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Ao Nang Guide : Krabi Thailand

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Ao Nang Guide : Thailand Island Reviews

Ao Nang is the best location to stay in Krabi. Krabi is the name of the province. Within Krabi province there is also Krabi town which doesn’t have a beach. Ao Nang makes an excellent base for travelling Krabi province and nearby Thailand beaches like Railay beach. Ao Nang is the best location to stay in Krabi also as a jumping off point to go to many beautiful island destinations in Thailand such as Koh Phi Phi and Koh Hong.

 

Go Thailand Island Hopping to Koh Hong from Ao Nang

Ao Nang Monkey Trail

For a good chance to see monkeys then consider a short hike along Monkey Trail Ao Nang. It is a 15 minute walk between Ao Nang beach to the Centara Grand beach, with sea views and monkeys. It is possible (and likely!) to see a family of macaques as well as dusky langurs hanging out on this monkey trail in Ao Nang. 

Ao Nang Snorkelling

Ao Nang day trips can be arranged for snorkelling and island hopping routes around Krabi.

4 Island Tour Ao Nang

 One of the more famous Ao Nang day trips is the 4 island tour which involves visiting different Krabi beaches, stops for snorkelling and lunch on an uninhabited island. Ao Nang Tip: check if your day trip includes National Park fees as these can often be the same price as the trip itself. Thailand National Park fees are set by the government and are not negotiable. 

Beautiful beaches of Krabi

Koh Hong Island Trip: Ao Nang Beaches

Koh Hong is a stunning, uninhabited island with white sand and clear, turquoise water and a stunning viewpoint of Phang na Bay. It has one of the best beaches in Thailand in the white sand beach category. Note: It gets busy with daytrippers in peak season and on weekends so try to avoid these to get this quiet Thailand beach to yourself! National Park fee is 300 baht to enter, but it is worth the money.  

Ao Nang Guide: Head to Koh Hong on a Thailand island hopping trip!

 Ao Nang Beaches

Ao Nang has two long stretches of beach which you can walk to from most Ao Nang hotels. The beaches have yellow sand and the beautiful backdrop of the limestone karsts behind them. They are not, however, as beautiful as the white sand beaches on neighbouring islands so many visitors arrange an island hopping day trip to visit these stunning Krabi beaches. 

Ao Nang to Railay Beach

Visiting Railay is one of the best things to do from Ao Nang. Railay beach is one of the best beaches in Thailand, with three beaches to choose from, wild monkeys, a cave shrine and a very impressive bat cave. To get from Ao Nang to Railay beach it is incredible easy. You can take a long tail boat, it will cost 100 baht one way or 200 baht return and you can take from the ticket office just at the bottom of the main road in Ao Nang infront of Vacation Village near the beach. Book a return ticket or you may have to wait on Railay for others to join you to return to Ao Nang as there are multiple long tail boat operators. At the time of writing, boats leave from Nopparat beach so you will be taken in a songtaew (truck) for 5 minutes down the road as part of the ticket price. 

Railay beach, one of the top beaches in Thailand

Ao Nang Hike

Ao Nang is a great base to stay at so you can experience Ao Nang hiking in nearby beautiful national parks in Krabi. There are many options including the emerald lagoon, hot spring waterfall and some fantastic viewpoints. There’s always a chance of seeing monkeys. You can organise with roadside tour operator. The tours are well organised Krabi day trips often including water and snacks/lunch. Alternatively rent scooters and travel there yourself. The emerald lagoon is about a 1 hour drive outside of Ao Nang.

Ao Nang Diving

If you are a diver then one of the great thing to do in Ao Nang is scuba diving nearby dive sites. If you are a beginner then consider getting PADI qualified and doing your Open Water course in Thailand. There are many Ao Nang dive centres. Many will offer long day trips to Koh Phi Phi for diving in the marine national park there, as well as shorter day trips to Ao Nang local islands. While the coral is not as impressive as other areas of Thailand it is still possible to see reef sharks, turtles and seahorses. 

