Koh Mak & Koh Kham – A Tropical Paradise

It’s been months since my last getaway and I was feeling sick. Do you know what’s difficult about being a country girl? It’s not knowing how you feel until you’re on your way to somewhere else. So I Googled my symptoms and it turned out that I needed to go to the beach.

Together with my cousin, I packed my bag and went straight to the bus station. There was one more island left on the East coast that we haven’t explored yet and that was where we headed.

Koh Mak, which derived its name from Mak means Areca nut, is a small island that lies in the eastern Gulf of Thailand, close to Cambodia border. This tropical paradise covers an area of 16 square km, around 10 km wide and 5 km long. It is fairly undeveloped and focuses on ecotourism. For this reason, Koh Mak is an ideal place to relax and to think things over.

HOW TO GET THERE:

If you’ve read my previous blogs about going to the east of Thailand, the journey is pretty the same: ride a bus from Ekkamai Bus Station (270baht/pax); spend a night in Trat if you happened to leave Bangkok in the afternoon; and take a speedboat going to the island (450baht/pax). 

We stayed at Monkey Island Resort in Koh Mak since it is near the beach, port, establishments, budget-friendly, and the cottages were unique. We settled in one of the cottages under the tree. It was nice and cozy. However, we saw centipedes and worms crawling around the corner, with a few happened to land on our bed from the net. After seeing that some insects were still stubborn to go away after sweeping, we decided to call the attention of the resort manager. We were jamming with the owner earlier near the beach and when he learned about the situation, he had us moved to the new family suite in front of the beach. Guess who’s lucky! 

REASONS TO EXPLORE KOH MAK

  • NATURE

Koh Mak is quite different than the other islands on the east. If others have acoustic bars and entertainment activities, Koh Mak doesn’t have those. You won’t see jet-skis, nightclubs, or red light districts. Instead, the island has biking trails, diving schools, and laid back cafes near the beach. 

The island was also exclusively owned by small families so they ensure that the island is safe and those small businesses follow the ideals of ecotourism. It was said that some businessmen tried to open up night bars on the island but were closed down.

And before I forgot, we opted to rent bicycles (100baht/day) to get around the island, because despite the fact that we aren’t confident drivers and bicycling being a good work out; if you really love nature, you’d avoid using smoke belching vehicles. 

  • HAPPY HOUR

Who doesn’t love happy hours? Certainly not us! We met a guy giving leaflets on our way to the resort. It said “always happy hour” so we pedaled going to the Banana Sunset Bar. We went there not just for Buy 1 Take 1 drinks but was hoping to catch the sunset as well. And we were not disappointed. Aside from cocktails and beers, the island offers stunning sunsets. It will make you happy, the same way you feel when you grab the bottle of beer you have on your side.

Our only concern was how are we suppose to go home after being tipsy. Yet, we survived! 

  • ISLAND HOP TO KOH KHAM

Near Koh Mak lies Koh Kham that can be reached with a sea kayak, 5-minute boat ride, or by feet when low tide. 

LRM_EXPORT_71451682986492_20190121_163917762.jpeg
Koh Kham from afar.

On our second day, we biked going to the other part of the island and bought a ticket bound for Koh Kham that worth 300baht/pax. They said that it would serve as a Cleaning Fee as the island is privately owned. 

Koh Kham is a tiny island but very beautiful and almost unspoiled. It has the whitest and the most powdery sand of all. I was walking around barefoot and it felt like walking on talc – unbelievable! The volcanic black rock, crystal blue water, and the strangely abandoned resort added more beauty and mystery to the island. Also note that they only allow a limited number of tourist, which means that you can enjoy your time on the island without getting distracted. 

  • FOOD

Are you a foodie who likes different cuisines? Are you a healthy eater who just wants greens? Well, Koh Mak got your back. There is no need to fret.

Lots of bistros serve varieties of delicious food. Whether you like heavy meals or light ones, you can enjoy it without your pocket being ripped off. 

  • TIME

Most importantly, you will have time for yourself or your loved one. Koh Mak doesn’t have many locals or tourists unlike the other islands in Thailand that are usually full of people. You can just grab a book, a glass of smoothie and spend time on the beach. I absolutely recommend this to those who need to think and unwind. 

I did have a great time! Credits to my cousin https://iraonherdreams.com/ for the wonderful photos. 

 

TIPS: 

DO:

  1. Bring a calamine lotion as Koh Mak is known for sea flies. You will not notice that you’ve been bitten after 2-3 days. The bites would be so itchy but do not scratch it or it will just get worse. Don’t be like me! LOL.
  2. If you visit Koh Kham, be mindful of the jellyfish. In case you got stung, you will see bottles of vinegar near the beach prepared by the resort. Use it. 
  3. Also, bring your own food and water. Koh Kham doesn’t have restaurants, but a small store. You can give them your tickets and you’ll get a bottle of soda. 

DON’T:

  1. Do not hurry in buying a ticket at the port before going to Koh Mak or you will be forced to travel back on the set time. You might want to spend more time on the island. 
  2. No littering. It’s sad to still see a couple of rubbish on the ocean even after the ecotourism projects. Humans! Tsk! 

 

 

 

 

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