«A hidden Thai heaven», «the most peaceful and safe place on earth», «one of the best 10 beaches in the world», «the last untouched place» – these are just a few of exciting adjectives used to describe this wonderful island. If everything said is true, than why is this island not well known? It seems like everyone talking about the island hides some important secret.

 

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Located in the far east side of thai waters, Koh Mak (or Mak Island) is a part of My Koh Chang archipelago and Trat Province. Speedy catamaran covers the distance from land to the island in 50 minutes. Island itself is a separate district within the Trat province (amphe).

Being one of the most eastern islands in Thailand, Koh Mak is located not far from Cambodia. Cardamom mountains running on Cambodian side of the border from north to south are clearly visible from the island.

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In a country that mysteriously combines sophistication of life enjoyment cult, Koh Mak is a nature reserve, where it was possible to preserve the original Thai values, the ones that, we thought were already universally forgotten.

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The word 'mak' (หมาก) when translated from Thai language means 'Areca catechu betel nut palm tree', fruits of which local population chews along with the leaves. There is another island in Indochina region called by the name of the same palm, but  in Malay language – which is Penang island in Malaysia.

Almost all the land on the island belongs to the descendants of Plian Tavethukhun (Siamese official for Relations with China), who purchased coconut plantations on Koh Mak at the beginning of 20th century. Plian's grand and grand grand children are reasonable and not prone to adventurism, therefore despite the persistent changes of the times,  they don't want the repetition of well-known scenario of Thai island becoming an international tourism destination sold around the world.

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Koh Mak beaches blind by its snowy whiteness, and there is a reason why The Sunday Times added them to the list of the best beaches in the world a few years ago. Sloping landscape promises mind-blowing views with waterfalls, sculpted cliffs and mountain echo, but also calms and gives the opportunity for effortless walking and cycling. The locals are simple and easy going, friendly and busy with their own affairs. Island cuisine is amazingly good with moderately balanced range of tastes. Neither inland nor on the coast there is loud music or disco and there is no way to walk the backstreets of your own subconsciousness to the beat of stray Ibiza DJ under the full moon. There is a local law prohibiting any noisy entertainment after 22pm. 

Tourism experts believe that the island is a wonderful combination of a variety of attractive factors, which creates a unique for Thailand «Koh Mak Phenomen». Among other highlights there is a developed but not overwhelmed by the tourism infrastricture, excellent climatic conditions, the impeccable quality of beaches and sea water, a modest but steady and environmentally impeccable local economy (for more than a century the island specialized in the cultivation of rubber and coconut trees) as well as a paradoxical attractive 'non-touristic island' factor.

It is said that foreign tourists accidentally met on the island usually don't ask each other about where they came from but how did they find out about this place. There is a feeling that you are admitted to the secret place hidden from the outside world, that does not leave you while you're on the island.