Koh Mak nightlife is not going to set too many pulses racing, it’s not that kind of island, but there are a handful of great bars where you can kick back with a cold beer or a cocktail, shoot some pool and listen to some decent tunes.
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Around the Beaches
Ao Suan Yai Beach
On Ao Suan Yai Beach, Talay by Koh Mak Resort Pier and Thai Sabai Bar @ Prompakdee, just down the sand to its right, are great spots to take in the calm beauty of Koh Mak. At the other end, the wonderfully designed and very popular Day Beds at Seavana sports a pool table to go with its full bar and diner.
On the cape between Ao Suan Yai and Ao Pra Beach (Mira Montra), Cococape has a unique thatch bar, Tide-Top at the end of the little pier in front of the resort – good for pics as well as a drink but they do have an entrance fee of 200bt per person (including a drink of value up to 80bt).
Ao Kao Beach
On Ao Kao Beach, Talay Bar at Baan Koh Mak is a cute beach bar with a pot-pouri of drapes, shells and ramshackle whitewashed tables and chairs right on the sand. Next door, the boutique guesthouse, By The Sea, offers more of indoor bar venue, but it too has beach-side seating.
Further down, Monkey Bar, formerly the place to head for the serious party action and live music, has become something of a phoenix over the last couple of years. Frequently looking like it’s gone for good, it then rises from the ashes once more with a renewed sense of purpose – watch this space for 22/23. Opposite its roadside entrance, Mango Bar has taken over the old Table Tales location and has the makings of good hang-out spot.
At the other end completely, opposite Good View on the back road running from Makathanee Resort towards Ao Suan Yai Beach, Art House, combines live music venue with a laid back bar. It’s currently closed but like Monkey Bar, may come back for the 22/23 season.
On the coast between Ao Kao Beach and Laem Tookata, the resort, Hidden Beach, has a charming and very hip little bar down by the sea – indeed, it’s used by the Fly to The Moon crew as one of their party venues (see below). You can stay here too in their deluxe stilted bamboo bungalows. Head to Mira Montra and the track down to Hidden Beach is another 300 metres along on the left.
Meanwhile, Banana Sunset over on the south east coast is great for many things but in particular, you guessed it, the sunsets are superb – settle back on their deck by the sea and have the camera ready. It too has basic accommodation.
Finally, though currently closed and up for rent, Chic and Chill on the Ao Nid road boasts a pool table and a very decent line in cocktails. You can also hire the venue for parties.
Once a year, normally towards the end of March, the Koh Mak nightlife scene does break free of its shackles with the arrival of Thaibreak, a German clubbing festival. Running for 3 days, top European DJs including headliners from the German Stil vor Talent label (electronic/deep house) move from venue to venue throughout each night ending at sunrise and later. Thai Sabai, Banana Sunset and even Koh Rayang Nok are all part of the action.
Fly to the Moon too holds annual festivals, often at New Year, with jungle and beach parties hosted by leading Bangkok Djs from the hip nightclubs and bars of Thonglor, Ekamai and Kolour in Phuket. Venues are similar to above, with the parties held previously at Sabai @ Prompakdee, Hidden Beach and Little Moon Villa. Daylight hours are set aside for daily yoga and boat trips.
On all the major holidays, you can safely assume that there will be a proper party on one of the beaches, late loud and bacchanalian.