deer.
The entrance fee is 150bt which is payable as part of the boat fee, itself normally around 350bt per person return and bookable at the usual spots on Ao Suan Yai and Ao Kao or at Little Moon Villa at Ao Pai. You can also just turn up at Laem Son in the very north east of the island and negotiate with one of the locals.
Once on the island, there is a tractor which will take you round in a loop to see both the deer and the general topography.
Koh Kradat Resort
Thai style resort with one large cabin of a/c share rooms for packages and 3 separate bungalows, also a/c, sitting on the rough sand beach. Restaurant. Electricity from 6.00pm to 10.00pm from the generator. If you book ahead, the mainland speedboats coming from Laem Ngop Pier will drop you off.
Koh Pii – Koh Mak Islands
Koh Pii is a tiny uninhabited island off the southern end of Ao Pra, the next bay along from Ao Suan Yai on the north west coast.
Its claim to fame is snorkeling and boats will take you out there and the surrounding area at 1,000bt for a few hours.
Mira Montra Resort and Cococape Resort are the nearest resorts, with kayaks also available at the usual day rates of 500bt.
Koh Rayang Nai – Koh Mak Islands
Off Ao Kao or Ao Kra Tueng beach on the south west side of the island, this is an uninhabited island with just a small shrine at its northern end. You can kayak across in no time and even walk over on the sand ridge at low tide. Art of Ocean, an abandoned project of underwater elephant sculptures, lies submerged at 7 metres down just nearby.
For kayaks, try any of the resorts at that end of the beach or have a day down at Laem Tookata in the far south west and go across from there.