There are very few islands in Thailand which are still in the same hands as they were over a century ago. There are even fewer which have a written history covering this period. The extended family, descended from a royal tax collector, Luang Prompakdee still own 80% of the island and run many of the resorts. The islanders, in conjunction with the Thai government and a German NGO have been piloting many schemes aimed at making the island Thailand's first environmentally friendly, low carbon destination by showcasing how sustainable development can improve livelihoods and been done in an affordable manner. There are several projects up and running, including hydroponic farms, a biogas plant, solar powered tour boat and hop on, hop off electric bus service.
From the Ko Mak pier in Laem Ngop (Trat): Leelawadee Speedboats and Panan Speedboats provide daily speedboat service to Ko Mak, with the last boat leaving for Ko Mak at 16:00. Leelawadee provides service to the Makathanee Pier on Ko Mak's south shore, while Panan provides service to the Ko Mak Resort Pier on Ko Mak's north shore.
From Bangkok / Pattaya: Boonsiri Ferry daily service with (mini)bus transfers from Bangkok and Pattaya to connect with their Catamaran ferry service to Ko Mak and Ko Kood.
From the Laem Sok pier (Trat): Siriwhite Speedboats/CP Laem Sok Group provides daily service to Ko Mak's largest pier at Ao Nid, before continuing on to Ko Kut. There is also a new once-daily catamaran service between Laem Sok and Ao Nid [dead link].
From Ko Chang: during the high season there is a twice daily speedboat transfer from Kai Bae Beach at 09:00 and 11:00 to the Makathanee Pier on Ko Mak. First boat is a sure bet, the 2nd only if there are enough passengers. In the low season this service won't run [dead link]. On the south end of Ko Chang you can catch either a speedboat or slower wooden boat from Bang Bao.
From Ko Kut: there is twice-daily speedboat service running from most resorts that own private piers at 09:30 and 12:00, arriving at Ko Mak about 45 minutes later. These boats typically continue to Ko Chang or the mainland after docking at the Makathanee Pier, Ao Nid, or Ko Mak pier.
Ko Mak has a 27 km long coastline, many long sandy beaches, a few hills. It is about 16 km2 in area.
Ko Phi, also northwest of Ko Mak but southwest of Ko Kham, is unoccupied.
At low tide, it is possible to walk to Ko Kham (privately owned), which is a smaller island less than 1 km northwest of Ko Mak. It can be reached with a sea kayak from Ko Mak or by walking during low tide. Ko Kham has nice places to snorkel, depending on the direction of wind. Especially the south beach has calm sea, a nice sand dune, black lava rocks with shells, and crabs (or crayfish or shellfish). Near rocks, you may see (or swim over) black sea urchins that have 15–30 cm (6–12 in) radius and many thin black spines about 30–50 cm (12–20 in) long. Locals say that the spines contain small needles and poison: if one touches the spines and is stuck by a needle, the needle should be crushed with a rock. The poison is only irritating and not lethal. In Thai, the name is hoi men (หอยเม่น).
For exploring the island, motorbikes and bicycles are available for rent at numerous locations, and most beaches and restaurants are within easy walking distance.
Ko Mak is a working island with the majority of the island being covered in rubber plantations and pineapple farms.So the main attractions are the beaches. The two main beaches are Ao Suan Yai on the northwest shore of the island. And Ao Kra Tueng and Ao Kao which run along the southwest facing beach. Other smaller, less developed beaches include Ao Pra, Ao Tao Khai, Ao Tan, and Ao Talong.
- Smile Koh Mak (Learn Thai Cooking) (In Baan Ao Nid, next to Ko Mak Seafood Restaurant and Museum), ☏ (Leng - speaks English and Thai). Leng has been teaching Thai cooking for 5 years now, so relax and enjoy.
- Kayak to nearby islands
- Explore Ko Mak's quiet bicycle trails and roads on a rented bike or scooter
- Visit nearby Ko Kradad's wild deer population
- Enjoy Ko Mak's many small Thai and Western restaurants
The Island does not have an ATM. There is reportedly one resort which can charge your plastic card and take an additional 5% for the pleasure. There are a few small shops on the island but no 7-Eleven.
- Good Time Resort, ☏ . Thai-style resort with pool, spa and tropical gardens. 1,880-5,100 baht.
- Koh Mak Retreat. Private sea view villas in a secluded location. 1,700-5,500 baht.
- Makathanee Resort, ☏ . Has beachfront bungalows, pool and sea view hotel rooms at one of the best beaches on the island. 1,000-8,000 baht.
- Thaidaho Vista Resort, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Non-smoking boutique guesthouse (only 5 rooms) with spectacular ocean views and tropical garden.