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Koh Mak Island travel guide off the beaten track


Located in the National Marine Park, in between the two larger islands of Koh Chang and Koh Kood, Koh Mak is a perfect island paradise getaway. With its idyllic beaches, stunning sunsets, and crystal clear water, Koh Mak is one of the best islands in Thailand. This quiet paradise is privately owned so unlike other Thai islands, it hasn’t been overrun by tourists or mass development. If you’re looking for pure peace and quiet, and complete relaxation, hop on a boat to this tiny island. Here’s everything you need to know to plan your holiday on Koh Mak.


Cinnamon Scenic Boardwalk

The Island, which covers an area of 16 km², has a population of around 1,500. It has a fairly low-lying terrain compared to the surrounding islands, with an interior full of rubber and coconut tree plantations. The coastline of Koh Mak is lined with stunningly long white sand beaches, with the crystal clear waters gently lapping up onto the sand, you can see why the beaches were once voted in the Top 10 in the world, by the British newspaper, The Sunday Times.


Koh Mak Lazy days resort

Because Koh Mak is privately owned, any development on the island is carefully controlled, meaning it’s not overrun by largely developed resorts. Instead, you will find smaller boutique hotels and elegant beach bungalows, which make the island even more appealing to tourists who are looking to come and relax and escape the stresses of modern life.

The most popular areas on Koh Mak are situated in the northwest and southwest, this is where you will find the majority of accommodation and of course the popular beaches.


Lazy days resort Koh Mak

The longest beach on the island is Ao Kao in the north, but if you’re wanting to capture the perfect shot of the sun setting then head towards the sheltered Ao Suan Yai beach. Even though the small resorts have been built around the popular beaches, there are still some hidden gems to be found on the island. These are Ao Phra and Laem Sori beaches, which both are located north of Koh Mak.


Koh Mak


The Islands resorts and bungalows are mostly situated around the two main beaches, Ao Kao and Ao Suan Yai, where accommodation can be found for all budgets. There are also a few other resorts dotted along the more remote east coast.



The majority of visitors come to the island for the beaches, to relax, and enjoy the calm atmosphere of the island. However, for the more adventurous types, kayaks and mountain bikes are available to hire, to allow you to get out and explore the island. There are also three diving schools ready to whisk you away to the nearby coral reefs.


Koh Kham

Compact and relatively flat, Koh Mak is well suited for cycling. Much of the island is still covered in plantations of rubber trees and Areca palms that produce betel nuts.



Koh Mak Beaches

Koh Mak has many beautiful beaches. Most of them are very quiet, or completely empty! But what’s Koh Mak’s best beach? It depends on what you want! Ao Kao is the most popular beach on the island. So if you are looking for restaurants, cafes, and a lively atmosphere, this is the beach to go to. There are also some very cool hammocks and swings on Ao Kao at the resorts.

We really like the Lazy Days resort side of the beach.

Ao Suan Yai is also a popular beach with a beautiful view of Koh Kham on this side of the island you will find the most luxurious resorts

Laem Son is a wonderful beach to go to but our absolute favorite beach on Koh Mak is Ao Phra! Beach hopping on Koh Mak is amazing, you can find the most amazing beaches.


Lazy days resort beach

Best restaurant

Popular, eco-friendly Kohmak Seafood in Ao Nid serves fish from the surrounding waters and grows much of its own produce, as do many places on this green-minded island. Try the raw prawn salad or a fiery clear curry.


Koh Mak Seafood

Koh Kham

Take a kayak or a long-tail boat to Koh Kham in Ao Suan Yai. A luxury resort project ground to a halt recently, leaving a haunting, nearly completed, construction site to explore. The (imported) pristine white sand beach is yours to enjoy for a small fee including a cold drink served by the beach attendants. The views looking back at Mak from your own private island are worth every penny. Sail over to Koh Kradat to see wild deer or dive in the coral reef of the Marine Park around Koh Rang. Go night fishing with a local fisherman. All activities can be booked through your resort.


Koh Kham

The resort construction on Koh Kham is still not finished and stopped several years ago. The good news is: The scenery, the two beaches, and the crystal clear water are still breathtaking. A longtail board from Koh Mak resort is running a daily shuttle to the island.

What is left of this former pearl of the island, is not much. There is still a really beautiful beach with blue, crystal clear water like you know from the Maldives. It is still recommended to enjoy a day trip and swim at the white powder sandy beach.


Koh Kham

Where to stay:


Lazy Day The Resort

The Lazy Day resort is a peaceful resort with great bungalows, located right at the beach. It’s located at the end of Ao Khao Beach, and therefore very quiet.


