Ko Maak

Lots to do

No pic at the moment -- Sorry!

What we say: 4 stars

Ko Maak is ideal for exploring by bicycle thanks to its relatively flat terrain and good network of quiet roads and dirt tracks. In early 2007 the government also awarded a grant to the island to make a purpose built cycling track all around the island which should start to be realised in late 2007. Some bungalow operations rent mountain bikes for about 30B/hr or 150B for a day, or alternatively head to Nong Massage (T:(089) 017 9938) on the main road to Ao Nid who have a large rental fleet. For the less physically inclined, motorbikes can be rented from virtually anywhere, generally priced at 300B/day, or 70B/hour.

The beaches don't have a good drop-off so you'll have to wade a fair way out if you want to get very wet or enjoy some localised snorkelling. Sea kayaking is relatively popular and the nearby teardrop islands of Ko Kradad, Ko Kham and Ko Rayang Nok make for interesting destinations. Kayaks can be rented from most resorts for 100B/hr or 500B a day. Baan Koh Mak rents out windsurfers at 100B/hr or 500B for the day, though most of the time there's not enough wind to warrant it.

Scuba is growing fast in the area, particularly due to the reef and marine life in the nearby National Marine Park. Three operators work on the island; Koh Mak Divers - (083) 297 7724 (British/Skandinavian/Dutch), Paradise Divers - (085) 090 8689 (German), and Ploy(Thai). All can offer similar trips to the nearby islands and reefs, as well as trips to Ko Kut. Koh Mak Divers (PADI) have been operating on the island for over 10 years and are probably the most knowledgeable on local sights, whereas Ploy operates out of Ko Chang with freelance instructors and speed boats.

By far the favoured activity on Ko Maak is lying by the beach and relaxing, so it pays to be aware that sand flies inhabit these areas and their bites are incredibly itchy. The locals swear that Coconut Oil, which can be found all over the island very cheaply, is the perfect deterrent ... just rub it on and the flies stop biting, plus in enhances your tan!

Anyone who has a taste for exploring should be directed to TripMakers (khunrano@yahoo.com T: (089) 804 2595), a bar and booking office for walks and tours around the local area. Run by two likeable characters, Rano and O, you'll quickly find yourself in a friendly groove whether you want to book a tour or simply stop by for a drink. Their accommodation is in transition at the moment, but the phone still works. Rano can also be found at Café Del Mak, or ask the staff there to contact him.

Massage is another pastime on the island, with two companies coming recommended. The first is long time player Meg, who works out of Holiday beach resort with a team of ladies which he personally trains. Formerly working from Sawan Spa and Ao Kao resort, you can now find them just beside the 'Relax' restaurant in a small gazebo. Its possible to book massages with them as well as just turing up. They are experienced and friendly, and the prices competitive. If you have a muscular injury then ask for Meg himself, who despite being a little eccentric is a wizard with his hands. Secondly there's Nong Massage. Whilst not offering the beach front location of Holiday beach resort the staff are equally able, and as its on the main road in the village it makes a great after dinner treat. Both places offer good value treatments with Thai massage coming in at a reasonable 250B/hour. Nong massage is just beyond the school on the road towards the Pier.

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