Koh Mak is a still real insider tip at Thailand’s east coast. The only 16 square kilometre big island is private owned for over 100 years now. The island was given to an army officer by King Rama V and is since than inhabited by his decedents. They are planning to open the island for gently tourism. Koh Mak lies in a marine national park between Koh Chang and Koh Kood and offers besides his wonderful white sandy beaches and secluded bays many coral riffs, perfect for snorkel enthusiasts.
The island has nowadays about 400 inhabitants, living in a small village which has besides a market and a Buddhist temple and a village school, which travellers can discover during a spontaneous biking tour. The inner part of the island is covered in coconut plantations mixing with primary rainforest. Around Koh Mak they are another 50 smaller islands, mostly unoccupied. Some of them are just a short kayak excursion or swim away.
The island has many smaller islands with very quiet beaches offering a private atmosphere, but also the inner part of Koh Mak is worth a visit.
The most convenient solution is to arrive via airplane from Bangkok. The next airport to Koh Mak is in the province Trat and operated by only two airlines. From there a land transfer will bring you to the pier at Laem Knob in about 2 hours. The ferry to Koh Mak will take about 45 minutes. State busses shuttle regularly between Bangkok and Trat. This option of transportation is a very cheap one although the ride will take you 5 to 6 hours.
The journey with a car from Bangkok is possible. We are offering private transfers from Bangkok to the pier in less than 4 hours. Journeys from Pattaya will take about 3 hours, from Ban Phe pier next to Koh Samed within 2 hours are also possible to organise. All the trips with the car will end at one of the mainland piers, where passengers can take the ferry to travel the rest of the distance over to the island. On the other side will be another car to bring the vacationers to the resort or hotel.
A good opportunity to discover the island is by foot or with a mountain bike. We recommend to not just visiting the secluded bays in the south but also the rubber and fruit plantations and the small village near the coast. On this half day tour you can stop by the temple in the south and in the island centre at the small village school. After the trip there are several massages along the way back where you can stop and take a good traditional Thai massage.
Snorkel & diving
The island has two diving schools which are operating during the high season. The schools are offering trips to the nearby coral riffs and the nearby islands as Koh Rung, Koh Yak, Koh Kra, Koh Tien and Koh Ma- Pring with a nearly untouched underwater world. Around this area are projects developing to conserve and expand the existing coral riffs.
Koh Mak offers a great variety of good beaches and from most of them you can go directly snorkelling. The underwater world along the coast belongs to a marine national park; therefore the natural beauty is still intact.
In the North are Ao Tann and Ao Talong. In the west is the long and may most beautiful beach of Ao Suan Yai, followed by the small Ao Phra. In the south is the maybe busiest stretch of Ao Kra Tueng, followed by the quiet Ao Kao. Ao Tamid and Ao Pai are to the south east.
There are a few uninhabited small islands just off Koh Mak which can easy be reached by kayak. Those islands have small coves which are perfect hide away spots. Visitors will hardly see another tourist. To the northwest lays a little island named Koh Kham and in the south is Koh Rayang.
The best time to visit Koh Mak is during the months from November till May, during this time the weather is try and nice. Many travellers are staying between December and March, when the temperatures are mainly beneath 30 degrees and with very few rainfalls. In this period the nights can get windy and a little bit cold, so visitors should bring a pullover with them.
It has to be said that in general the weather during the low season, from Mai to October is better than the one at the Andaman Sea. This makes the area a good alternative for travellers in the low season with quiet beaches and empty bays. With the beginning of September until the end October the weather can bring a lot of rain onto the island, sometimes for many days with only short breaks in-between.