Ao Nang Guide : Best Places to Stay in Ao Nang

There are so so many Ao Nang hotels that it can be hard to decide between them. Make sure you are staying near enough to Ao Nang beach so that everywhere is walkable and book a hotel with a rooftop swimming pool. The best place to stay in Ao Nang for mid-range accommodation is BlueSotel SMART (Agoda) or (BlueSotel SMART Booking.com) which is two minutes’ walk to the beach, has a stunning rooftop infinity pool and beautiful, clean, spacious rooms. It is also a great place to watch sunset from while having a cocktail at the rooftop pool bar. 

The best place to stay in Ao Nang for more budget friendly Krabi accommodation is Sea Seeker Hotel (Agoda) Or Sea Seeker Reviews on Booking.com. The rooms are clean, modern and all have a balcony with mountain views. The swimming pool has a bar and a slide. It is located 5 minutes walk from Ao Nang beach. Compare Ao Nang hotel prices with Agoda or with Booking website.

 

 

Ao Nang Guide to Restaurants : Where to Eat

There are various street food markets, stalls and many many restaurants in Ao Nang. It is a great place for Indian food as well as Thai cuisine. One of the best places to eat in Ao Nang is Thailandia on the main strip down to Ao Nang beach. It does the best massamam curry I’ve ever had with the added bonus of roti as well as rice. 

Getting from Ao Nang to Koh Phi Phi

Travelling to Koh Phi Phi from Ao Nang is also incredibly easy. There are many roadside tour operators who will organise a hotel pick up and ferry ticket for you. The ferry (a slower boat) is approximately 2 hours and speedboat is 1 hour journey to Koh Phi Phi. Prices vary but expect to pay around 400 baht for the slow Ao Nang to Koh Phi Phi ferry and more than double that for the Koh Phi Phi speedboat.

Krabi Airport to Ao Nang: Airport Transfer Krabi to Ao Nang

Getting from Krabi airport to Ao Nang is incredibly easy. On arrival at Krabi airport there will be a transport operator asking where you are heading. You can then share a minivan with other people arriving for 150 baht per person. It will leave once full or you have waited for other flights. The minivan will drop you at your hotel. You can arrange with the same company to collect you if or when you need to return from Ao Nang to Krabi airport. The airport is approximately 30 minutes from Ao Nang. This, of course, depends on traffic and if your minivan is stopping to drop off other visitors. 

Viewpoints of Phang na Bay from Koh Hong – Ao Nang Guide to Thailand Island Hopping

3 days in Ao Nang

3 days in Ao Nang is the perfect holiday time to go to Railay beach, go Thailand island hopping and visit Krabi national park. If you just have two days in Ao Nang then I recommend choosing either Railay, the island hopping tour or some hiking in the national park. It is possible to go here for a weekend getaway from Bangkok as it is close to Krabi airport and easy to access. 

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If you enjoyed this Ao Nang Guide then find more Thailand island guides here, click here to see what other Thailand islands you should visit

Koh Lipe Accommodation

Planning a Thailand holiday and wondering where to stay on Koh Lipe?

I have visited this island on various occasions and have tried out different Koh Lipe hotels to help you decide where to stay on Koh Lipe island.

If you are looking for a luxury hotel in Koh Lipe that is affordable then I definitely recommend Idyllic Concept where I stayed in August 2022.

showing you the prettiness of Koh Lipe beaches
White sand and clear water on Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe Accommodation: Idyllic Concept Review

Idyllic Concept is ideally located on Sunrise beach, right at the end of the beach by Koh Usan which has lovely snorkelling spots. This Koh Lipe hotel offers two swimming pools, a delicious breakfast and spacious rooms.

Quick room tour of Idyllic Resort – one of the best places to stay on Koh Lipe

Idyllic Concept Review – Rooms

All rooms offer complimentary water and tea and coffee along with a kettle and minibar.

The rooms are lovely with various unusual features as part of their interior design and have great hanging ‘nest’ chairs on the balconies. I stayed in a pool view deluxe double room and really enjoyed it.

The bathrooms are spacious, with a great waterfall shower and even a bathtub. They were cleaned every day and we were provided with shampoo, conditioner and shower gel along with other amenities.

