This post was last updated on February 18th, 2020 at 07:42 am
Everyone who goes to Thailand knows the islands of Koh Phi Phi or Koh Phangan. But the small, laid-back Koh Mak is a beautiful island just 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) from Koh Chang. You won’t find any chaotic traffic here, and no noisy beer bars or crowded beaches. The island is surrounded by clear blue water, white sandy beaches, and a relaxed atmosphere.
The Small But Beautiful Koh Mak
Koh Mak has the shape of a star, and given the beauty and atmosphere on the island, the shape is quite similar to the environment. It is only 16 square kilometers (6.2 square miles) in size and home to just over four hundred people.
TIP – If you want to go diving, take a look at Koh Mak Divers.
The locals work hard to keep the island free from bars, jet skis, banana boats, and high-rise buildings. A few narrow concrete roads cross the island, which is dominated by coconut and rubber plantations.
The Most Beautiful Beaches on Koh Mak
There is not much to do on Koh Mak. The main reason for coming here is for diving, snorkeling or relaxing on its beautiful beaches.
The most beautiful beach is Ao Pra in the west, but it is quite difficult to reach. You will also find fine white sandy beaches along the northwest coast of Ao Suan Yai and the southwest coast at Ao Kao. At Ao Kao you will also find the most mid-range and luxury accommodations on the island.
A kayak is the best way to discover the empty pristine beaches along the north and east coast.
The main village of Koh Mak is Ban Ao Nid and is located on the southeast coast. On the east coast you have Ban Laem Son. The main beaches are all within walking distance of each other.
Other parts of the island are also fairly easy to walk or explore. You can also rent a mountain bike or motorcycle.
There is little commercial development on the island and there is no bank or ATM. So bring enough cash with you!
Where to Stay on Koh Mak
Koh Mak is not a big island. You will find most accommodations in the village of Ao Kao. Of course you also have houses on the beach that are scattered around the island. Below are 3 of our favorite options to spend the night on the island.
Ao Pong Resort
Ao Pong Resort is a 12-minute walk from the beach. You have a private beach and the hotel has its own restaurant, massages, and peaceful accommodations with a private balcony.
Baan Koh Mak
Baan Koh Mak is just a 2-minute walk from the white sandy beach. On arrival you will be brought to the hotel for free. It is not too expensive and the hotel is in good condition.
Monkey Island Resort
Monkey Island Resort is an affordable resort with beautiful wooden houses in a green environment. You have a private beach, although it is a 10-minute walk. This resort is one of the cheaper options.
How to Get to Koh Mak
The only way to get here is by boat. Most boats depart from Laem Ngop on the mainland. A speedboat takes 50 minutes and costs you 450 baht (US$14.55) per person. They leave twice a day. You will then be dropped off at Ao Suan Yai, Ao Nid, or the Makathanee Resort at Ao Khao.
Other options are:
- Koh Chang (600 baht, US$19.40, takes 45 minutes, 3 times a day)
- Koh Kood (400 baht, US$12.95, takes 45 minutes, twice a day).
Best Time to Visit Koh Mak
The best time to visit Koh Mak is during the high season, from December to March. During the rainy season (June to September) the sea is wild, making ferry services less frequent.
Most accommodations on Koh Mak remain open in the off season – with nice discounts – but the smaller hostels often don’t bother to staff their restaurants.
Islanders say it is very pleasant during the green rainy season, but with a little bad luck you have a few wet days.