Having a Beach to Yourself
There are still many destinations in Thailand where you can find a secluded beach and imagine that you’re on a deserted island, without having to endure any of the hardships of Tom Hanks in ‘Castaway’.
If leisurely days on a white-sand beach and quiet nights without any neon-lit clubs and thumping music are your thing, the island destination of Koh Mak certainly gives you what you’re looking for.
Koh Mak is the largest, centrally-located island in a group of islands in the Trat province of Thailand; the group includes the smaller, resort-owned island of Koh Rayang Nok.
Natural Beauty is the Main Attraction
The limited development of Koh Mak has ensured that the island’s residents are able to preserve what has come to be the island group’s main attraction, the natural beauty and peacefulness of the islands.
There are no gleaming, high-rise, tower resorts on the islands, only smaller, well-maintained resorts that blend in with the natural beauty and offer the simple, natural pleasures of life.
Koh Mak offers many trails all over the flat-terrain of the island which you can easily hike or rent a bicycle to explore. For the less adventurous, you can also easily rent a motorbike and explore the island by road.
Ocean-lovers will also find plenty to do here. Besides swimming in the warm, crystal-clear waters surrounding the island, you can also snorkel, kayak and sail. Your resort will be able to arrange for a speedboat to pick you up for a day-long tour around the islands, or arrange for a dive boat to pick up you up for a day-long excursion at popular dive sites in the area.
Kayaking is a popular activity as it allows you to leisurely explore the inlets and features of the coastline and get up close and personal with the marine life of the region.
Koh Rayang Nok
This is a destination for those who seek more solitude than even Koh Mak can provide. The privately-owned island is just off the southwestern coast of Koh Mak and it’s only about 400 meters by 200 meters in size.
The Rayang Phurin Resort is the only resort on the island and offers just 12 bungalows for guests. So if you’re planning to stay the night, remember to book your bungalow in advance of your visit. You can visit the island for the day by paying the 100 Baht entrance fee.
From Bangkok, the easiest way to get to Trat is by bus, minivan or air. By bus or minivan, it takes about 5 to 6 hours to reach the town of Trat. Bangkok Airways offers a direct flight to Trat from Bangkok that takes under an hour.
From Trat, you’ll have to make your way by taxi or shuttle bus to Laem Ngop, about 16 kilometers outside of Trat. This is where you’ll catch the regularly scheduled speedboat service to Koh Mak. The speedboat ticket costs 450 Baht and the speedboat takes about an hour to reach Koh Mak.