Koh Mak, or Koh Maak, is only one of the 52 islands and islets of the Koh Chang Marine National Park. It may seem underdeveloped to some, but perfectly secluded to others. All in all, it is a quiet island, where finding deserted beaches even in high and peak season is easy. There is not much activity on the island and is ideal for those who just would like to laze around, take nature in, but who will also need more than just the basic thatch-roof hut and a Wi-Fi internet to keep in touch.
Koh Mak is 35 kms away from the mainland, and easily accessible by speedboat or wooden boat from either Bang Bao or Kai Bae pier in Koh Chang. Just recently made available is the Koh Mak Catamaran from Laem Sok pier in the mainland and brings visitors to Ao Nid Pier in Koh Mak. With a registered capacity of 72 passengers and equipped with a boarding bridge, it is a convenient and comfortable mode of transport to the island suitable for small children, disabled persons, and senior citizens who would like to do away with the bumpy speedboat ride. It leaves Laem Sok pier daily at 2:30 p.m. and Ao Nid pier at 12:00 noon. Fare is at THB 350/person and onboard facilities include a coffee shop, toilet and Wi-Fi.
Koh Mak measures 16 square kms in total, with a width of 10 kms and length of 5 kms from north to south. It is suitable for families as the island is devoid of loud bars and late night partying. Most of the areas are either walking or cycling distance away, making the island suitable for mountain bike explorers. There is a concretely paved road system that covers most of the central and western side of the island. There are songthaews that stop on specified areas on the island that charge THB 50/person regardless to which point you will get off. Other than that, one can rent motorbikes to explore the island.
Basically, there are two main beaches on Koh Mak: Suanyai beach on the northwest, or Ao Khao Beach on the northern part of the island.
- Ao Khao Beach is the most developed part of the island and the busiest of all the beaches, relatively, as Koh Mak’s beaches never seem to get filled up. Running parallel to the beach are a number of resorts, and small restaurants.
- Ao Suanyai Beach is made up of 2 kms stretch of white sandy beach. Here you will find Koh Mak Resort
- Ao Katueng Beach is a long stretch of sand on the southwest part of the island. Here you will find Makathanee Resort
- Ao Phra Beach is a shallow beach with dark, volcanic rocks that separate it from Suanyai Beach.
- Ao Taan Beach is more mangroves than sandy beach. The sand is not very white and not very suitable for swimming. In close proximity is Ao Pai where you will find Plubpla Koh Mak Retreat
Much of the accommodation on Koh Mak still relies on walk-in visitors or staff being sent to the pier to tout for guests upon arrival. Most of the resorts are opening up to online booking systems, though, and is very much recommended when coming during high and peak season. There is no ATM on the island so guests are advised to bring cash or pay in advance, although there are some resorts who accept credit card payment but a small fee is applied. The island does not have a hospital but it does have a clinic with a doctor that comes once a week. Infrastructure is limited but electricity runs 24 hours.
Koh Mak is a sub-district to Koh Kood and is actually comprised of 9 islands: Koh Mak, Koh Rayang Nai, Koh Rayang Nok, Koh Phi, Koh Kham, Koh Kradad, Koh Nook, Koh Nok and Koh Nai.