Lazy days resort Koh Mak

Lazy Day The Resort is on a private beach, all rooms have direct access and feature free Wi-Fi and a restaurant. Lazy Day Resort offers free parking and is a 5-minute drive from Koh Mak Temple. A free 2-way shuttle service is provided from Ao Nid Pier. Rooms and bungalows at Lazy Day come with modern minimalist décor and have windows that offer plenty of natural light. Each has a private balcony, refrigerator, and an en suite bathroom with a shower. Guests can enjoy a relaxing body massage, or have a barbecue in the landscaped garden. Staff at the resort can also arrange for diving and cycling activities or rent a scooter. The restaurant serves a variety of Thai and Western dishes. Light snacks and refreshing cocktails are available at the bar.

Lazy day resort

The resort offers a free shuttle from and to the pier and the staff is super friendly and helpful. one of few holiday destinations that offer calmness and peaceful atmosphere. An amazing place for a family or couple to stay, you’ll have all the space and privacy you need.

Stay in one of the 12 calm and peaceful beachfront bungalows, and enjoy the complimentary breakfast, fresh garden, and panoramic ocean view.


Lazy day resort

Seavana Koh Mak Beach resort

One of the most luxurious places on the island to stay is Seavana Koh Mak Beach resort. It’s the best beachfront resort you can find on Koh Mak.



This resort has everything you need, a beach, a beautiful swimming pool, great food at its restaurant, massages, kayaks and so much more. As it’s a peaceful resort, it’s the perfect place to relax.


Seavana Koh Mak Beach resort

Mira Montra Resort Koh Mak Private beach, beautiful villas with views of the sea, fantastic pool, and green nature: Mira Montra Resort Koh Mak has it all. The resort is a bit secluded, so we recommend staying here if you want to relax and enjoy the peace.

Mira Montra Resort Koh Mak

Mira Montra isn’t far from the bustle of the island, but you need to get transportation to go there. Situated on the most beautiful sandy stretch of Ao Pra, Mira Montra presents an absolute beachfront experience where tropical idylls, serenity, and modern comfort blissfully converge.

Designed to evoke an ambiance of tranquility and relaxation, each villa and room boasts simple rustic furnishings and a private terrace. Take a walk on the private beach or sink into the hammock beds while listening to the steady hush of waves from the comfort of your villas.



Relax in the lap of tranquility at this perfect hideaway and feel your mind gently unwinding by the sight and sound of unspoiled paradise.




Tips to do:


Take a Thai cooking class

Take a Thai cooking class with an experienced, popular cook in Koh Mak. Learn how to prepare and cook an authentic Thai meal in a fun and interactive half-day cooking course.

The price for morning classes (4 dishes ) – from 10.00 am to 2:00 pm is 1.200 THB and evening classes ( 4 dishes ) – 3:00 – 7:00 pm is 1.300 THB.

Book with us to secure one of the limited spaces.




Getting around the island

Options are limited to pick-up trucks or rental motorbikes and classic bikes. I always opt for my own wheels and that time was no different. I got a black Honda Click, one of the most popular motorbike models in Thailand, from my accommodation. The cost for 24 hours was 250 THB, including fuel.

A classic bicycle would be fine too as the island is very flat and there is little car traffic, but temperatures over 30C could be exhausting.

If traveling in a bigger group, getting pick-up truck taxis would be the best but sometimes they can be difficult to find and you may need to ask for them in a restaurant or nearby shop, so they can call the driver. 50 THB per person will get you to most places on the island or you can negotiate your own itinerary with the driver.



How to go to Koh Mak

Koh Mak is situated in the center of the Koh Chang archipelago, about 15 kilometers south of Koh Chang and 10 kilometers north of Koh Kood. Koh Mak is connected to the mainland via a pier in Laem Ngop, south of Trat, operated by several speed boat companies. It is linked to the nearby islands of Koh Kood, Koh Chang, and Koh Wai by speed and slow boats (October through May).


By Bus

From Ekamai Station in Bangkok ( BTS Ekamai) drive directly to Laem Ngop pier.

  • Fare: 261 THB

  • Distance: 331 km

  • Travel Time: +/- 6 hours in a comfortable air-conditioned bus

  • Departure time from Bangkok: 07:45

  • Departure time to Bangkok (from Trat): 12:30, 14:00, 15:00

  • Call +66 2 872 1777 for more info or LINE ID @ bus.999


From Suvarnabhumi Bus Terminal drive directly to Laem Ngob pier.