My only feedback for the hotel would be to provide water refills rather than plastic bottles in the room to be a more eco-friendly resort. I also noticed the plugs were in strange places so there wasn’t a plug on the sideboard for the kettle so I had to plug it in near the bed or in the bathroom. These were two small comments and I would definitely stay here again in the future and recommend Idyllic Concept to friends who are looking for Koh Lipe accommodation.

Instagrammable areas of Idyllic resort Koh Lipe

Idyllic Concept Review – restaurant

I absolutely loved the breakfasts that were included during our stay at Idyllic Concept. As a vegetarian, I always love when restaurants provide loads of fresh fruit. As well as this, you could have any type of bread, pancakes, cookies, cereal, Asian cuisine or freshly made eggs of your choosing. They also provide tea and a coffee machine, freshly squeezed fruit juice and will make Thai tea or iced coffee for you.

One of the other things about breakfast at this top Koh Lipe hotel was that it started early so if you are scuba diving in Koh Lipe then you are able to eat before going diving. Breakfast started from 6.30am when I was visiting in 2022.

Koh Lipe Hotel – Staff

The staff were fantastic at the resort. Really friendly and helpful and I felt like they could be themselves. We were met at the pier and taken to the resort and given a welcome drink while we checked in.

Activities to do on Koh Lipe from Idyllic Resort

From Idyllic Concept resort you can rent snorkelling gear, kayaks and stand up paddleboards at a very cheap price. Koh Lipe is a fantastic place to view healthy coral and, in my opinion, it is the best snorkelling in Thailand. There is a wide range of marine life here that you can view snorkelling, diving or from a paddleboard or kayak – they even have clear perspex ones so you can see what is underneath!

How to book Koh Lipe Hotels?

The best way to book hotels in Thailand is to use Agoda. You can compare and book Idyllic Resort here. I use this to book all my Thailand hotels. I usually compare with booking Idyllic Resort on Booking.com to see which website is cheaper.

In summary, Idyllic Concept is one of the best places to stay on Koh Lipe and you won’t forget a trip to my favourite island in Thailand.

If you’re interested in what to do in Koh Lipe and where to eat then read this article on my Thailand travel blog for more fun Koh Lipe activities.

Looking at visiting other islands in Thailand? I have a Thailand island guide for them all.

Pin Me to Pinterest : Koh Lipe Island Guide

Ethical Elephants Thailand

Hopefully you found this Thailand blog post because you know that riding elephants is cruel and instead, you are looking for a way of helping elephants in Thailand. Please note this post is written in 2022, post covid pandemic and I visited the animal sanctuary three times recently.

To help elephants in Thailand, you have two options:

  • Visit an ethical elephant sanctuary Thailand
  • Head to a National Park to see wild elephants

Both are amazing experiences and I fully recommend seeing these incredible creatures. For a more intimate and up close experience then consider a Thailand elephant sanctuary or for a real jungle trip and to see elephants where they truly belong then visit Khao Yai National Park, the best place in Thailand to see wild elephants.

For information about how to experience wild elephants in Thailand, click here.

This post will focus on one of the best elephant sanctuaries in Thailand and where you can actually experience a lot of Thailand’s wildlife. Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand has established an elephant sanctuary near Bangkok called I Love Phants Lodge Agoda Reviews or Booking reviews).

I have visited this amazing rescue sanctuary multiple times and friends and I always recommend this Thailand animal sanctuary to visitors and fellow expats.

The elephant enclosure at I Love Phants, a humane elephant sanctuary near Bangkok

Where to stay to see elephants in Thailand?

Stay at the I Love Phants Lodge and wake up to the sounds of the elephants trumpeting and the gibbons calling. I feel this is the best jungle experience with a luxury twist (and that’s how I sold it to my Mum!). It has a swimming pool, various bungalow options and villas to choose from and offers frequent wildlife tours to see the rescue animals in Thailand. The accommodation on offer is fairly limited so be sure to book this humane elephant sanctuary in advance so you don’t miss out.

swim and watch the rescue elephants in Thailand
Sitting on the edge of the swimming pool and elephant spotting

Rescue Wildlife Thailand: Where do the rescued wildlife come from?

