This is like a dream come true! Today, Thailand finally has the tourist destination that both naturally beautiful and the local people are also working together in bringing the place into environmental friendly tourism and even more to make it a sustainable tourist destination.
In the era of travel fully booming, the more we travel, the more we generate global warming implicitly, right?
We have released much pollution. For instance, the carbon from our vehicles that use to transport the tourists...
Or the carbon we generate from raw materials transporting in making our food.....
Since nowadays most resorts or hotels still need to order raw materials from far away places, some even need to import them.
This massive consumption inevitably accelerate carbon emission into the world's atmosphere.
Now let's turn to look at the tourists side. What travel means for us is that we can get to move around for leisure or move our lifestyle to country side temporarily.
Meanwhile, we consume the energy like crazy, it's much more than what we do at home.
For instance, even we are not in room, oftenly, we still turn on air conditioning, TV, let water flowing in the Jacuzzi tub, or take a full warm bath although it's not cold.
The new (re)definition of travelling...
Low Carbon Travelling
We start to travel in a more environmental friendly manner and this can only happen with the cooperation of every related parties.
Especially, the local residents contribute a great deal for supporting and cooperating.
Koh Mak is the first destination for the Low Carbon Destination Project in Thailand.
It was driven by Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA).
They start by communicating with local residents on Koh Mak until achieving today success where many enterprises such as restaurants start to emphasize the use of raw materials which can be produced on the island, growing seasonal vegetables, trying to use only fresh seafood for seafood menu by adjusting the menu accordingly to what fishermen can fish each day.
Simply by reducing the raw materials import from the shore has already played a part of not creating more damage to the global warming.
Despite being a small part which may not be so helpful, many resorts turn to clean energy.
They start to install solar cell one after the other. Several cleaning of swimming pool method is also relying on solar cell energy.
Even some small things are also happening in a more environmental friendly fashion like locals turn to use natural products instead of from the unfriendly suppliers.
There's also systemic and proper way in dealing with waste management.
Needless to say, the local residents are even more eager in building friendly and attractive travel destination. There is no stealing, violence, or tourists assault cases on the island for more than a decade now.
Koh Mak has more than a hundred year of settling history and about 50 years of tourism.
However, this place is not a fast developed that also decline quickly like many other travel places. Here, the potential is to become a more sustainable tourist destination day by day
Well, nowadays there's many blogs asking whether it's safe for a girl to travel alone. I want to say that, it's more than 100% safe if you are travelling here.
I can say this because I experience myself and I want to spread out the words.
The following story is about "love at first sight' between me and Koh Mak.
I just want to share my impressive experience during my short time there for you all.
Koh Mak k.m. 0
Koh Mak Local Museum
Koh Mak Local Museum is the ancient white wooden house near the sea, it is older than 110 years.
It is located at Ao Nid, close to Ao Nid harbor where we get off to the island after taking speed boat from Laem Ngob, Glommaluang Port.
Khun Thanin Sutthithanakul or P'Aek, a curator and a host of the museum who built and took care of this Local Museum comes out to welcome us and give us a brief tour.
He also shares with us the local story. The ancestors of this island are Thai people who moved from Koh Po. Back then they were staying on this small island under Koh Kong of Cambodia.
At that time, a decade ago, that land belonged to Thailand until the King Rama V must trade some land of Siam in exchange for Chantaburi and Trat province in return. The ancestors then needed to move from Koh Po to settle here, at Koh Mak since 1904. In short, they lived here about 110 years now.
And this is just partial story from P'Eak, we will definitely know more of the history of people on Koh Mak once we pay a visit to this Local Museum as well as listen to P' Eak story who will not only tell us some story but also take us touring around.
P' Eak is also a major person in bringing local residents to moving towards building environmental friendly tourism following the concept of Low Carbon Destination in order to make Koh Mak achieve the goal of becoming the most sustainable and long lasting tourist destination.
I'm very fortunate to have following two honored people taking care of me during my trip at Koh Mak.
Khun Su (on the left ) is the assistant to Koh Mak Sub-district Administrative Organization. Despite she is the outsider//coming from Chantaburi province, she is truly falling in love with this place and has been here for 3 years.
She is exceptionally friendly :)
I feel so lucky to have her as our tour guide. She takes us going every corner of Koh Mak. I'm highly recommended her to any future visitors.
Khun Ball (on the right) is a very talented man, he has been involved in many mega projects. He is also truly in love with Koh Mak and has been settling in this island for about 13 years.
I like to tease him that he is like Chinese battler who hide himself on the island.
The two volunteers take me around the island. I would like to express my grateful here, thank you very much :)
Okay, let's explore the island together with Khun Su and Khun Ball, let's go!
