A pleasant trip that is getting more popular with people visiting Koh Chang.
If you are on Koh Chang for a couple of weeks then you’ll probably struggle to find activities to fill your days. So why not visit another island? For example, Koh Mak. Ideally, you’d actually stay a couple of days on Koh Mak and have time to explore the island properly, but if you have already paid for your hotel on Koh Chang then this may not be an option.
Instead, you can take the ‘Bangbao Boat’ speedboat or wooden boat to Koh Mak and have about three hours on the island. Leave after breakfast and get back in time for a late afternoon swim and sunset cocktail on Koh Chang.
It’s a nice change of scenery and isn’t expensive to do.
Boats to Koh Mak
There are two options, both run by ‘Bangbao Boat’ . . .
Speedboat. Arrive on Koh Mak at 10:00. Return at 13:00
Slow boat. Arrive on Koh Mak at 11:00. Return at 14:00
The slowboat better for taking photos but more chance of it being late as there are far more people on the boat and they need to be picked up. It just takes one group (usually Chinese) to not be ready and for one of them to have disappeared to take selfies somewhere, for the boat to be delayed 30 minutes. The speedboat is usually on time, give or take 10 minutes.
The return ticket price is 700 Baht. Which is very reasonable considering a one way ticket by speedboat is 600 Baht. And this also includes a 100 Baht voucher for food at the Koh Mak Resort restaurant. Round trip transport between your hotel on Koh Chang and Bangbao is also included.
Buy tickets at any tour agent when you are on Koh Chang. The only thing to bear in mind is that the boats only run from 1 November to 1 May. This activity isn’t possible during the low season.
What can you do on Koh Mak?
Visit Koh Kham
The boat from Koh Chang will drop you off at the pier at Koh Mak Resort. As you’re nearing Koh Mak you pass a small island called Koh Kham which is famous for having the a pristine white sand beach and large back volcanic rocks.
To get to Koh Kham you can either hire a kayak (300 Baht) from Koh Mak Resort for the 15-20 minute paddle; or take the longtail boat service from the pier which is 100 Baht per person. Koh Kham is a private island, so you have to pay a 200 Baht entry free to set foot on it. This is payable at the beach shack that sells a few snacks and cold drinks.
A luxury resort was planned on the island and construction began several years ago, but it was abandoned. It is slowly crumbling and being reclaimed by the jungle. However you can walk around and get an idea of where the pool was, check out the pool villas, some of which were almost completed.
But the highlight is the beach. During the peak season it can be overrun by tour groups but if you’re lucky you’ll only be sharing it with a dozen other people and you’ll love the sand. Just an idyllic spot for s sunbathe and swim.
Visit Koh Rayang
Located on the opposite side of the island, Koh Rayang is another private island. It had a small resort which has recently been closed by the oer and like Koh Kham used to charge an entrance fee to visitors. But it is now abandoned. Some good snorkelling and a lovely beach 20 minutes a kayak paddle from Makathanee Resort.
Check out the views at Thaidaho Vista
Walk along the beach from Koh Mak Resort to Seavana and then up to the ridge that overlooks the bay. Here you’ll find Islanda Resort and adjacent, the much smaller and welcoming Thaidaho Vista, run by Allen and Kat. Take a seat on the patio, have a coffee or smoothie and slice of homemade cake and soak in the views down to the beach and Koh Kham and north towards Koh Wai and Koh Chang. On a clear day you might also be able to see the Cardamom mountains that mark the mainland border with Cambodia.
Have a swim and grab a beer at the Cococape pier
Just to the west of Thaidaho, 5 minutes walk away down by the shore, lies Cococape Resort. The highlight is their pier which stretches 100 metres out into the bay and is home to small bar. Have a swim, then dry off in the sunshine and enjoy a cold drink. Kayaks can also be hired from here.
Rent a scooter
Scooter rental is 250 – 300 Baht. You’ll have enough time to see most of the island, but not in detail. So making a quick tour would be a great way to get a feel for the island and see if it’s the type of place you’d like to stay in the future. There’s a big map of the island at the information office at Koh Mak Resort, or you can pick up one of Thaidaho Vista’s recyclable maps. Or download a PDF island map here.
Play a round of Frisbee Golf
Koh Mak has a great Disc Golf course which was set up by Pom from Koh Mak Holiday bungalows. It’s located on the road leading from Thaidaho Vista down to Makathanee Resort. About 20 minutes walk from the pier at Koh Mak Resort. Bring your own frisbee as it’s usually unattended. There are also regular tournaments played involving locals, guests and also disc golf enthusiasts from elsewhere in Thailand.
Or just do nothing
Swim, take a walk on the beach, have lunch at a beach restaurant and relax for 3 hours. :-)