Relaxing in Koh Mak island
Our friend came to visit from France in March and wanted to go to an island which is less travelled and calm. One of my customers' had mentioned to me once that if you want to have a peaceful holiday with little internet and not much to do other than sleep & rest - Koh Mak was the island for you.
This island is between Koh Kood and Koh Chang close to the Cambodian border. We stayed in all of them and I must say my heart goes for Koh Mak. We have been twice since, and this itinerary is the one I did for our very first visit.
Koh Kood is beautiful, there is no more than 30 hotels on this island ranging from guesthouse to boutique luxury hotel and the very exclusive soneva kiri resort. Koh Chang is much bigger with something good for everyone and offer a larger array of activities ( trekking, elephants etc .... ) also it is easier (and cheaper) to get to with the car ferry.
Koh Mak can be reached by either a speedboat hopping from Koh Kood to Koh Chang ( they stop in between to Koh Mak ) and vice versa. There is also a small pier, Laem ngop Pier, just for the 2 companies that operate speedboats to Koh Mak. We used Leelawadee speedboat and pre-booked the tickets in advance and paid them by bank transfer online without any problem. The jetty is next to a fisherman village quite in the middle of nowhere. There is a small restaurant/tour stop at the entrance of the jetty with toilets and a parking behind it for the car. ( I believe 50 THB per day for parking).
To get there we though the road was going to be long so we booked a small hotel half way in Rayong and left the day before. However the second time we went, to save on cost and also to be more practical, we left Bangkok at 3 am in the morning instead and did most of the road by night with hardly anyone. We caught a coffee at a service station towards dawn. It was much better this way, in any case by lunch you are on the beach and can nap your heart's content.
We stayed both times at The Lazy day resort. This is one of the best value accommodation I have stayed at so far. The bungalows are perfect in size, comfortable & clean. The couple owning this resort is present, welcoming and attentive. They really make the stay perfect and can help you with anything. As far as I heard, they speak English and German very well. The resort has a private beach because its the only one on it (for now). The food at the resort is great, simple and of good value for money ( not overpriced as you would expect from most island midrange hotel ).
Koh Mak is a great place, if you like a long evening walk, you can walk along the only road on which are a couple of very small restaurants ( such as a pizza place, a swiss place and a lot of small thai joints ). There isn't much to do: chill & relax. We did dive one day from Koh Mak and our friend did snorkeling with BB Divers. It was good.
The way back is the same as the way in, ferry and car but with more traffic as we approached Bangkok around prime time. If you are not in a rush you could do a detour by Pattaya or Rayong seaside and enjoy diner there before closing the last hours drive back to Bangkok.