All the animals at the I Love Phants Lodge are rescue animals. The elephants you see here have been rescued from the entertainment industry and from poorly-run zoos. Many of the other rescue animals were rescued from Thailand’s dark pet trade, including gibbons, apes and primates. Many of their stories are incredibly sad but by supporting ethical animal experiences in Thailand we can all help to counteract the awful lives these animals have led before. This is therefore, the best  animal sanctuary in Thailand and, if you love animals, you’ll love your stay at the I Love Phants Lodge.

other rescue animals like gibbons at the rescue sanctuary
Gibbons (my favourite) at the animal rescue centre in Thailand

Ethical animal tourism Thailand

Unfortunately, during my years of living and travelling around Thailand, there is not much ethical animal tourism here. It was only 10-15 years ago where tourists could see elephants in Bangkok, a place where no jungle wildlife should be, let alone an animal that can feel vibrations through its feet. Elephant abuse is rife in Thailand. Luckily, along with ethical elephant sanctuaries in Chiang Mai, more and more tourists are calling for no riding elephant sanctuaries and I have seen first hand the impact this has had. When I first visited Thailand 10 years ago, there was ONE elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai that refused to give tourists rides. Now, almost every Thailand elephant sanctuary offers no-riding experiences which is definitely a win for these amazing creatures.

Elephant Reserve Thailand

The I Love Phants lodge feels more like an elephant reserve in Thailand. It has a huge, spacious central enclosure where elephants can roam freely, with the exception of the more aggressive bull elephants who have their own enclosures. You can view the elephants from the outdoor restaurant, from the swimming pool and from your hotel room window! There are many enclosures and the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand are constantly expanding as they rescue more and more animals from a life in the pet trade or entertainment industry.

Elephant Viewing Platform aka swimming pool

Elephants near Bangkok

This is the best Bangkok elephant sanctuary as it is found about 2-3 hours drive from central Bangkok. On my last trip, I combined it with a visit to the beach in Hua Hin, which was just a 1 hour drive from the elephant sanctuary.

Food at I love Phants: The humane elephant sanctuary

There is one restaurant and it is very reasonably priced, as well as a bar so you can enjoy your beer and watch the elephants. The buffet breakfast was included but I was disappointed not to see more vegetarian options for a rescue sanctuary! I hope this will improve over time.

Thailand Wildlife Tour

Several times a week, the foundation run a wildlife tour. You go in a small vehicle (like a long golf cart) and are shown all the enclosures in the sanctuary and told the stories about the different animals and how they were rescued and came to be at the Wildlife Friends Foundation.

This is the best place to see wildlife in Thailand because, in the jungle, you never know what you might see (or what you might not) and this is the best wildlife sanctuary to visit that means you experience the animals and support a much needed rescue centre in Thailand.

To book your stay, follow this link to see room options. Alternatively you can book with Booking.com here. On the I Love Phants website you can also book but I found they charged additional fees on my debit card (despite having a Thai bank account) so I recommend going through Agoda to avoid this, click on the elephants below to compare room prices on Agoda!

 

 

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Koh Lipe Guide

Planning a visit to Koh Lipe, Thailand? Wondering the best places to stay and activities to do there? This is my guide to Koh Lipe, written during and post the covid 19 pandemic.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a booking I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Koh Lipe Guide

Not only is Koh Lipe among the top 10 islands in Thailand but it may actually be the best island in Thailand. I have visited here several times before, both as a solo female traveller in Thailand and with friends, so I feel this Koh Lipe review is very valid and I’ve been both pre-covid and post covid while living in Bangkok. It is a tiny island and everything is within walking distance including the 3 most popular beaches. There are very few vehicles on the island which is one of my favourite things about it.

During Koh Lipe covid times, the island was closed with no ferries and tourism started picking up again from late 2021. It felt wonderful to have an amazing Thailand island trip while also supporting the local economy and small businesses on the island. Restaurants, shops and bars are starting to open up again but still some are closed – updated August 2022.

Is Koh Lipe the most beautiful island in Thailand?

