Located on the north west coast, Ao Suan Yai (sometimes spelt Soun) and Ao Pra Beach are two of Koh Mak’s best beaches – sweeping long stretches of sand with beautiful clear blue waters.
The area is home to a small selection of boutique resorts as well as more mid-range bungalows, a couple of restaurants, cafes and beach bars. The island of Koh Kham, with its unfinished resort and pristine white powder beach, sits just offshore.
Next door to Ao Pra Beach, Ao Lom is a small undiscovered bay, home to the popular snorkeling spot, Koh Pii, an uninhabited rock.
Ao Suan Yai Beach is also the arrival and departure point for some speedboats from the mainland and other islands.
On Ao Suan Yai Beach
There are just four resorts on Ao Suan Yai Beach, Koh Mak Resort and Seavana Resort, which stretch along the southern half of the beach, the much smaller Prompakdee Koh Mak, which lies just to the north of the pier and Happy Days, constructed entirely from coconut wood, further up the sand.
The wooden pier at the centre of the beach is used by Panan Speedboats coming from the mainland and Bang Bao Boats speedboat and its slower wooden boat, which shuttle between Koh Chang, Koh Wai and Koh Kood.
By the pier, I Talay offers food and drinks, a nice spot for sunsets, while Pineapple Cafe, coffee and cakes, sits under the trees just behind. BB Divers have closed their shop here and for the time being, stopped operations on Koh Mak.
For tickets and tourist information, try Koh Mak Information Point behind I Talay – it also doubles up as the island Post Office.
Continuing north along the sand, after the popular hang-out at Sabai Bar in front of Prompakdee, you reach Happy Days. Next door, sits the oldest house on Koh Mak, a renovated wooden two storey clapboard affair, built around 1911 by the family of Luang Prompakdee, whose descendants still own much of the island today.
Beyond here, the area is completely undeveloped but you may well end up at the far end if seeking out Ao Tao Kai (Turtle Beach) on Koh Mak’s north west tip.
On the Hill above Ao Suan Yai
A narrow road which follows behind the bungalows of Koh Mak Resort and Seavana Resort leaves Ao Suan Yai from the southern end. After turning up a small slope by 12 Bars, a Japanese restaurant, it brings you out in the central section between it and Ao Kao Beach, the main beach on the south west coast.
Good Time Resort and its various large villas and houses are on on the south side of the road, whilst on the northern side, Islanda Resort Hotel and a collection of private houses sit on the brow of the hill, overlooking the bay of Ao Suan Yai below. The views from here are simply spectacular, a wonderful sweeping panorama which takes in the north, Koh Kham offshore and the headland in the south.
Just by Good Time Resort, the road drops down another steep hill to end at the back of Makathanee Resort, which is located at the northern end of Ao Kao. Ignoring this turn, the road leads on to the entrance to Cococape Resort, a sharp incline down to the sea and beyond that to Laem Tookata in the very south west of the island.
Offshore from Ao Suan Yai and within easy kayak distance, is the island of Koh Kham. Bought several years ago, it is now private and home to a partially built exclusive resort.
The construction project has been on hold for several years due to an ongoing dispute, but for an entrance fee of 200bt, you can visit and there is a small shack selling drinks. If you don’t want to kayak, there is a 3 times daily boat across, with the return 3 hours later, 100bt – book at Koh Mak Information Point as above.
Ao Pra Beach and Ao Lom
Cococape Resort is located on the cape separating Ao Suan Yai Beach from the next bay along, Ao Pra Beach. You can walk over the rocks one to the other in about 10 minutes or much more fun rent a kayak. Note that Cococape does charge an entry fee of 200bt .
Ao Pra Beach itself is a lovely long strand, home to Mira Montra Resort, one of Koh Mak’s best boutique resorts. You can reach the resort by road off the same back road leading to Laem Tookata as outlined above.
In the next bay along, Ao Lom, the tiny uninhabited island of Koh Pii lies just offshore, a great spot for snorkeling. Ao Lom is home to a pretty beach, an abandoned pier and a delapidated wooden house up on stilts.
To get there, either on foot or by bike, go past the main entrance to Mira Montra to the far end of the resort. Just after a steep red track down to the sea, youll spot a concrete marker with a single wheel path leading off up the grassy hill behind it.
Take that path and just keep going until, if on a motorbike, the track becomes too tricky. Walk from here and you emerge out on a small rather scrappy bay with Koh Pii opposite. Skirt to the left over the rocks all the way round (5 minutes) the bay and you’ll arrive on Ao Lom Beach – another of Koh Mak’s special unvisited areas. There’s another small cove at the very back.
Heading away from Ao Suan Yai Beach
The main route away from Ao Suan (Soun) Yai Beach, as opposed to the back route from the southern end, is found behind the pier, where a handful of battered old songthaew taxis are usually parked up.
About 50 metres from its start, a simple track marked by a concrete post leads off to the left, where you will find, just a few metres in, the abandoned art garden, The Kingdom of Somchai. The artist was a former inhabitant of Koh Mak and you find his art scattered around and about the island, in particular above the pier at Ao Nid. Here, though now very overgrown, you can see first hand the eye wateringly graphic statues of women in various comprimising poses which was his metier.
Another hundred metres further along the main road, a clear concrete road, also on the left, is signed for Happy Days. If you follow it to the resort, passing the back entrance to Prompakdee Koh Mak and a market garden, you’ll also arrive at the island’s oldest house, as described above.
Almost opposite on the other side of the main road, to the right, another small lane takes you past the restaurant, Koh Mak Organic Farm, where the menu includes fruit and vegetables grown on site. At the end of this lane, you meet the other lane running from behind Seavana, with 12 Bars, the Japanese restaurant, 100 metres or so up the slope.
Once past these side streets, the main road itself heads straight across the island towards the east coast and with a right turn at the crossroads, joins up with the section leading to Ao Nid in or continues onto the southern end of Ao Kao.
UPDATED JULY 22 for 22/23 Season
Back to Koh Mak Beaches