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Christmas on Koh Mak

  • Fireflower

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    Hi

    Have friend who lives on Koh Samet and I am going to visit for 3 weeks over Christmas. I would like to get off Samet and thought about going some where quiet like Koh Mak but I have not been before. Has anyone been there over this time? How busy does it get and do we need to book?
    I don't want to spend over 1000 baht for a room. Can anyone reccomend a place to stay?

    Any tips will be much appreciated:)

    Kawp khun maak kah!
    x

    #1 Posted: 17/8/2007 - 19:36

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  • CocoDeeBo

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    Hi - You would definitely need to book for the Christmas/New Year period. If you want real peace and quiet, I recommend the Koh Kham Resort on Koh Kham which is a few hundred meters off Koh Mak. 400 to 2000 baht there.
    On Koh Mak, try Ao Kao Resort, Baan Koh Maak, or holidays beach. The nicest is Makathanee, though that's 2500 a night.
    Please PM me if you need more help.
    Regards.

    #2 Posted: 7/9/2007 - 13:15

  • somtam2000

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    Hmm I'd beg to differ with Coco -- there's quite a few places to stay there, and, as long as you're flexible with your requirements I don't think you'd need a reservation.

    If you've not seen it already, out Ko Maak travel guide was updated just very recently -- a month or so back.

    #3 Posted: 7/9/2007 - 20:01

  • CocoDeeBo

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    The OP asks about recommendations where to stay. I think if they decide upon a place after reading reviews and receiving recommendations, then especially during the Christams period, a reservation should be made, at the latest a week before.

    #4 Posted: 8/9/2007 - 09:17

  • Fireflower

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    Thank you both for your suggestions. I have sent a few emails asking about reservations. I think it will be better to be safe knowing how manic Koh Samt can get in December :)
    Thanks Coco for the tip on Koh Kham It looks perfect!! Fingres crossed they still have vancancies. :)
    OP?

    #5 Posted: 8/9/2007 - 16:35

  • CocoDeeBo

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    OP = Original Poster

    #6 Posted: 8/9/2007 - 17:55

  • shrn62

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    Hi,

    I'm in Thailand for 5 weeks over Christmas and trying to get the most in. Thinking Chang Mai for trek.then head east towrds Ko Smet.Ko Chang for Christmas, onto Kp Phangan (Bottle Beach) for New Yrs and over to Andaman Coast after. Would be great to get somewhere nice and chilled out for Christmas but with a few people around - saw the post on Ko Maak above and looked good - can anyone make a recommendation on accom? any other islands worth a look?

    To anyone who knows Thailand..does that sound like a doable itninery?!! Would really appreciate any help..1st Christmas away from home so want to make it a good one!!

    #7 Posted: 17/11/2007 - 21:10

  • stockamole

    Joined Travelfish
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    Fireflower and shrn62,
    Check out Ko Laoliang. website www.laoliangresort.com
    Beautiful, mellow yet adventurous

    #8 Posted: 29/11/2007 - 05:43

  • shrn62

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    Wow,it looks absolutely stunning - my ideal destination. Thanks so much, it's a definite!

    #9 Posted: 29/11/2007 - 15:19

  • SBE

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    Somtam I've just looked at that Ko Maak writeup. No mention of the trash problem on the beaches and in the water which was quite acute when I was there in 2006. Have they (finally)cleaned the place up?

    #10 Posted: 23/4/2008 - 13:41

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  • somtam2000

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    Hi SBE,

    Our last research run through Ko Maak was late 2007 and the researcher didn't comment on it, so I assume the rubbish situation wasn't any worse than what you'll find on most beaches.

    #11 Posted: 23/4/2008 - 16:04

  • SBE

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    Well, having been to almost all the islands in Thailand I'd say that Ko Maak was worse than most. Just my opinion...and that of the person I was with at the time. He actually wanted to leave the island because of the amount of trash there. Surprised your researcher didn't notice anything. There were even notices at the friendly place (sorry forgotten the name) near the pier about the trash problem on Ko Maak.

    #12 Posted: 23/4/2008 - 17:01

  • somtam2000

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    Right, well, I guess if you've not been there since 2006, perhaps the situation has been cleaned up.

    I'll ask the researcher concerned -- he spends four months or so a year on Ko Maak, so should be in a fairly good position to report on changes over time.

    #13 Posted: 23/4/2008 - 17:19

  • SBE

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    Thank you. I rather liked Ko Maak otherwise, thought that the island had a lot of potential, so I'd be happy to go back there if they are doing something about the detritus on the beaches. The coral on Ko Maak was rather destroyed and strewn with plastic rubbish in 2006, no reef fish to speak of, coral all broken, nothing to see, nada, but just as I was about to get out of the water in disgust I saw a green turtle .... there is still hope.