Koh Lipe is definitely one of  the most beautiful islands in Thailand, in my humble opinion. It has stunning, white sand beaches, turquoise crystal clear water. It is home to the best snorkelling sites in Thailand and, for most divers, the best scuba diving in Thailand.

Views of Sunrise beach from Castaway Resort Koh Lipe

Where is Koh Lipe Thailand?

Koh Lipe is one of the southern most islands in Thailand, near the Malaysian border and not far from Langkawi in Malaysia. This makes getting to Koh Lipe a longer journey than most islands in Thailand but you will be rewarded once you get there! Pre-covid, you could travel from Langkawi to Koh Lipe but, at the time of writing in 2022, this ferry is not available.

The Best Things to Do on Koh Lipe

Most of the best Koh Lipe activities involve the water:

Snorkelling

Scuba diving

The coral reefs are healthy and stunning and you can snorkel straight off the beach to see a variety of marine life. If you are interested in Koh Lipe diving then I strongly recommend checking out Koh Lipe dive sites which are among the top dive sites in Thailand. It is possible to see whale sharks and devil rays if you’re lucky. In 10 days of diving Koh Lipe, I saw frogfish, razorfish, octopuses, seahorses, nudibranchs, moray eels, cuttlefish, squid and the healthiest looking coral I’ve seen in Thailand.

Kayaking – another great way to explore the island. Please note this is not possible during low tide times to protect the reef

Stand Up Paddleboarding- I did this and also took my snorkel mask for a spot of SUP and snorkelling at the same time. The sea can be very calm which makes for great Koh Lipe paddleboarding. It is very cheap to rent a board (we rented from our Castaway accommodation) and, as with kayaking, this is not possible at low tides.

Koh Lipe Yoga – I really enjoyed yoga classes with Keira and would definitely recommend her. She was great at adapting her yoga classes to different abilities. For example, for me who has very low flexibility and for my friend who was much better than me!

example of koh lipe activities
Fantastic yoga classes with Keira

When is the best time to visit Koh Lipe?

Like most islands in Thailand, Koh Lipe has rainy season and dry season.

Rainy season in Koh Lipe usually starts from May – October and this is often known as the green or low season in Koh Lipe.

However, I have visited Koh Lipe in October and in August and while there were some cloudy days we also had bright, blue sky days. As always the weather is very temperamental in Thailand. Although it may not feel like the best time to visit Koh Lipe, low season has its advantages of quiet beaches and no other divers around on some of the best dive sites in Thailand.

Is Koh Lipe crowded?

Koh Lipe is one of the best less touristy islands in Thailand. Since the covid pandemic, Koh Lipe has started to recover its tourist numbers but it is not like it was before meaning there are beautiful quiet Thailand beaches here.

How to Travel to Koh Lipe:

How to get to Koh Lipe from Bangkok?

There is no Koh Lipe airport so the fastest way to get to from Bangkok to Koh Lipe is to fly to Hat Yai airport. From Hat Yai to Koh Lipe, you can get a minivan to Pakbara pier (approx. 1 hour 30 minutes) and then a speedboat from Pakbara pier to Koh Lipe (approx. 1h30 or 2 hours). There are some alternative routes although many are not up and running again after the covid 19 pandemic. This facebook group is incredibly helpful for visitors.

How to get to Koh Lipe from Krabi?

At the time of writing (August 2022) there was no ferry from Krabi to Koh Lipe. To travel from Krabi to Koh Lipe you can travel in a minivan to Pakbara pier (approx 4hours) and then a speedboat (approx 1hr30). You can book this with any tour operator along the road in Krabi or Ao Nang.

Where to stay on Koh Lipe?

Koh Lipe accommodation covers budget and mid-range options, although there are few high end luxury resorts. If you are interested in staying in Koh Lipe bungalows then I definitely can recommend Castaway Koh Lipe (Agoda) or (Castaway Koh Lipe Booking.com) where I stayed previously. They are cute, wooden, fairly basic bungalows with a fan and cold showers right on Sunrise Beach with gorgeous beach views from the Castaway restaurant. It was a great location for me as it was a short walk up Sunrise Beach to get to my dive centre.

