Koh Mak Sights and Environment
There are a few things to see on Koh Mak:
- Elephant Camp and Ride
- Koh Mak Temple and Buddha’s
- Sunset on Koh Mak
- Island Roads
- Nature and Beaches
Koh Mak Environment
Koh Mak is an island, far away from the mainland (about 38 km). Please have this in mind when you think about the prices, transportation (people and material), electricity, garbage and shopping.
Only since about 5 years, there is 24 hours electricity on the island. The electricity comes from two diesel-generators, which uses a lot of diesel. And the diesel comes from the mainland.
The official electric company does support the island, without making any profit. The truth is, it is so expensive, that the company is loosing money. Please help the nature and please try to safe electricity as much as you can while you are visiting the island.
Here are a few tips on saving energy during your stay:
- Cold or just short warm shower
- Never ever leave the a/c on, when you are not in the room or don’t leave the doors and windows open, while the a/c is running (unbelievable, but a high number of tourist do not care about this)
- Please use the lights only if you need them
The generator runs with diesel and needs between 100 annd 150 Liter Diesel per hour = 2500 Liter per day. The diesel has to be transported from the main-land (38 km away).
Is one of the biggest problems (on each island around the world). Please try to avoid to bring plastic or other garbage to the island. On Koh Mak, the plastic bottles and cans are separated and will be recycled. Paper as well. Please bring toxic garbage like old batteries to your resorts reception and ask the manager to take it back to the mainland (or much better, please bring them back yourself).
At some beaches (normally at the “natural beaches” with no resort nearby) you will find a lot of garbage at low-tide. These are “left-overs” from the fishing boats. You can tell by the kind of garbage, that this are items from local fishing boats. They just throw water-bottles, shampoo-bottles, broken glasses, etc. from the boats. It is a shame, but the islanders cannot control this.
Flora and Fauna:
Before tourism started, the islanders made only money from coconut and rubber tree plantation.
So you will find a lot of these trees. But the is still about 30% mangrove forest and jungle on the island. You can find nice birds and reptiles here (including snakes and lizards).
Sometimes you can find dolphins in the sea. Corals are slowly recovering since the “El Nino”.
Very nice and big butterflies fly around your tables. This is a tropical island. So of course here are also insects and geckos. It is not fair for the resorts to complain about geckos at tripadvisor or holidaycheck.
About 800 people live on Koh Mak now. About 600 are registered and are allowed to vote at local election days.
The island has about 600 beds for tourist, but they are almost never occupied at the same time. Because of the big size of the island, even at high-season, the beaches and roads always look empty.
The Koh Mak Governor’s name is Jakrapad Taveteekul and is elected. About 15 people work for the local administration. The next higher institution (Amphoe) is located on Koh Kood. Above “Amphoe” Koh Kood is Trat Province.
So before Koh Mak opened for tourism most workers where farmers or fishing men. But nowadays, a high number of resort-staff are based on Koh Mak now and more constructors as well.
Some workers come from Cambodia or Burma.
Help the environment:
Please help to avoid garbage and please safe electricity
Please donate some money to the local Kindergarten. The Good Time Resort and the partners have donated already more than 500.000 Baht, in order to open the Kindergarten in 2008.
More and more resorts try to become “greener”. The above mentioned Good Time Resort uses solar-heating systems since 2007. More resorts should follow.
Don’t worry. Koh Mak will never be spoilt by mass-tourism or sex-tourism.
Some have tried to open a beer-bar, some even with “girls”. But this kind of business people failed, even before they could open. The local families don’t like to see this kind of”Pattaya or “Phuket”-atmosphere on Koh Mak. Also jet-skies and squads are not really welcomed and are excluded until now.
Plantation for rubber and coconut on Koh Mak
Koh Mak Administration
In charge for the Administration of the Island Koh Mak is the “Oppodo” . The town-hall is in the center of the island, next to the police station.