Thailand is a beautiful country but unfortunately most of its tropical beaches and islands have been over saturated with tourists and tourists facilities.
Almost everywhere, there are now many resorts, tons of restaurants and bar and lots of party places.
A couple weeks ago, I found a place I did not think would still exist in Thailand. It is a small almost virgin island in the Gulf of Thailand, only few kilometers away from the crowded Koh Chang.
Koh Mak is one of the few places still untouched by mass tourism. It is the perfect place for those who are looking for some relaxing time, away from the crowds and surrounded by nature.
The island is predominantly flat land with vast plantations of coconut and rubber trees. It is a beautiful sight.
There are few small roads and very few vehicles circulating on the island. The transports of choice are motorbikes and bicycles. There are of course few cars as well but the number is kept to a minimum. The locals want to keep the island green with a low level of carbon.
The island is privately owned by two local families. They want to try keep it as natural as they can. They don’t want it to get one of those crowded tourists destinations.
There are 24 resorts at the moment, ranging from basic beach bungalows to high end modern resorts. There will probably more to be built in the near future, but the owners want to keep only 20% of the land for tourism businesses and the rest for agriculture.
Every resort has a bar and restaurant. Outside the resorts, there are very few restaurants that offer mainly local food and some Western options. There are very few bars around. Koh Mak is not a party place, so if you are looking for late nights and hard parties, this is not the island for you. You’d better visiting the neighboring Koh Chang.
The beaches are beautiful and almost deserted.
Electricity is generally good on the island even if some frequent power cuts should be expected. The power station is basically few large trucks with generators inside! Wifi is available at the resorts and 3G also works well almost everywhere on the island.
We stayed at Island Hut on Ao Khao Beach. It is a beautiful budget resort set among a lush tropical garden. They have beach front bungalows and garden bungalows. We stayed in a garden bungalows at 350 Baht a night.
Simple wooden structure with own private bathroom, fan, mosquito net and a porch with hammock, two deck chairs and a small table. We were only few steps away from the beach.
The restaurant area is very appealing and it is favoured by a gentle cool sea breeze all day and night. The kitchen is open from 7.30am to 4.00pm and from 6.00pm to 9.00pm.
We had most of our meals here. The food was always fresh and very tasty. They offer a wide range of Thai dishes starting at as little as 40 Baht and also some western dishes starting from 150 Baht.
Some days they also have fresh fish of the day for dinner, fried or steamed with different sauces.Prices between 150-350 Baht depending on size.
We stayed here for 10 days and had a very good relaxing time.
You can rent a motorbike or bicycle to explore the island. The roads are small and there is very limited traffic so it is easy to get around.
Snorkeling and Scuba Diving are the other most popular activities.
You can get in contact with Koh Mak Divers to arrange your trips. Steve the owner is a very friendly and knowledgeable man in his field. He’s been on the island for almost 20 years.
The few times we had dinner outside the resort, we ate at Koh Mak Rooftop .
They make one of the best Pizza away from Italy. Crispy and fluffy base and delicious topping without using tons of cheese like many places abroad always do.
Prices are very reasonable too starting from 170 Baht for a simple tomato and cheese pizza. Extra meat is 3o Baht per item and extra vegetable 20 Baht per item. Definitely must try.