For luxury Koh Lipe accommodation, you can read about my experience staying at Idyllic Concept Hotel – one of the best hotels in Koh Lipe here.

My hammock outside my Koh Lipe bungalow

Koh Lipe beaches

The main beautiful beaches are Sunrise, Sunset and Pattaya beach. At different times of year these beaches can look very different and some are prone to a lot of trash washing up on them. The locals on Koh Lipe work hard to constantly clear the beaches of the litter and I found them very clean in October. This can change with the currents and tides that bring in ocean garbage. Koh Lipe is where you can find less touristy beaches in Thailand depending on the time of year. Since the pandemic, Koh Lipe still has some of the best quiet beaches in Thailand.

Sunset Beach Views

Koh Lipe Restaurants and Koh Lipe Nightlife

Things to do in Koh Lipe also include eating delicious Koh Lipe food. My favourite restaurants quickly became the Italian, La Luna, Bombay Indian restaurant and local Thai restaurant Madam Yoohoo. (Who does actually shout yoohoo to encourage potential customers to walk in!). Through my diving package I also got food at Bennys on the Beach included for lunch which was vegetarian and delicious!

Koh Lipe Nightlife was very limited as the island was just opening up but we enjoyed drinks at Castaway, Zodiac at the end of the beach, Akira’s cocktail happy hour, OMG sports bar and Toey’s random corner bar at the corner by the sushi restaurant (I don’t believe it has a name but Toey is an island character and has many games and puzzles to surprise his customers with!).

Diving Koh Lipe: best dive sites in Thailand

If you are a scuba diver then Koh Lipe is probably already on your bucket list as it is home to some of the best dive sites in Thailand where you can see the healthiest, most colourful coral in Thailand, alongside Thai marine life like whale sharks and devil rays along with macro life. If you aren’t a scuva diver but are interested then Koh Lipe is a fantastic place to learn how to scuba dive in Thailand. You can learn with PADI or SSI. at various dive centres on Koh Lipe. The dive centre I did a Koh Lipe diving package with was Adang Sea Divers and they exceeded all my expectations. All the staff were fantastic from Keira and Lauren to Sunny, Aris and Joe. I spent most of my time diving with Sunny and Joe who have the BEST divemaster eyes and found so much marine life to show me! I can’t wait to dive with Adang Sea Divers again. Pear was incredibly helpful before I arrived and she helped to book my transfer and boat from Hat Yai airport and answered many of my questions before arriving on the island.

If diving please note that the national park will close some dive sites during low season to give them a chance to recover. This includes the top dive site in Thailand called Stonehenge. However, there is still a lot of diving available.

Is it better to dive in langkawi or koh lipe?

Thinking of diving in Langkawi or Koh Lipe? The dive sites in Koh Lipe make it one of the best diving islands in Thailand and I strongly recommend diving there, for the beautiful coral reefs, for the diversity of marine life and for a chance of whale sharks and devil rays.

Amazing diving on Koh Lipe with Adang Sea Divers

Koh Lipe Island Hopping

It is a great Koh Lipe day trip to visit the nearby island of Adang for a viewpoint and waterfalls.

Further reading about travel in Thailand

If you are looking for more beautiful islands in Thailand to visit then check out more of my Thailand travel blog

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Koh Mak Island Thailand

Please note: this post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a booking I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

I loved visiting the Thai island of Koh Mak. My friends and I couldn’t decide between Ko Mak or Koh Kood so we did both! We spent 4 nights on each during a week’s holiday from working in Bangkok in February 2022 so Thailand during covid times.

Is Koh Mak worth visiting?

Absolutely yes. I loved this tiny island full of beaches and chill island vibes. It has a long pier with a bar at the end, perfect for sunset and photos. Everyone was extremely friendly and it’s small enough to walk or cycle to most places, if you don’t mind a couple of hills! The only issue was the sandflies so I recommend not lying on the beach too much as they can be vicious and very itchy.

Where is Koh Mak?

Koh Mak is a tiny island near Koh Chang and Koh Kood and not far from the Cambodian border.