  • Fare: 261 THB

  • Departures directly to Laem Ngop: 08:15

  • Departures to Trat city: 6:40, 10:10, 11:40, 13:10, 16:10, 18:10 (in Trat take taxi to pier)

  • Call +66 2 872 1777 for more info or LINE ID @ bus.999

Private Transfer

Private transfer by car or minibus is perhaps the most comfortable way of getting to Laem Ngop Pier for Koh Mak. Depending on the size of your party, these transfers use an Innova/Fortuner-style car or a minibus. It’s just you, no sharing and they travel directly to the pier.

Journey time, door to the pier, is around 4.5 to 5 hours from a Bangkok hotel or Suvarnabhumi Airport, with prices starting from 3,800bt for a car.

Other routes include to and from Don Mueang Airport (DMK), Ban Phe (Koh Samet), Pattaya


Lazy Days beach Koh Mak

Speedboat

The ferry pier to Koh Mak is in Laem Ngop, a tiny town on the mainland.

Attention: It is not the same pier as Koh Chang.


The seats on the speedboats are limited, therefore it’s highly recommended to make a reservation in advance. Please be aware that the last speedboat departs at 4:00 pm.


4 companies, Panan, Leelawadee, M Marine, and Seatales provide the service from Laem Ngop Pier to Koh Mak, with 9 daily departures at 10.30, 11.30, 12.30, 14.00, 14.30, 15.00, 16.00. Journey time is 45 minutes and all are priced at 450bt per person.

Returns start from 08.00, followed by 08.30, 09.00, 10.00, 11.30, and 12.30 with the last boat at 13.30.


We booked a private transfer with Trat Ferries and also booked the speedboat for us and email contact was very fast



Island Hopping

Bang Bao Boats offers a wooden passenger boat service at 300bt to Koh Kood, 11.00 daily, or from Koh Kood to Koh Mak at 13.00. It’s 400bt to Koh Chang, 14.00 daily or 09.00 from Koh Chang to Koh Mak. The wooden boat does not run in the low/rainy season, June to October.

From 7/10/22, Koh Kut Express starts a new daily speedboat service between Koh Mak and Koh Kood only. It costs 450bt per person, with times of 09.30 from Koh Kood and 12.00 from Koh Mak and a journey time of 30 minutes


Koh Kham

Koh Mak Weather & When to Visit

It’s possible to visit Koh Mak all year round but the best time to visit Koh Mak is between November to March.


Warning!!!



It’s not only Mosquitoes that Bite


Sandflies are tiny insects, only a couple of millimeters in length. They live in various habitats. But the ones we’re concerned with are those that enjoy life on quiet beaches in Thailand.

In Thai, sandflies are called ‘Pung’ or ‘Lin Talay’. The sandflies in Thailand are black with either black or white wings. The ones with white wings usually cause a more allergic reaction.

As they are so small and make no noise they aren’t easily noticeable. This is why people often wonder why they have bites when they didn’t see or hear any, far larger, mosquitoes. In general, you can find sandflies on beaches at any time of the year.


Sandflies are similar to mosquitoes in that females need blood from mammals, reptiles, or birds to make their eggs. When female sandflies bite, they inject saliva that contains allergens that trigger the body’s immune system and cause an allergic reaction.


Not everyone is affected in the same way. A family can go to the beach and when they return to their hotel they find that one of them is covered in itchy, red spots but the others are fine or have very few. In the worst case, symptoms include skin irritation, persistent itching, red bumps, and swelling. If you see people with legs or backs that look like they have measles then it’ll be spotted from sandfly bites.


How To Cure Sandfly Bites

Although the bites can be extremely itchy, the golden rule is to avoid scratching. A hot shower can also reduce itching. However, this is only temporary. So, as soon as you notice bites, the best course of action is to head to the nearest pharmacy.

There are many certainties in life, such as death and taxes, but also that any pharmacy near any beach will have seen hundreds of people with the same bites as you. So no need to worry about not speaking Thai or not knowing what medication you require. The pharmacist will give you an antihistamine cream loaded with steroids. It’ll be far stronger than the stuff you can buy without a prescription at home. And, as such, far more effective. Use that and the itching will stop very quickly. The only downside is that it isn’t going to prevent you from getting more bites.


How to avoid sandfly bites


Be careful during sunrise and sunset as the sand fly is more active then


The only thing that seems to work is Coconut oil

First, a layer of sun protection and then a layer of coconut oil

Coconut oil is easy to find in shops. This makes your skin sticky and deters the sandflies – as they don’t want to get stuck to you.


Lazy days resort Koh Mak



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