    #14 Posted: 23/4/2008 - 18:19

  • swag

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    Hi I was on Koh Maak twelve months ago. The problem with rubbish seemed to be more confined to south eastern side if my bearings are correct.Even this wasn't overly bad. Certainly very little in water more on high water mark. On the other side of island facing Koh Kham none at all. So you could stay on that side if you had concerns.
    Regards

    #15 Posted: 24/4/2008 - 07:02

  • SBE

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    Excellent news.

    #16 Posted: 24/4/2008 - 11:23

  • MarcusFirem-
    an

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    Hallo.My girlfriend and I just left Koh mak a few days ago. We planned to stay alot longer but decide to leave because of a number of reasons. The beach is full of sand flies.full with rubbish and dirt.We wanted to stay at the Goodtime resort.But the road was impassable during rain it was thick red mud.We are glad we didn't stay , as we had dinner there one night and the german owners were rude and the children of them screaming alot.we hired a motor cycle , but it was nor possible to drive round the island because of terrible road mud. we met some nice local people who were upset by all the building on the island by the german people on the good time.Many of the new house they build are very bad and many people who buy it suffer with the rain in the house and impossibility to drive there. The best place to stay is Fantasia. a very modern resort.beautiful pool on the beach and the food is ok too.
    have nice holiday.

    #17 Posted: 3/5/2008 - 18:37

  • SBE

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    Not so excellent news.

    Did you ask the researcher for comments yet Somtam?

    #18 Posted: 3/5/2008 - 20:46

  • somtam2000

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    I've not heard back yet -- he's somewhere on Ko Kut at the moment -- can't imagine he's checking email all that regularly.

    #19 Posted: 3/5/2008 - 21:34

  • somtam2000

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    As promised -- comments from our Ko Maak hand:

    "Ko Maak is a remote island. As such, when strong winds blow from the south west, litter from the ocean, (indirectly from Cambodia) does make its way onto the beach. With four different beaches on the island having over 1km bare stretches without one resort, maintaining the litter that arrives is not so easy.

    This is the same in many of the islands in the area.... it's just that people don't see it at places such as Ko Chang due to the excess of resorts. If one bonus can be drawn from the fact that Ko Chang is chocca-block with resorts is that there isn't a square inch of beach that someone doesn't own and run a resort on. These people are able to clean daily. I can tell you that if you venture to Khlong Phrao on Ko Chang in mid-august you will struggle to find a patch of beach for the litter. Most of the resorts have shut by this point.

    In summary, there are occasionally litter problems on Ko Maak after strong weather. However beach areas in front of resorts are generally spotless. The local community does drives to maintain the beaches but it's very hard to spontaineously clear 4km beach after a bad night of wind. Especially when the reality is that two days later all the litter will have washed back out to sea and be out of sight. I would say that this problem occurs about three times a season, particularly in December, which is a windy month, and the end of April/May, when the resorts start to shut down and the rains start.

    It's the sad reality that these so called 'paradise islands' are exposed to this litter, particularly when the majority of it is not generated by the island. Ironically the more tourism the island receives, (as it's still very much in its infacy regarding tourism), the better chances the beaches have of being cleared of the litter. Sadly, when you have thousands of metres which nobody lives on, nobody cleans it.

    If tourists started to set examples by collecting a little bit, it may help spurn the clearing up, but it's a bigger, global issue.

    Regarding the comments by the mmarcusfireman:

    There's a dirty red mud track because, a) it's been raining alot recently and b)it leads to a resort which is under construction. They have not built the road yet. One of the great things about Ko Maak is that it doesn't have hundreds of cement roads everywhere, and there are many dirt tracks to secret beaches and coves. If marcus came in dry season he would find that thse tracks are quite lovely!"

    #20 Posted: 5/5/2008 - 13:00

  • SBE

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    Thanks for the feedback. I was on Ko Maak in March I think...maybe I was unlucky and saw it at its worst. It certainly worth sounds like it's worth my checking the island out out again at a different time of year.

    I agree with the comments that you often get a lot of rubbish on beaches where there are few resorts ...if there are no resorts, there's no one to clean up. I made more or less the exact same remark on my flickr site ages ago.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8675349@N06/608773177/in/set-72157600303486647/



    Your researcher made another comment that I found very interesting ....

    "the reality is that two days later all the litter will have washed back out to sea and be out of sight."

    This "out of sight out of mind" mentality is rife all over SE Asia. Rubbish may not be visible on the beach but that doesn't mean it's gone.

    Did your researcher check how much trash there was under the water as well as above it? What was the state of the reef and was there any marine life left?

