The south and east coast of Koh Mak runs from the headland at Laem Chan to Ao Nid and then along its rugged coastlines at Ao Baan Lang, Ao Pai and Ao Khanoun up to Laem Son in the north east corner.
Hidden away among pockets of everday local island life, these secluded peaceful spots offer visitors a different perspective on Koh Mak and whether you stay in one of the few resorts or just explore over a day, the south and east coast is certainly worth making time for.
Ao Nid – Koh Mak South Coast
Located in the south, Ao Nid is perhaps the least touristy area on this side of Koh Mak and in truth, it’s an unattractive part of the island, with just one central street leading down to the main public pier. Yet as is so often the case, take a look around and you’ll find there’s plenty on offer.
From behind the pier at Koh Mak Resort on Ao Suan Yai Beach, the main road goes directly across the island to a crossroads. Turning left here takes you to an original Koh Mak fishing community on the Koh Mak north coast and straight on heads out to the north east and east coast respectively.
With a right turn, however, you pass the electricity centre, police station and government building (with the island’s only ATM) before arriving at another small junction, where a left turn takes you onto the Ao Nid road. Continuing straight on here, by the way, leads to the southern end of Ao Kao Beach at Food Art Hut.
Along the road in Ao Nid, heading down towards the pier, you pass the cheap and cheerful Peaw and Om restaurants, the clinic, school, the French diner Chic and Chill on your left and a couple of other cheap spots for food as well as the track which leads to Lazy Days Resort on your right.
Near The Pier
At the very end is the pier itself, where the Boonsiri Catamaran, Suansuk Speedboat, M Marine and Seatales Speedboat and the thrice weekly wooden goods boat all dock.
Sweetcake by Moo, one of Koh Mak’s best coffee shops, overlooks the bay whilst down the track behind the pier, you’ll find Sweetcake’s B & B rooms, with Ao Pong Bungalows further along on a cute little beach.
South Coast – Laem Chan, Ao Daeng – Koh Mak South and East Coast
Opposite the temple gate and next to the general store, another well marked road snakes off to the right through the coconut plantations.
Following this, takes you to the south of the island at Laem Chan, with smaller tracks leading off it to Koh Mak’s glamping resort, Naivacha Tent, in Ao Daeng. Carry on still further and you reach the bungalows and popular bar restaurant at Banana Sunset.
Beyond Banana Sunset, you can choose a couple of routes, both of which will ultimately bring you out at the unique stilted accommodation of Pano Resort, sitting on its own small lagoon. Koh Mak Animal Clinic, always happy to receive volunteers and donations, is also tucked away in this area.
Keep exploring these back roads and you will arrive at the most southerly point of Koh Mak. The small resort, Talay Time, sits at the far end, with its great views across to Koh Kood. If you can get up to its partially renovated building on the hill above, you’ll be rewarded too with another wonderful panorama.
Following the back roads again to retrace your steps back to Banana Sunset and then the main Ao Nid road.
East Coast – Ao Baan Lang, Ao Pai – Koh Mak South and East Coast
Heading once more along the Ao Nid road away from the pier back towards the junction, a small turning on the right by the minimart opposite what was once Koh Mak Sports Bar, marks the start of the route up the east coast. After passing a few houses, the road heads into the rubber trees and inland forest, skirting through the pineapple fields.
Known locally as Ao Baan Lang, there are four resorts tucked away in this area, all offering great views out to sea. First up is Sea Breeze Resort, with Buri Huts Natural Resort, a few minutes further on, straddling the hillside down to the coarse sand beach beneath. Bamboo Hideaway and Sea View Bungalows, the one next door to the other, are perched above.
Beyond Sea View, the road bends to the left and you soon join up with main eastern route, the route in fact that can be taken at the crossroads when coming from behind Koh Mak Resort at Ao Suan Yai.
Soon enough, a road to the left at Green View restaurant leads to the actual Green View Resort and another going straight on, to Cinnamon Art Resort. The third option follows the bend around to the right and passes through a very picturesque forested avenue before skirting above Plubpla Koh Mak Retreat in Ao Pai bay, with another small fishing community nearby.
En route, you pass various dead-end concrete tracks which lead to nothing but the sea, all fun for exploring with some great views down the coast.
Just before the access point to Villa Allure in its bay at Ao Khanoun, you can pick up another small road on the left leads which leads into the forest. Thisin turn becomes a track and ultimately brings you out on the route to Cinnamon Art Resort.
North East Coast – Laem Son and across to Koh Kradat – Koh Mak South and East Coast
Beyond Villa Allure, the ever narrowing path, still just about passable despite the coconut fronds lying all around, heads off into the distance and finally emerges on the beautiful beach at Laem Son.
There is a half finished abandoned pier, 2 large villas under construction and a somtam beach restaurant with tables and chairs fashioned out of coconut trees.
If you ask one of the moored up little boats, they will will normally ferry you across to Koh Kradat which shimmers on the horizon just across the water. It’s 200bt per person return for the boat and 150bt per person for the island entrance fee. For this fee, you get to potter around on the back of an old tractor to see the star attraction, the island’s herd of deer.
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