Koh Mak: Thailand's Best Kept Secret

If you have been dreaming of an idyllic island getaway, Koh Mak may just be what you’re looking for. Situated in the Gulf of Thailand near the Cambodian border, Koh Mak island is located 40 kilometres off the mainland, just south of Koh Chang.

While some of Thailand’s islands are well known for their party atmosphere and non-stop nightlife, Koh Mak offers something different altogether. Tranquil and serene, this spectacular bit of Thailand is a relatively undiscovered gem, offering long sandy beaches, diving and plenty of me-time.

How To Get There

Visitors planning a trip to Koh Mak can choose to drive, fly or get the bus from Bangkok to Trat, then hop on the boat from Trat’s Laem Ngop pier over to Koh Mak. There are regular departures from the pier, allowing visitors to take a wooden boat, or the much faster (and wetter) speedboat.

Koh Mak Thailand Best Kept Secret

It’s also possible to reach Koh Mak from the mainland at Laem Sok, or from the islands at Koh Chang and Koh Kood.

Where To Stay

As a relatively new tourist destination, Koh Mak has far fewer resorts than many of the other Thai islands. There are around 25 resorts to choose from, each with their own facilities, such as restaurants, swimming pools and spas.

For anyone looking to extend their stay in Koh Mak, there are also rental properties available. With its own kitchen, these properties allow a little more freedom, but bear in mind that grocery shopping facilities are not extensive on the island.

As for restaurants, there are eateries within each resort that guests and non-guests are welcome to try. There is also a range of about 15 independent restaurants and food huts on the island, serving delicious Thai dishes. Don’t forget to ask for ‘mai phet’ (not spicy) if you’re not keen on hot food!

What To Do

Koh Mak features 27 kilometres of coastline, but most of this is made up of rocky terrain or mangroves. There are, however, two main sand beaches, Ao Kao Beach in the south-west of the island, and Ao Suan Yai in the north-west.

Both of these beaches seriously look like something out of a picture postcard, complete with azure water, white sand and swaying palm trees.

While some visitors are more than happy to laze around on the beach for their entire stay, there are other activities on offer to keep more active guests entertained. Explore the natural scenery and take a tour of the island via a scenic driving trip, stopping off at highlights that might include rubber plantations, Ao Nid Pier, a local museum and the Koh Mak Temple.

There’s also plenty of exploring to be done surrounding the island, where you can hire kayaks for some island hopping to nearby Koh Rayang or Koh Kham, or go further afield by organising a day trip to Koh Wai, Koh Kood, Koh Kradat, Koh Kham or Koh Rayang.

For the less active, you can visit a spa for a traditional Thai massage, or expand your repertoire by taking a Thai cooking class.

With so much to do, you’ll never want to leave! Also, don’t forget to purchase your travel insurance from Chubb Travel Insurance while planning your trip to Koh Mak, and extend your cover with a driving pack add-on to ensure you’re covered for getting around Koh Mak via rental car.