    #21 Posted: 5/5/2008 - 16:39

  • Tilapia

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    The coral around Koh Mak was dead when I first went there in 1992. You have to go WAY out there to see any half decent brain coral. But by then you are in pretty deep water and need more than just snorkeling equipment to get deep enough to see much.

    R.I.P. Lazy-Days!!! You were a poorly run, rickety spot, but one of the last great hold-outs. Thanks for the memories.

    #22 Posted: 5/5/2008 - 23:46

  • tezza

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    I visited Mak this February and wrote a trip report on another forum published Aril 1. 3 parts address issues raised above:

    "...if you walk further west past the small headland where Ao Kao Resort's restaurant is located, you will reach the main south coast beach of Ao Kao. This is a nice beach, maybe 1500m long, with a half a dozen or so resorts scattered widely along it. One caveat is that at highest tide there is not a real lot of sand in most places, but that is common to most of the beaches I saw in the eastern Gulf. I have seen people complaind of a lot of rubbish washed ashore along here - and during wet season its exposed position would see the south-westerlies blowing junk from right across the Gulf. However this dry season things were not too bad, with much less junk at the tide-line in back of the beach, suggesting someone must have done a bit of a clean-up along here sometime earlier."

    "Old timers will cry about Lazy Days - this was a Mak budget institution until recently when they rebuilt - now it is decidedly midrange with very flash concrete accomm and restaurant.
    BUT I noticed there were still about half a dozen trad style huts on the hill which the guy told me were going for 500."

    "..These days there are fairly good concrete roads joining main areas, but dirt tracks are still widespread, a bit of a contrast to my first visit in ‘98 when they were all dirt".
    The point of the last bit is that all the main areas are accessed by concrete roads so wet season visitors can choose a bungalow along them and not be too inconvenienced by mud (although access lanes off the concrete may still be muddy).
    If you google Koh Mak you will come up with some at least one map showing all the concrete sections and all the bungalow locations.

    #23 Posted: 6/5/2008 - 12:05

  • SBE

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    So did you check out the snorkelling and whether there was a lot of rubbish in the sea tezza.

    #24 Posted: 6/5/2008 - 13:18

  • khunwilko

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    For more on Koh Mak check out this discussion...


    http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=177463

    #25 Posted: 8/5/2008 - 14:27

  • somtam2000

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    At risk of dragging up an old thread... received the following message from our man in the Ko Chang archipelago:

    "After your previous mails/messageboard discussion re trash on Ko Maak, I breached the subject of litter with relevant people on the island.

    You'll be pleased to hear that it spurred a reaction; here's a link to the clean-up day they had on June 10, 2008 -- 1.5 tons of garbage were collected from between Lazydays and Island hut - Monkey Island. You can see pics of the clean-up activity here"

    Great stuff!

    #26 Posted: 20/6/2008 - 05:57

  • khunwilko

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    You would be mad not to make a reservation at that time of year...at least for the first night........unless you like walking around with your bags looking for somewhere.

    Koh Mak has had several rather poor write-ups recently, so do a lot of research.

    #27 Posted: 20/6/2008 - 07:35

  • tezza

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    Well I dunno Wilko - some dude from TV stays in a 3000baht a night place on Chang and then is disappointed in what's on offer at Mak. Then it seeems he judges ALL the beaches by that adjacent his resort and can't even be bothered to get off his motorcycle to check the nice southern beach.

    somtam, it's kinda nice the guys did a clean-up of the southern beach in June - but the thing is, with another 4+ months before the prevailing south-westerlies turn, there's gunna be a hell of a lot more fishing stuff and domestic rubbish from the southern Gulf washed up by the start of high season.
    But as I said in #23, it seemed like someone did a cleanup some time last high season because there was a hell of a lot less rubbish around the high water mark then than in a previous visit when way fewer resorts were on that beach.

    #28 Posted: 20/6/2008 - 13:01

  • khunwilko

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    Er, What? Please explain...actually ...no...don't

    #29 Posted: 20/6/2008 - 14:36

  • SBE

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    One clean up is not enough. Trash gets washed up every high tide unfortunately. The picture in #21 was taken only a week or so after a massive clean-up of Ko Adang in late October and several tons of rubbish had been collected.

    #30 Posted: 21/6/2008 - 04:18

  • kristel

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    koh maak is an absolutely lovely island, and the rubbish depends really on weather and how many people around.....
    but as for booking or not, it is quiet there, but gets full in the schol holidays, since it is a populaer family island,... so, i would book for sure around christmas.... moneky island is lovely, so is cococape and plenty of others....

    #31 Posted: 30/6/2008 - 14:56

  • island

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    The road to the Koh Mak Villa from the Makathanee Resort was half done end of May and should be finished by now!

    #32 Posted: 9/7/2008 - 20:58

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