Ao Ban Yai (Big Bay)
The following story will be told not according to the timeline.
After introducing the Koh Mak Local Museum as the first should visit place in order to understand the history of Koh Mak.
Our next nice to visit place is Ao Ban Yai. Especially when you look into the sea and see that that water start to get in low tides, that's the time to hurry!
Let's go to Ao Ban Yai. If we are on time, we will see the water spreading apart and some sand will be above water which will connect Koh Rayang with Koh Mak.
But I could't make it on time! It's such a pity! That day the water also went very low but we were so late, not even got to see the revealed sand.
Luckily, we got consolidated prize as you can see this view is just so astonishing! Not only these coconut trees are so tall, they also set the scene that while bending along the beach, they make vertical end towards the sky.
Wow, so beautiful!
Koh Rayang over looking from Ao Ban Yai
Next, let's look at netting vegetable farm.
The organic farming.
With the campaign of "Eat it Fresh", one of the DASTA projects which encourage local residents turn to use more of raw materials that can be produced locally.
This is because then we can get fresh, clean, non-toxic, and seasonal vegetables as well as fruits. Meanwhile, It also helps reducing carbon being released into the atmosphere of earth since less transportation will be needed and in turn less gas will be used.
Therefore, I get the opportunity to visit this farm. This organic farming belongs to Khun Chakapan Tavedhikul, A Chairperson for Trat Provincial Tourism Business Association.
He is also the owner of Koh Mak Resort.
He is also known as Khun Ar Chak (polite way of calling uncle Chak, his nickname). His family is one of the five families who pioneered Koh Mak and initiated organic farming project.
Here, the organic farm is situated just behind Koh Mak Resort. Khun Ar Chak is also one of the main head in navigating developmental direction of Koh Mak.........
Into the green travel of Low Carbon Destination.
What amazed me is not only the vegetable beds, but these spiders that stationed in each net.
These spiders are purposely raised here to become naturally trap in order to trap other insects.
What an ingenious strategy!
In addition to organic farm, Khun Ar Chak also owned hundreds Rai (acres) of coconut tress.
I request to see beautiful and abundant coconut groove. Khun Su and Khun Ball then arrange for me right away, we are taking our taxi.
And immediately set off for magnificent coconut trees view.
Another charm of Koh Mak is that despite extensive vast geographical area, (the third largest within Trat Sea, after Koh Chang and Koh Kood),
Since this island was pioneered and occupied by only several families (5 families and all are relatives),
In combine with the fact that the population is still small and not yet much outsiders settling,
Koh Mak becomes like a big family playground, we are like the guests for everyone on the island.
This is really giving us warm and safe feeling and at the same time, making us want to explore more, literally every corner of the island.
So even when making the choice for the restaurant, we also just pick a ordinary conveniently set on the way restaurant.
This is my first lunch restaurant on the Koh Mak. The restaurant might look ordinary but Pa Paew is extraordinary.
Pa Paew (aunt Paew), a la carte restaurant
There are many regular foreign customers. Pa Paew can speak very limited English while the foreign visitors also speak almost zero-Thai.
But both sides can somehow manage to communicate :)
Foreign customers speak English while Pa Paew responds in Thai, and it's sufficient to order food. I find it very Amazing!
Here at Koh Mak, there's several different kind of diverse islands.
When looking overhead from the air, it looks like the symbol +. When taking a more careful look, it looks like foreign dragon! And when we are taking boat towards Ao Nid, Koh Mak will look like Chinese dragon.
This is a very favorable landscape that fortune teller of the family from Koh Po was sent in search for the new fortune terrain to settle.
Back then, due to the coastline happen to be irregular, many bays and beaches occur.
What is more unique about this island is that several beaches have such a different personality, like this beach (It is close to Panorama Resort).
The rocks have black skin, it look just likes aches from volcano!
Whereas, the other beach, which is just the next door, is full of red rocks! (It's at the area of Sunset Resort).
Although Koh Mak is mostly plain, there's also some hills and mountains landscape. And now we are up on the hill.
Many resorts are located in this area and become paranormal viewpoint of the vast sea of Koh Mak on the Northwest.
Had Suan Yai Scenic Viewpoint (Big Garden Beach Viewpoint)
From here, we can see Koh Kham. Well, I feel Koh Kham is so near from this high angle, I so want to just hop to get to over there ;)
When we walk deeper, we will reach another viewpoint which is situated in front of Lazy Day Resort.
Zooming with Tele lends 400mm. we could see the beach and rocks which are very popular on Koh Kham.
Looking to the left, we will also see the bridge that going into the sea of Cococape Resort.
