Koh Mak is an island located in the Eastern part of Thailand. It is the third largest island in Trat province, after Koh Chang and Koh Kood.
Just this year, I’ve visited the islands of Koh Kood and Koh Chang which truthfully were incredible island trips for me. Remembering those outings, Koh Kood is a smaller island than Koh Chang with only a few tourists while Koh Chang is evidently a more popular choice for locals and foreigners.
Together with my cousin, we set out to yet another island adventure to Koh Mak and Koh Kham.
From Bangkok to Trat
We went through the same route as we always did like in the two previous islands, which was from Bangkok to Trat. On our last trips, I discovered that there’s also a ferry or speedboat that you can take from Pattaya City. I don’t know why we didn’t consider it but I think it’s because we wanted to experience the long road trip again. Five to six hours inside a van or bus while looking at the changing views outside have this calming and soothing effect on us.
It was 11 PM when we arrived in Trat so we stayed overnight at a guesthouse. We wanted to maximize our weekend on the island. The next morning, we took the speedboat to Koh Mak. The hostel we stayed in sell tickets to different island destinations so we were able to book through them. The fare for the speedboat is 450 Baht plus 50 Baht for the taxi from the guesthouse to the pier.
Arrival to Koh Mak
We arrived at Koh Mak after 45 minutes on the boat. Unknowingly, our boat docked at a port near our accommodation, just 5-10 minutes walk to our resort. I thought we needed to ride in a taxi but the taxi drivers we asked kept on telling us to just walk ahead. We found out that we were really just close to it. It was very surprising because we didn’t plan or checked it ahead. It seemed like a perfect coincidence and we felt lucky. Ha! Small surprises in life =)
The first thing I noticed once we arrived was how quiet the road was. There were only a number of restaurants and not so many foreigners around.
It was lunchtime and since we haven’t had one yet, we explored our food options nearby. Choosing a Thai restaurant just across our resort, we ate our first meal in Koh Mak.
After lunch, we decided to take a nap and stay in our room especially that it was still scorching outside. We planned on starting our tour of the island later in that afternoon.
Getting around Koh Mak
There are three ways to get around the island. First is by taxi, which is more like a tuk-tuk version in Bangkok. Single way’s fare is 50 Baht per person but they charge 100 baht after 10 PM. If there’s only one passenger, the fare will be 100 baht.
Guess what we picked?
Bicycling on the island
Because both of us aren’t confident motorbike drivers, we chose to rent the bicycle instead. It is sort of a workout as well.
Bicycling was a lot of fun. We biked through rubber trees in the cool breeze until we reached a sunset bar on the island. Watching the sunset made me appreciate my life more. It was very pretty and serene. I think the only concern I had was heading back to our resort, still on our bikes. It was starting to get dark and although the narrow road wasn’t busy with vehicles, there weren’t enough street lights. We were unprepared, we didn’t think about bringing our own flashlights.
Although it was dark, we biked as safe as possible. And at that time, I was getting anxious about tiny insects getting into my eyes. I don’t know if it’s because of its surface area (Ha!) but I always had insects stuck into my eyes in the past. And it was not only very uncomfortable but painful as well. So to prevent it from happening, I had no choice but to put my sunglasses on. In effect, everything got darker than the early night. I thought it was either that and I bike slowly until I arrive or an insect in my eyes and I would panic until I get into an accident.
In the end, we arrived safely but honestly, I was anxious the whole bike ride.
There is another island called Koh Kham that we wanted to visit. So we biked again to the port where we could take a boat, we paid the round trip boat fare of 300 Baht.
Kho Kham is a much smaller island than Koh Mak but it has finer and whiter sand. It has this popular spot called “black rocks” and the color of the water was pretty amazing.
Just after 15 minutes dip into the water, I felt itchy in my legs. Something must be biting me, huh. So, I didn’t swim that long on the island. I just spent my time enjoying the moment to be there but out of the water, listening to the sound of the waves and feeling the warmth of the sun. I was also reading a book I borrowed from our resort. It was still a perfect island day for me.
At around lunchtime, our boat arrived to pick us back to Koh Mak. Lunch was our next agenda of the day and just more swimming time on the beach in our resort.
Most of our meals while on the island are Thai food. They’re affordable, from 100- 200 Baht per meal. Here is just a few of what we ate.
A Different Experience
There are not a lot of foreigners or locals on the island if compared to Koh Kood and Koh Chang so I recommend it for those who seek a quiet and relaxing trip just by yourself, friends or family. There are not a lot of tourist spots as well so it’s pretty much just you staying in your accommodation or at the beach.
If I have to choose among the three islands, I would choose Koh Kood. It’s a perfect combination of quiet but not too quiet and the beach is just amazing. Especially that I didn’t get insect bites as I had on this trip. However, I fully recommend exploring Koh Mak as well at your own leisure. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I did or even more. I’m just saying that this island might not be for everyone, no loud party music, and no clubs or bar to hang around during the off-season months.
Thanks for reading!