Adventure, Asia, Islands, Offbeat, Thailand, Weekend Getaways
Comments 22

Koh Mak Island: Of Hidden Beaches, Broken Boats and Beer.

Koh Mak beaches, Koh Mak island, Thailand hidden beaches

There it lay. A mile long beach with pebbly white sand. The sea had receded into low tide, inviting us to wade into the shallow waters. Broken boats lay on patches of the sea bed that would otherwise be submerged in water.

In the distance, islands gently rose from the horizon; islands that should technically mark the start of Cambodia. We were on the eastern edge of Koh Mak island, one of Thailand’s better-kept secrets, and giving us company were only three water-loving dogs.

Thailand hidden beaches, Koh Mak Thailand

A boat lies on the sea bed at low tide.

We had set out earlier that evening, from our cosy hideout at Bamboo Hideaway, a rustic bamboo lodge run by an Italian couple who made the island their home three years ago. We followed our tiny map to the dot, and I maneuvered our scooter up a hill, on a dirt road, and into the bushes, till it would go no further. As per the map, this route should have led us to a stunning view of the sea, and all the way down to a beach on the other end of the island. We crumpled the map, deciding to let the road lead us instead. And lead us it did.

Bamboo hideaway Koh Mak, Koh Mak accommodation

Our cosy bamboo hut at Bamboo Hideaway.

Koh Mak beaches, Thailand hidden beaches, Koh Mak island

First glimpse of the beach.

Driving along the eastern part of the island, we turned along a narrow by-lane and drove off the road for what seemed like an eternity. Just before we gave up, a winding path opened into a little piece of paradise. The beach lay before us. The sea beckoned us. On a far end, in a small shack, four Thai men sat around, playing cards. We asked them for a bottle of the Singha beer they had stacked alongside them in an ice bucket, and made our way into the sea. The sun was setting on the other end of the island, and the sky above slowly turned pink. The dogs wagged their tales enthusiastically, as though welcoming us to their part of the island. Watching us wade into the sea, they ran far in too, and played and splashed like nothing else in the world mattered. Indeed, nothing else did.

Koh Mak island, Koh Mak beaches, Koh Mak Thailand

Beer at the beach, on Koh Mak island.

Thailand secrets, Thailand hidden beaches, Koh Mak beaches

A little bit of paradise.

Ever landed on a deserted beach purely by chance? Share your story in the comments.

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22 Comments

  1. This looks a beautiful place. One of my own favorites was Monroe Beach in New Zealand where a walk through lush rainforest led out onto a remote expanse of sand backed by the crashing breakers of the Tasman Sea. We knew it was there but reaching it from the forest trail was like going from one world to another.

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    • It was! Wow, Monroe sounds like quite a beach too. It’s one thing to know you’ll find it, but it’s another to actually find it. Would love to see some pictures. Any links?

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  2. Quite an old-world charm about your description of the place, Shivya. The bamboo hut does look cosy. I wonder what koh Mak means…

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    • Thanks Nishi! Koh means “island”. Not really sure what Mak means; Google doesn’t return any sane results! The bamboo hut was cosy indeed 🙂

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  3. Koh Mak looks delightful. Sometimes my husband would drop our daughter and myself off at a deserted tropical island when we got seasick in our boat. He would fish off shore where he could see us, and we would explore the beach. Bliss.

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  15. Chitrak Gangrade says

    One such beach I stumbled upon was Cola beach in Goa. While it’s decently popular now, it was completely deserted when we went about 5 years ago. It’s a fresh water stream merging into the lake and the shacks are at the edge of this stream. you can take a quick swim, bask in the sun and enjoy the serenity of South goa from this beach. My favorite place in Goa.

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