From next High Season onwards it should be possible to do a day trip to Koh Mak and have a few hours on the island. This will be aboard the high speed Boonsiri Catamaran. The catamaran currently runs from Laem Sok ( on the mainland ) to Koh Mak and Koh Kood but plans are afoot to add a stop on Koh Chang from October / November 2014.
If you want to get down to Koh Mak from Koh Chang between now and then, you’ll have to be quick as Kai Bae Hut will stop running their services next week and Bangbao Boat will shut down for the rainy season within 2-3 weeks.
I hadn’t been for a while so took the opportunity for a quick trip a few days ago. The island is ideal for cycling around, as it’s relatively small, flat and has virtually no traffic. it’s not as scenic as Koh Kood but does have a good range of accommodation, some great beaches and very few visitors – especially at this time of year. Several resorts now provide free bicycles and you can also get a free bike if you stop off for a coffee at the new Coco Cafe, near the entrance to Ao Kao Resort. The cafe is also the start of a new cycle trail that takes you through the coconut groves down to the far southern tip of the island.
You won’t get time to sample all the island;s small eateries, so for seafood then Koh Mak Seafood , at Ao Nid pier, is a great sport. They also have a small museum with some artifacts and photos relating to life on Koh Mak in the early 20th Century. And for a sunset cocktail, the aptly names ‘Banana Sunset Bar’ just south of Ao Kao Resort & Lazy Day Resort has great views. You’ll see the sun going down over Koh Rayang, the western shores of Koh Mak and, in the far distance, Koh Rang.
If you need a place to stay then for a bit of 4 star luxury, I recommend Seavana Resort, which is the upmarket annex of the longstanding Koh Mak Resort. They may share the same beach, but that’s where the similarities end. Seavana offers just 22 spacious, brand new rooms and a friendly, efficient and informal atmosphere. In the three star range, Ao Kao Resort would be my pick, located on the opposite side of the island, it’s another well run resort on a beautiful little bay. And for somewhere cheap and cheerful on the beach, you can’t go wrong at Koh Mak Holiday Beach which has a dozen Fan or AC bungalows built around a large garden area smack on the beach. Finally, for a room with a view, one place you have to check out is Thaidaho Vista , a small guesthouse on the ridge overlooking the length of Ao Suan Yai – the 2Km beach where Koh Mak Resort & Seavana are located,with some of the best views you’ll find anywhere. ( The owners are in the US during Low Season but their Thai family members will rent rooms out on a ‘Room only’ basis until November. )
Thanks to Champ at Seavana Resort for the room and Ball & Oy at Coco Cafe for the island info & coffee