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 noodle shop with Mokka Pot cafe, the clinic, school, the French diner Chic and Chill (currently closed) and the hardware store. There’s also a well signed track which leads to Lazy Days Resort on your right.
The temple and Tourist Police can be found at the bottom end, just before the little side road which drops down to Koh Mak Seafood Restaurant and the Koh Mak Museum. The other track to the left takes you to the some houses for rent which overlook the pier. There’s a good noodle shop here too, Dum.
Near The Pier
At the very end is the pier itself. M Marine, Seatales Speedboat and Boonsiri Catamaran (when its Koh Mak service is running) all dock here throughout the year. When waves are too high and tides low (rainy season mainly), Leelawadee and Panan also move over to use Ao Nid.
Sweetcake by Moo, one of Koh Mak’s best coffee shops, overlooks the bay whilst at the start of the track behind the pier, you’ll find Sweetcake’s B & B rooms.
Ao Pong Bungalows, which sits on the cute little beach at the end of this track, has closed down though Talay Time, the land owners, are maintaining the accommodation with a view to possibly reopening for the 22/23 season.
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 down at Laem Chan.
About 500 metres along, a smaller track on the bend heads to the area known as Ao Daeng, where Koh Mak’s glamping resort, Naivacha Tent has pride of place. Ignoring Ao Daeng and continuing on still further, you’ll soon pass the lane leading to the older bungalows and popular bar/restaurant at Banana Sunset.
Beyond Banana Sunset, you can choose a couple of routes. Straight on, the road gives way to a muddy track that brings you out at the unique stilted accommodation of Pano Resort, which itself sits on the coast with a small lagoon at its rear. To the left and up the hill, you pass the Koh Mak Animal Clinic, always happy to receive volunteers and donations, before bending round to the right.
Follow this and you will arrive at the most southerly point of Koh Mak. The small resort, Talay Time, is located at the far end, its bungalows laid out in a single row along the shore, all with fabulous views across to Koh Kood. If you venture up to the partially renovated building on the hill above, you’ll be rewarded too with another wonderful 360° panorama – Koh Kood of course once more but also Koh Rang on the horizon opposite.
Shortly before you reach Talay Time, you’ll notice another road to the right – take that and it too brings you out at Pano Resort, so giving you a loop. Heading back by either way, you’ll need to retrace your steps to Banana Sunset and then the main Ao Nid road.
Incidentally, the track down to the sea near Koh Chang Animal Clinic leads to Ao Nid beach, overlooked by Ao Pong’s newer bungalows. And yes, you could walk straight along from there and emerge at the top of Ao Nid Pier.
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 the noodle shop and Mokka Pot cafe, 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 various resorts and houses tucked away in this area, all offering great views out to sea. First up is Sea Breeze Resort, with a few other houses alongside, all perched up on the hillside. The resort has its own pier and also runs the M Marine speedboat.
Continue on a couple of kilometres, ignore the left turn and instead follow the sign to Buri Huts. You could nip in there to have a look – an interesting old style package tour resort on its own red sand beach, with good coastal views. Or skirt past its turning and you’ll pass the lawns of a handful of resorts – Corsita, Swiss Health Oasis, Bamboo Hideaway and Sea View Bungalows – the one next door to the other.
On the corner of Sea View, the road bends to the left or right. Go left and you heading past the entrances to the above resorts or go right and you soon join up with main northern coast road. Indeed, this road is the one that starts at the crossroads at the end of the route running from behind Koh Mak Resort at Ao Suan Yai.
Back on our trip, passing through a collection of local houses and small cheap diners, soon enough, a road to the left at Green View restaurant leads to the actual Green View Resort. Another goes straight on to Cinnamon Art Resort – see our north coast page for more details on them.
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.
Shortly after Plubpla, as a diversion, whizz down the first of the concrete tracks leading to the sea. At its end drop down off the concrete onto the muddy track and then head up the hill through the rubber trees, veering right. Keep following it to the very end and you emerge on the cliff above Ao Pai bay.
There are terrific views of the whole of this coast here but walk around the corner – you’ll notice a small path – and you come upon a fascinating shrine, filled to bursting point with porcelain cats, a Chinese Thai tradition which is said to bring good luck and future prosperity.
Just before the lane to Villa Allure and Ao Khanoun beach, you can pick up another small concrete road either to the left or the right.
The left one leads leads into the forest and in turn becomes a track. If you do go down here, keep straight on the track until you arrive at some abandoned buildings, then take the left on the crazy paving and ultimately it brings you out via a bumpy old trail on the route to Cinnamon Art Resort.
The right option, meanwhile, heads to the sea. The concrete part runs out after about 500 metres but you can continue on foot and by stumbling through the undergrowth, find yourself onto the top end of Villa Allure’s beach. If the tide is right, you can walk all the way down the sand, past Villa Allure and round the coast to arrive at Laem Son as below.
North East Coast – Laem Son and across to Koh Kradat – Koh Mak South and East Coast
Beyond the Villa Allure turning, the road heads off into the distance and finally emerges on the beautiful beach at Laem Son.
On one side, 2 large private villas are nearing completion whilst ahead, there’s an excellent somtam beach restaurant, with its rugged tables and chairs fashioned out of coconut trees. Looking down the rest of the undeveloped beach, there are always various little fishing boats moored up, an abandoned pier for company. The flat island of Koh Kradat shimmers on the horizon just across the water. All in all, this is a lovely spot, perhaps one of Koh Mak’s best kept secrets.
If you fancied a new life with a beachside villa, a resort or a housing development, the whole area is up for sale either as individual or combined plots – please do contact us for more details.
To get to Koh Kradat, ask at the somtam restaurant and they will point you in the direction of a simple boat across. 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 and if the tide is low, walk across to the small islands, Koh Nok Nok and Koh Nok Nai, at the top end.
UPDATED JULY 22 for 22/23 Season
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