Koh Mak’s Eco-friendly Experience
Welcome to Koh Mak, a small eco-friendly island in the Gulf of Thailand, near Koh Chang, Koh Kut and the border of Cambodia.
Unlike other parts of the world, eco-policies introduced by authorities in Thailand – especially in Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (*) – have from the outset, actively involved the local people and assisted them with training, sustainable practices and ongoing support as much as possible.
Consequently there aren’t any car ferries, tour buses, jet skis, go-go bars, banks, ATMs, 7-11s, department stores and night life stops after 11.00 pm.
For some visitors this might not be much of an attraction, but for those who prefer peace, quiet, and a low-impact holiday, this island could be just what they’re looking for!
Several hotels and hostels will provide you with a cloth bag upon check in and ask you to use this when you purchase items at the local shops in order to reduce plastic bag consumption.
There are a few narrow roads on the island, connecting the various piers and settlements, good enough for local transport such as songtaews (a pickup truck with rows of seats) to pick up and drop off visitors and locals alike.
Unlike Koh Chang, the island is relatively flat with only a few hills, making it perfect for cycling through the island’s coconut and rubber plantations. Bicycles are available for rent and even provided for free at some hotels.
This brings us to other activities you can do here:
Khun Leng is a great lady offering in-depth traditional Thai cooking classes, either individually or in small groups, which will enhance your appreciation of Thai food considerably.
A very different kind of food activity can be had by visiting the organic vegetable plantation; here you can pick your own food and will be taught afterwards how to prepare it as well.
Kayaking is great fun as there are quite a few small islands around Koh Mak and these can easily be reached by a bit of paddling during daylight hours. On nearby Koh Kradad you will probably even encounter the local deer population.
Speedboat trips are available too, but we recommend you try out the Saeng Suwan – the only solar powered catamaran in the area! This small boat moves slowly but steadily and silently too, allowing you to enjoy the sounds of the waves.
Snorkeling, diving, sunbathing, all are possible, of course, but for something different, go on the ‘Castaway Adventure’; imagine yourself on a deserted island becoming familiar with survival techniques – all with the help of coconuts…
If you really want to help the environment why not join the weekly ‘Become a Trash Hero’ beach clean ups?
Visit the Koh Mak Museum; check out the strange local art statues at Somchai Love Garden; discover the small fishermen hamlets; or deserted beaches during your stay.
Koh Mak is suitable for FITs and small groups who are satisfied with mid-range accommodation and open to a real local low-carbon holiday!
The island can be reached in various ways, but most visitors come by speedboat from either Koh Chang or Koh Kut.
From the mainland (Laem Sok pier, Trat) you can take a bigger and more comfortable high-speed catamaran.
There are various buses and flights (no budget carriers) to Trat from Bangkok.
If you happen to be in Cambodia it is also possible to cross the nearby Cambodian-Thai border at Hat Lek and continue from there to Koh Mak – an excellent way to end your Indo-China tour in a responsible and sustainable way!
(*) Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (visit website DASTA) is a public organization accountable to the Prime Minister, aiming to create, develop and prolong sustainable tourism in designated areas, among others, Koh Chang and nearby islands, in Thailand.
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