The third largest island in Koh Chang archipelago after Koh Chang and Koh Kood, Koh Mak is located 35 kilometers from the mainland. The island boasts 27 kilometres of flat terrain and a long stretch of pristine beaches. The island is home to two major villages, Ban Aow Nid and Ban Laem Son. Koh Mak has a ‘tambon’ (sub-district) status, and is dependent on Koh Kood district.
Shaped like a cross, Koh Mak’s best beaches are at Khao Bay (on the southwest coast), and the Suan Yai Bay (northwest coast). Attractions on the island include a variety of plantations like coconut and rubber trees. Infrastructure here is still somewhat limited. Although Ko Mak is not connected to the power supply at the mainland, there is a big generator that supplies 24-hour electricity to the whole island.
Gven its compact size, getting around the island can easily be done by biking or motorbiking. Small roads branching off the main road leading to hotels and resorts may not be properly paved (meaning dirt tracks), so do ride with great care. There are no ‘songtaews’ (pick-up truck taxi) available (yet), but most resorts offer transfer and pick-up service on request.
The island is generally very quiet and especially so at night. The resorts’ bars and restaurants seem to be the only source of entertainment on Koh Mak at night. Some resorts have a DVD collection and a few board games to keep guests entertained.
Koh Mak’s neighbouring islands include cute islands like Koh Phi and Koh Kham, both can be reached with a kayak from the resorts on northwest coast of island. When the tide is extremely low, it’s possible to reach Koh Kham by foot. Koh Rayang Nok, located about 20 minutes away from Koh Mak, is also a small island with a short beach suitable for snorkeling and swimming.
There are more than a dozen of resorts on Ko Mak (and the number is fast growing) from reasonably-priced huts to plush resorts. Most resorts offer full board packages complete with sightseeing trips and transportation. Activities on the island include sightseeing, kayaking, snorkeling and, of course, swimming. The town centre is around Aow Nid Pier, where a few local small restaurants can be found. Please note that as of November 2007, there is no ATM’s on the island yet, so do prepare some cash.
Usually if the sea is rough on one side, the other side of the island is usually still and placid. This is due to the fact that Koh Mak is surrounded by many islands and islets and they help block the incoming waves, making kayaking much more enjoyable. There are also two diving schools where you can learn how to explore the underwater world.Small villages, the tempel at Aow Nid and the view points on Ko Mak are also worth a visit. Traditional Thai massage and reflexology can also be had.The beginning of November and the end of February is the best time to visit the island as the weather is mostly sunny.
The best way to reach Koh Mak is by taking a speed boat from Laem Ngob pier on the mainland or from Koh Chang. The boat trip takes approximately one hour (slow boat takes around three hours). There are two trips offered daily, and more trips usually become available during the high season. Check with the tour operators or the resort you’re staying with for updated boat schedules.