How to get to Koh Mak from Bangkok?

Boonsiri sell package tickets from Bangkok to Koh Mak from Khao San or Latkrabang (near Suvarnabhumi airport) which include a bus ticket to the pier Laem Ngop, ferry ticket from the pier to Koh Mak and it also includes the transfer to your hotel. The cost of getting to Koh Mak from Bangkok was 1000 baht per person. To find a cheaper ticket you can book a government bus, then pay transfer to the pier and then approx. 400-600 baht for the ferry or speedboat. From Koh Mak back to Bangkok you can also do the same deal with Boonsiri. The bus journey from Bangkok is approximately 5 hours. Buses do a stop in the middle and have a toilet onboard. They also provide food/snacks and water.

How to travel from Koh Mak to Koh Kood?

At the time of writing (February 2022) there is a daily ferry between these two islands which takes approximately 45 minutes. You can book tickets easily through your accommodation and no need to book much in advance.

Where to stay on Koh Mak?

As a tiny island, doesn’t have loads of accommodation options but I would 100% recommend where I stayed which was By the Sea Koh Maal (Agoda link) or By the Sea Koh Mak Booking.com link. Run by the friendly Silke, this Koh Mak hotel has a beautiful pool and a beach, and it was an absolute delight. I’m very obsessed with the interior design and it has a café with delicious food for breakfast, brunch or lunch. I have been recommending this place to all my friends and would definitely stay there again. In February 2022 the cost of a three person room was approximately 1500 per night making this perfect midrange accommodation. The staff were really friendly and helpful too.

The beautiful pool at By The Sea Koh Mak
The beautiful pool at By The Sea

What to do on Koh Mak?

Spend time at the beach, go snorkelling, rent bicycles or motorbikes and explore the island, go scuba diving, eat delicious food! There are plenty of things to do on Koh Mak for a small island.

Where to eat on Koh Mak?

Koh Mak restaurants that I love:

By the Sea Koh Mak: We loved the food at By the Sea as previously mentioned with smoothie bowls, granola and sandwiches.

Head in the Clouds: We enjoyed lunch here one day with ocean views

Thai Sabai – great Thai food on the beach

Riverside: Not actually next to a river but more of a big pond. Really delicious Thai food and also Italian food with an Italian chef!

Little Red Oven – a chain of pizzerias that are now all over Thailand, really great pizza, can get it delivered too

Food Art Hut – I had a great breakfast here with avocado and bread

 

Koh Mak bars: where to drink in Koh Mak

My absolute favourite place was Blue Pearl Bar at Cococape Resort. It’s a long pier so you basically are drinking in the middle of the ocean with amazing views and great Koh Mak sunsets.

Photo of the best bar in koh mak
Sunsets from Blue Pearl Bar Koh Mak

Best Beaches Koh Mak

One warning about the beaches on Koh Mak – the presence of sand flies. In February when I visited they were abundant and we all got bitten. Don’t lie on the beach for too long or consider a sunbed or water leggings.

Ao Soun Yai Beach – is one of the biggest stretches of beach and has Thai Sabai restaurant on it. I found this to be the best snorkelling with a reef just in front of Thai Sabai where I saw a lot of tropical fish, some healthy coral and a few string rays!

Koh Kham Beach – This is an island you can see from Ao Soun Yai beach. You can take a little boat to it and it has gorgeous white sand.

Ao Kao Beach Koh Kood – this is the beach in front of By the Sea and Head in the Clouds. It’s decent but I didn’t find any good snorkelling there.

Scuba Diving Koh Mak Island

I did two dives while I stayed there and both dives were in the marine national park nearby. The coral reef was healthy looking and I really enjoyed my dives even though the visibility was not great. I dived with Koh Mak divers who were great at communicating and I ended up with a private divemaster as the boat wasn’t busy. If you aren’t already a scuba diver then consider learning to scuba dive in Thailand. You can learn with PADI or SSI through various dive centres on the island.

Thinking about nearby islands? Also check out my post on visiting the nearby island of Koh Kood Thailand

Looking for more scuba diving in Thailand – read this post here about the best diving in Thailand.

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