It had been a while since I was on Koh Mak so here are a few photos from March 2012 trip. By the beach things are pretty much the same, Baan Koh Mak is back with the original owner and has been renovated and is once a gain a great place to hang out. Makathanee Resort keep building, their new restaurant and reception is a bit of an eyesore. TK Hut is steadily disintegrating and it’d be nice if the beach there was cleaned occasionally. Koh Mak Holiday bungalows is as popular as ever – one of the few places that was almost full. Koh Mak Vista is now Thaidaho Vista and is the only totally non-smoking, indoors and out, place to stay on the island – or anywhere in this area. There are a couple of new bungalows at ‘the old house’ on Ao Suan Yai and Ann, daughter of the owner, has set up a small restaurant in what used to be the servants quarters. Inland one of the big changes is that a lot of old rubber plantation is being cut down- there is industrial scale logging going on. So at the moment you will see large swathes of land with no trees, but this will be replanted with rubber. You will also spot some ‘interesting’ art as you drive around the island . . .the giant crab above is at Green View Resort, and in the photos below you’ll see a couple of young ladies who are tappin rubber – near Koh Mak Resort, and collecting coconuts – near Ao Nid pier.
One downside is the amount of garbage that gets washed up onto the beach. This isn’t the islanders fault, it isn’t originating from Koh Mak , most likely it is debris from the floods north of Bangkok which was washed into the sea several months ago. But there is no plan to clear it or to dispose of it. At the moment garbage just goes into large holes in the ground where it is set on fire and the residue buried.
Update September 2012. The good news is that monthly beach clean ups have now been organised – these involve volunteers from local businesses plus visitors to the island joining together for a day to help pick up garbage off the beaches. It’s a worthwhile venture for anyone staying on the island to participate in. Other improvements include a huge 10,000sqm net that has been laid in the sea to provide a safe zone for swimmers. Box jellyfish attacks are very rare, there have only been a couple of reported incidents on Koh Mak. But the owners of Ao Kao Resort are ensuring that their guests are safe. Koh Mak is rapidly becoming one of the most eco-friendly islands in Thailand with new initiatives every month ddesigned to help residents and businesses save energy and reduce waste. Plus, there’s even a new attraction for divers – the ‘Art for Ocean’ underwater elephants. Nine elephant statues that have been placed on the seabed off Koh Rayang Nai.