Photo: Slow down and appreciate the details.

Where to stay in Ko Mak

Ko Mak hosts a few old-style backpacker options to go with a bunch of flashpacker-range resorts and a few midrange choices. Overall the quality is fantastic, but do expect to find most rooms full if showing up between late December and late February without a reservation.

Some solid resorts offer good views on the inland road connecting the northwest-coast beaches of Ao Suan Yai and Ao Phra to sleepy Laem Tukkata and Mak’s longest beach, Ao Kao, on the south coast. We’ve divided Ao Kao into west, central and east since long stretches with no development are found in between those sections. Seclusion seekers should check out Ao Nid, Ao Pong and Laem Tan, or head further east to remote Ao Tan and Laem Son.


Introduction

There are no shortage of excellent places to stay on Ko Mak, but if you need a cheat sheet to get you started, read on.


Under 600B
Where to stay on Ko Mak
Backpacker - Under 600B

After our latest round of on-the-ground research we concluded that Ko Mak does not have a single bad place to stay. Though you won’t find five-star digs, anyone from extra-frugal backpackers to families travelling on a midrange budget will find a bunch of stellar options to choose from. ###16311 Ko Mak left us with a lot of tough decisions on which resorts to include in our guide, and... Read our full review of Where to stay on Ko Mak.

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Inland

A handful of resorts are found on and around a hill set about halfway between Ao Suan Yai and Ao Kao. Giving up direct beach access might just be worth it when you see the views from these spots.


Between Ao Suan Yai and Ao Kao, Ko Mak
600B to 1,500B
Thaidaho Vista Resort
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
Between Ao Suan Yai and Ao Kao, Ko Mak
T: (085) 136 4529

Intimate Thaidaho Vista Resort offers comfy rooms, tremendous views and a high degree of environmental responsibility—it took its name from combining the owners’ shared homelands: Thailand and the American state of Idaho. Stroll through the cafe featuring baked goods and artwork by the talented Thai side of the couple in charge to see the finest view found anywhere on Ko Mak, possibly... Read our full review of Thaidaho Vista Resort.

Between Ao Suan Yai and Ao Kao, Ko Mak
1,500B to 4,000B
Good Time Resort
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
Between Ao Suan Yai and Ao Kao, Ko Mak
T: (039) 510 870

Spanning a large property in a central location, Good Time has larger-than-usual hotel-type rooms to go with several Thai-style villas and houses for families and groups that reach up to three stories tall. The cheapest double rooms come in a pair of plain white concrete buildings and are bright and spacious, with sofas on glossy white floors and glass doors opening to balconies overlooking... Read our full review of Good Time Resort.

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Ao Suan Yai

Facing northwest within paddling distance of Ko Kham, Ko Mak’s second longest beach hosts a few solid options covering most budgets, though you’ll find almost no independent restaurants over here.


Ao Suan Yai, Ko Mak
1,500B to 4,000B
Koh Mak Resort
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
Ao Suan Yai, Ko Mak
T: (089) 600 9597

Owned by a native islander family, the long-running Koh Mak Resort remains a popular pick for families at the centre of Ao Suan Yai. The resort faces a long and central beachfront extending west from a concrete pier that services a lot of the speedboat ferries. The area close to the pier gets busy with passengers, but rooms are set far enough away to enjoy the quietude that Mak is known for.... Read our full review of Koh Mak Resort.

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Ao Suan Yai, Ko Mak
Under 600B
Prompakdee Koh Mak Resort
Backpacker - Under 600B
Ao Suan Yai, Ko Mak
T: (090) 915 9499

Formerly Suchanaree Resort, this place changed hands since our last visit and the crew at Prompakdee Koh Mak Resort added a few air-con bungalows and tent rental to go with the older huts near the centre of Ao Suan Yai. Facing the sea from a lawn backing into coconut trees, the original bungalows with metal roofs are still, for Ko Mak, a decent deal. Worn interiors come with soft mattresses... Read our full review of Prompakdee Koh Mak Resort.

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Ao Phra

Spanning the north coast of Ko Mak’s western arm, Ao Phra is a narrow, mostly undeveloped beach running into a small cape to the east that hosts Cococape Resort. It’s great for sunsets and the busier Ao Suan Yai is within walking distance down the shore.


Between Ao Phra and Ao Suan Yai, Ko Mak
600B to 1,500B
Koh Mak Cococape Resort
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
Between Ao Phra and Ao Suan Yai, Ko Mak
T: (081) 810 2679

With a multi-tiered swimming pool and 15 different room types joining a long wooden pier and bar perched above the sea, Cococape is one of the more eye-catching places to stay on Ko Mak. The fairly large resort was built along a rocky seafront within walking distance of both Ao Phra and Ao Suan Yai, with a great northerly outlook to Ko Kham and Ko Chang in the distance. The pier bar helps to... Read our full review of Koh Mak Cococape Resort .

