The first settler on Koh Mak was probably Chao Sua Seng, who established a coconut plantation on the Island. Chao Sua Seng was a Chinese Affairs Officer during the reign of King Rama V.
We can now see how Koh Mak became covered with coconut and rubber plantations and stayed under the ownership of the descendants of the same family. When Luang Prompakdii passed away, his children divided up the lands for their children and grandchildren. All these land where cultivated with coconut or para rubber. Up until today Koh Mak is still very rich with coconut and para rubber plantations. Most of the islanders work in agriculture but there are also a few who became fishermen.
Most of the native islanders resisted the urge to sell land to outsiders and so far this patience paid off and resulted in a balance between low-level tourism and more traditional ways of life.
In 2517 B.E. (1974) the first bungalows for tourists where built at Ban Ao Nid, on the east side of Koh Mak. At that time however transport and communication where very difficult and tourism had not yet flourished in the area. For this reason developments where put to halt for some time. Later in 2530 B.E. (1987) Bungalows and resorts where built on some of the beach areas of Koh Mak to properly serve Thai and foreign tourists.
Compared to Koh Chang and Koh Kood – Koh Mak is considered the best island when it comes to activities and ease of getting around. Visitors cherish the friendly vibe of Koh Mak and so far the community of returner is growing constantly.
Nowadays the Koh Mak community is encouraging visitors to take part in various activities to protect the environment of the island and to minimize the carbon footprint of their stay.
Taking part in a “Trash Hero” event, using bicycles, avoiding AC, use of reusable bags, no straw, no foam, protecting the sea life and joining low carbon activities will leave you with good memories and will help to preserve the beauty of Koh Mak.