Lose track of time
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 hillside, while a row of slightly larger huts is found right by the shore within steps of the beach. They all bag you a hammock strung to a porch with a sea view that includes the twin isles of Ko Rayang, which are easy to reach from here by kayak.
Inside the unvarnished wood-and-bamboo shacks you get a springy mattress set on the linoleum-covered floor and draped in mosquito net, plus a fan and attached wet bathroom with cold-water shower, small sink and smaller mirror. Some of the hillside huts have barely enough space to fit a couple of packs, though seafront editions bag you more space.
These rooms have seen plenty of rainstorms but, for the money, we were very happy with the bungalow we stayed in. Expect narrow open-air sections just below the metal and thatch roofs, and cracks between the thin slices of bamboo and wood that form the walls. Those who aren’t into sharing space with ants and geckos should look elsewhere.
We slept with windows and the door propped open to let the sea breeze flow inside. Padlocks secure doors from outside but they can’t be locked from within. You do get electrical plugs but WiFi is not available, and this is a good place to turn your devices off for a while.
Doubling as reception and play space for the owners’ kids, the restaurant stands beside the beach and we found it easy to meet other guests here. The Thai food is decent—try the ginger stir-fry—and the owner was kind to us. She rents out kayaks and can arrange for the locals to take you out in a small motorboat to do some fishing or lounging on Ko Rayang Nok’s beach. During our stay, one guest’s day trip resulted in a fish barbecue that evening.
Most of all we like the old-school backpacker atmosphere that pervades this whole corner of Ko Mak. The other place to stay on lovely Laem Tukkata is Maruey Bungalows, offering huts that are a bit larger but similarly rustic. These two places blend together and you could easily check out both before deciding.
Address: Laem Tukkata, Ko Mak
T: (087) 053 9553;
Coordinates (for GPS): 102º26'54.98" E, 11º48'44.76" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: Under 600B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Bungalow fan private bathroom|
500 baht for larger bungalow on beach.
|350 baht||350 baht|
David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
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Our top 10 places to stay in and around Ko Mak