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Laem Tukkata

Home to our favourite cluster of old-style bungalows on Ko Mak, this isolated cape and its short beach stretch to the west of Ao Kao, facing south towards Ko Rayang. The only land access is via a bumpy lane beginning closer to the north coast behind Cococape Resort.


Laem Tukkata, Ko Mak
Under 600B
Baan Ing Kao
Backpacker - Under 600B
Laem Tukkata, Ko Mak
T: (087) 053 9553

A top pick for backpackers looking to leave it all behind, Baan Ing Kao is an old-style bungalow joint fronting Laem Tukkata’s pretty crescent of pinkish sand in a secluded corner of Ko Mak. Laem Tukkata is the westernmost beach with accommodation on the island and we felt like we’d gone back in time when arriving here. Most of Baan Ing Kao’s cheap and rustic bungalows sit on a wooded... Read our full review of Baan Ing Kao.



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Western Ao Kao

The small resorts found near the quiet western corner of Ko Mak’s longest beach offer excellent choices in the flashpacker to midrange brackets. Expect about a kilometre walk to the cluster of restaurants and shops found closer to Ao Kao’s centre.


Western end of Ao Kao, Ko Mak
1,500B to 4,000B
Big Easy Koh Mak
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
Western end of Ao Kao, Ko Mak
T: (086) 903 9247

The Big Easy’s seven bungalows are great options for those looking to stay on Ko Mak’s longest beach while enjoying the privacy that’s often lacking at places found closer to the centre of Ao Kao. It’s one of our top picks in the midrange bracket for those who don’t require a swimming pool. Standing well apart from one another on a mix of sand and grass dotted with trees and... Read our full review of Big Easy Koh Mak.

Western Ao Kao, Ko Mak
600B to 1,500B
Holiday Beach Resort
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
Western Ao Kao, Ko Mak
T: (086) 751 7668

A friendly, frisbee-loving owner and cute air-con bungalows make up for the lack of a catchy name at Holiday Beach Resort, one of our top picks in Ko Mak’s flashpacker bracket. Sporting teal trim on brown siding to go with metal roofs, the cheapest bungalows are small but adequate for the price. These are set behind the larger rooms and come with several windows, firm beds, mosquito nets,... Read our full review of Holiday Beach Resort.

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Central Ao Kao

Backed by several eateries and shops, the centre of Ko Mak’s longest beach is a fine choice if you like having conveniences close by.


Central Ao Kao, Ko Mak
600B to 1,500B
Baan Koh Mak
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
Central Ao Kao, Ko Mak
T: (089) 895 7592

Baan Koh Mak’s slogan is “cool vacations” and indeed the accommodation was designed with more of a modern theme that we found cooler than most resorts on Ao Kao. Set in a semi-circle around a shady lawn that stretches up to the beach, the bungalows have slanted roofs and wide glass doors opening to roofed porches with sea views from the plastic chairs. Only a row of hedges separates... Read our full review of Baan Koh Mak .

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Central Ao Kao, Ko Mak
600B to 1,500B
Monkey Island
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
Central Ao Kao, Ko Mak
T: (039) 524 040

The only place to stay on Ko Mak that aims specifically for reggae-loving hippie-type travellers, Monkey Island remains a reliable budget choice near Ao Kao’s small eating and shopping strip. Most rooms come in small lumbung-style bungalows with thatch covering exterior walls and roofs, and a mix of varnished wood and bamboo inside. They’re available with shared or private... Read our full review of Monkey Island.

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Eastern Ao Kao

Most of the beachfront lies undeveloped as you head east down Ao Kao, finally bumping into a few excellent resorts nestled around the beach’s eastern corner. At these you get sunset views and a secluded feel, though a second clutch of eateries is found out on the main road.


Eastern Ao Kao, Ko Mak
1,500B to 4,000B
Ao Kao White Sand Beach Resort
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
Eastern Ao Kao, Ko Mak
T: (083) 152 6564

Stretching along a quiet shore composed of sand, rocks and grass, Ao Kao White Sand Beach Resort is our top midrange choice on Ko Mak for families and a fine choice for couples as well. Since our previous visit this fairly large resort (at least by Ko Mak standards) had replaced the last of its wooden bungalows with smart polished-concrete villas built in a contemporary style. Priced by... Read our full review of Ao Kao White Sand Beach Resort.

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Eastern Ao Kao, Ko Mak
Under 600B
Island Hut
Backpacker - Under 600B
Eastern Ao Kao, Ko Mak
T: (087) 139 5537

Wedged between the beach and a fragrant cashew orchard, Island Hut is one of Ko Mak’s last old-style bungalow joints and it remains a decent option for those who like it rustic. Accommodation starts real cheap with a thin-walled longhouse divided into tiny rooms that come with only fan, hard mattress, mosquito net and use of bucket-flush toilets and cold-water showers in some dire shared... Read our full review of Island Hut.



