Stay for the sunsets
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 hardwood floors and weak spots in the old spring beds hint that more than a few travellers have stayed, but you get more than enough space to juggle cats.
Though we’re not keen on the metal floors on the porches, we like how they bag you loads of space and a couple of lounge chairs for taking in sunset. The porches extend alongside both rooms in a given duplex but metal dividing walls ensure privacy, even when your neighbours are lounging a few feet away.
The rooms also come with portable fans, mosquito nets, desks and spacious hot-water bathrooms showing some grime. Side-facing windows can be opened but those facing the sea are unfortunately glass panes that can’t be moved; we slept with the porch door open to let in a breeze. Below you’ll find concrete patios with tables and hammocks that are shared between the two rooms.
The design provides affordability for families and groups renting out both rooms in a building. Those with strangers staying next door should try to keep quiet late at night, as muffled sound carries through the walls and floors. On the last night of our stay, a big group of Russians renting out several rooms decided to take over the whole terrace below our room.
Should this be the case, you can always pop over to the large pavilion where decent Thai food is served along with beer and WiFi to tables and corner nooks with hammocks and floor cushions. The Thai owner has a laid-back attitude and he does a great job of making guests feel at home.
You’ll pass nothing but forest for the last few hundred metres on the way here, so Pano is best suited to those renting a motorbike or bicycle to get around. Fronting the resort is a rocky coast with only a little slice of sand—fun for watching crabs but not great for swimming. On the other side of the long and narrow property stretches a lagoon and we enjoyed strolling beyond the rooms on a lawn draped in trees that ends at a rocky point.
Pano’s owner has earned a great reputation among travellers and locals, and the rooms do fill up at times during high season. They’re available on booking sites, meaning that you might be out of luck if booking in for a night or two and then trying to extend your stay in person.
Address: Laem Chan, Ko Mak
T: (086) 022 8449;
Coordinates (for GPS): 102º29'4.94" E, 11º47'47.29" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 600B to 1,500B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Standard double room||750 baht||750 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.
Provided by Travelfish partner Agoda.
Our top 10 places to stay in and around Ko Mak