Solid rooms and service
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 flowering bushes, the smoothly sanded wood bungalows all bag you sea views from spacious porches with tables, benches and large rattan hammocks. Most were designed for couples but there is one two-bedroom bungalow that’s a good deal for families.
All rooms were full on our most recent visit; previously we found them immaculately kept and spacious with hardwood floors, high ceilings, quality linens on soft beds, several windows and spacious bathrooms with rain showerheads and slate walls.
With no connection to New Orleans (whose nickname is the Big Easy) that we know of, a British/Thai couple runs the place and we’ve found them and staffers pleasant and personable. They usually hang around a large wooden restaurant and lounge set right beside the beach, where guests settle into sofas, WiFi and shelves full of books. The Thai half of the duo worked as a chef in London for two decades and we’ve heard great thing about the food.
Set at the quiet western corner of Ao Kao, the wide beachfront features plenty of lounge chairs, a massage sala and a few casuarina trees for shade. The water here is shallow for at least 100 metres off the sand, contributing to Big Easy’s allure for families with small children.
This is also an ideal spot for launching a kayaking excursion to the twin isles of Ko Rayang. At low tide we reckon it’s possible to wade from Big Easy over to the southern point of Ko Rayang Nai, though you’ll need a kayak to reach the beach on Ko Rayang Nok. At low tide you can also stroll west down the beach and around the headland to check out Laem Tukkata.
If you like the sound of this resort but need to save on cash, check out nearby Holiday Beach Resort. Big Easy has an excellent reputation and it often fills up in high season, when reservations are essential.
Address: Western end of Ao Kao, Ko Mak
T: (086) 903 9247 ; (092) 679 0385;
Coordinates (for GPS): 102º27'25.77" E, 11º48'53.57" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 1,500B to 4,000B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Bungalow air-con private bathroom|
Add 150 to 300 baht for beachfront.
|1,400 baht||2,700 baht|
|Family room||1,800 baht||3,200 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