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Ao Nid, Ao Pong and Laem Chan

This section covers the resorts scattered on both the east and west coasts of Ko Mak’s far southern cape, Laem Chan. To the east stretches Ao Nid with its pier, temple and village, and Ao Pong is a lovely beach set a smidge further south. The west side has only rocky shores but the sunsets are hard to beat. Renting some wheels would be helpful if staying out this way.


Ao Pong (just south of Ao Nid Pier), Ko Mak
600B to 1,500B
Ao Pong Resort
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
Ao Pong (just south of Ao Nid Pier), Ko Mak
T: (090) 780 7867

A great choice for flashpackers who like the quiet life, Ao Pong Resort sits hidden away on a hill facing a scenic beach that’s easily overlooked to the south of Ao Nid and its pier, temple and cafes. From Ao Nid pier guests take a dirt lane that rambles for a couple of hundred metres down to Ao Pong, a small beach with only this one place to stay. Even if not staying here, do make a trip... Read our full review of Ao Pong Resort.

(  Read more on Agoda.com )

Laem Tan, Ko Mak
600B to 1,500B
Banana Sunset
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
Laem Tan, Ko Mak
T: (087) 416 2026

Run by a funky crew of young Thais and foreigners, Banana Sunset offers tents and flashpacker-range bungalows near a spacious deck where you can sit back for sunset before joining the party after dark. Solo travellers can grab a small tent pitched by the sea and equipped with a sleeping mat, pillow, blanket and power strip to keep the included fan spinning—more than we’d expect for the... Read our full review of Banana Sunset.

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Laem Chan, Ko Mak
600B to 1,500B
Pano Resort
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
Laem Chan, Ko Mak
T: (086) 022 8449

Pano is a long-running and friendly spot offering unusual log cabins split into two rooms, each with wide front porches that are among the best sunset vantage points on Ko Mak. Set high up on stilts with knobby logs composing the exterior and inside walls, each of the rooms in a duplex is accessed by a single stairway and then private entrances on either side of a landing. Scuffs on the... Read our full review of Pano Resort.

(  Read more on Agoda.com or Booking.com )

Ao Nid, Ko Mak
1,500B to 4,000B
Sea Breeze @Koh Mak
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
Ao Nid, Ko Mak
T: (081) 782 8242

Sea Breeze’s clean and comfy concrete cottages sit on a hill that forms Ao Nid’s northern rim, offering great views south over the bay and out towards Ko Kut. All rooms lack pizazz but we like the unpretentious design relying on tile floors, crimson metal roofs, several tinted windows and sliding glass doors. Set near the top of the hill, standard rooms come in duplexes and these are fine... Read our full review of Sea Breeze @Koh Mak.

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Ao Tan

This sleepy north-facing bay hosts only the one place to stay and we like its old-school Thai style for seclusion seekers. Despite minimal sand and shallows for a long distance off the shore, this is a soothing spot with a great pier to lounge on.


Ao Tan, Ko Mak
600B to 1,500B
Koh Mak Green View Resort
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
Ao Tan, Ko Mak
T: (081) 588 1006

A good choice for backpackers seeking maximum seclusion, Green View covers a quiet, jungle-backed property that reminds us of the campgrounds with cabins that you’ll find at many Thai national parks. Sporting metal roofs, hardwood floors, varnished log exteriors, screened windows and woven-bamboo walls on the inside, the bungalows stand in a couple of rows with a lot of space in between.... Read our full review of Koh Mak Green View Resort.

(  Read more on Agoda.com or Booking.com )



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Laem Son

Ko Mak’s easternmost beach has reddish sand, an outlook to Ko Kradat and only one place to stay in the far southern corner that’s a good choice for lovers. The only other business is a beach shack restaurant and it’s a five-kilometre ride from here to the island’s busier parts, with very little in between.


Laem Son, Ko Mak
1,500B to 4,000B
Little Moon Villa
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
Laem Son, Ko Mak
T: (086) 903 6634

Style and romance pervade Little Moon Villa, a small resort fronting the clay-red sand of Ko Mak’s remote eastern shore. The resort appears unexpectedly along a dirt lane that ends a few hundred metres further north at Laem Son, home to a single seafood shack and nothing else save tons of space for chilling on the sand. This setting makes Little Moon a fine choice for couples looking to get... Read our full review of Little Moon Villa.

(  Read more on Agoda.com or Booking.com )



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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Ko Mak.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Ko Mak.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Ko Mak.
 Read up on how to get to Ko Mak, or book your transport online with 12Go Asia.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Ko Mak? Please read this.
 Buy a SIM card for Thailand—pick it up at the airport when you arrive.
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