I took a quick trip to Koh Mak last weekend to see what’s new and exciting down there. It’s still a laid back little island and although it is getting noticeably busier year by year it is still very easy to get away from the main beaches and either by motorbike or mountain bike go off the beaten track and explore the unmarked trails through the plantations which end in hamlets or discover deserted beaches. ( The beach in the photo isn’t one of the deserted ones, it is one of the busiest and pretty soon you might even be able to buy a house with direct access onto this beach.)
A couple of recommendations:
Koh Mak Seafood on Ao Nid pier. Very good seafood place built around an 80 year old wooden house which is home to a small museum. Khun Tarin, the owner, speaks very good English and will give you a 10 minute tour and talk you through the photos on display which cover different periods in the islands history dating back to the early 20th century. The house was built by carpenters who built the wooden royal palaces in Bangkok.
Baan Koh Mak. Still my favourite place to eat by the beach. Sensible prices, nice atmosphere and good cocktails in the evening. Also pretty nice AC bungalows on the beach for around 1500 Baht/night.
Koh Mak Residence. If you want to stay somewhere a bit quieter or the sandflies are getting you down and you need some comfort away from the beach then this pool villa which has two self contained apartments with living room, bedroom and kitchenette is worth a look. Around 3 minutes walk to the beach.