Since we already here, seeing the wooden bridge of CocoCape Resort, let's also just walk to chill on that bridge ^.^
The very romantic wooden bridge @ Cococape Resort
Now, let's take a look at another high angle viewpoint, this scenic area is probably situated at the highest point of Koh Mak.
Its height is about 80 metres. There's road a bit before you have to go on foot trail about 15-30 minutes in order to reach Khao Paenti (map mountain) Scenic Area.
Looking at sky and the time, we decide to stop only at the first viewpoint. From here, we can clearly see Inner Koh Rayang (where we intended to see the opening sea this morning). Looking far ahead, we will see outer Koh Rayang on the background, and the furthest is Koh Kood.
Khao Paenti Scenic Viewpoint
For dinner, again, we just stop by a seafood local restaurant at
Krua Khun Mam (Khun Mam Kitchen)
Although it's ordinary restaurant, but given the fresh seafood from the sea and superb seafood sauce, it is just incredibly delicious. To make it even better, the price is also very friendly.
I spend 2 nights at Koh Mak. But my actual travel and exploring time is only one day.
Upon my first day arrival, it's already late afternoon, so I go straight to my hotel.
And the last day, it's raining. When the rain start to stop, it's the time for me to go to the pier for going back to the shore.
For my 2 nights stay, my first night is here.
The Cinnamon Art and Spa
The resort is beautiful and tranquil. In fact, most of resorts on this island is quite peaceful.
And each place is quite unique in its style.
The Cinnamon Art and Spa is situated at Northeast of the island, on Ao Dan, close to Laem Son.
I just love this housing style, I'm not sure if it's correct to call it Bali style. I get to stay at this house, the Beach front. Only 2 steps from the house, then I'm at the beach.
Sitting, laying, chilling in front of the house. While sipping the beer, we can appreciate the view, so fin! (Thai slang- very happy). More importantly, this view is so so beautiful!
Let's look at this Welcome drink, the holder is made from easily local found natural raw material, banana leave.
And this is exactly how this small little thing is helping in reducing waste and the global warming ^___^
General atmosphere inside the resort, around lobby area.
Here also have long wooden bridge which is stretching towards the sea. It is claimed that this wooden bridge of Cinnamon is the longest in Koh Mak.
There's several trees like that displaying below standing on both sides of the bridge, making it look so beautiful!
There's also a few of these trees emerging from the middle of the beach.
Also, I didn't forget to notice the solar cell panel on this bridge. If I remember it correctly, there's 2-3 which will illuminate the bridge at night time.
This is the idea of depending on more clean energy. I heard that in the future, they will also make a solar farm.
Let's enjoy our dinner ^^
This is a very lucky night. Simply laying on the balcony, we can see countless of stars. I can't help myself but immediately getting up, grabbing my camera and the standing, running towards the beach and looking back.
Oh wow, I can see the milky way right above our house.
But my lens is not so good for this type of photography and I'm also not so professional in it. Hence, so much noise here.
Next time, I promise to make it much better :)
The new morning, water really is in low tides. At first, I just want to take this tree emerging from water shot, but the water goes down a lot, so I think I might as well just take some walk.
Here, in addition to beautiful wooden bridge, or tree emerging from water, another highlighted hero here is....
Over there, that far ahead, a shipwreck. Let's go take a closer look.
This is indeed my hero subject for photography. I like it so much. I walk around many times. For those who are interested in seeing the whole album, please click here ลิงค์ .
I created and posted as one album on my Facebook.
Here is another place that I get to stay, one word, compatibly romantic and beautiful!
Seavana Beach Resort
It is situated around Had Suan Yai. The room is beautiful, the balcony also have the hole sleeping bed. Hehe, just love it! It is also very greenish and shady in front of the house.
There's plain and greenish lawn. Some trees are there to accommodate shade and each house is located one after the other along the beach line.
It is so enjoy to simply laying down in this sleeping hole bed while listening to the wave. It is a pity that I check in quite late and the next morning is raining.
So if I've got a chance to stay here again upon my next return, I definitely will remake it to the worth! I would take more photos.
I lay down to watch the rain for quite some times. And when the rain stops, it's also the time for me to leave the resort.
The taxi is ready to take me to Ao Nid so that I will be on time to take the boat back to the shore.
I didn't even have time to have my breakfast. Bye Bye Koh Mak........
After the rain, it's sunny time. But the front is calling me to let me know that the taxi is waiting now T T, no time for photography!
ตารางเดินเรือ Speed Boat แหลมงอบ-เกาะหมาก This is the timetable of speed boat from Laem Ngob-Koh Mak. We can get on the boat at Gommaluang pier around battle memorial Koh Chang, at 12.175759, 102.387961
I would also like to express my gratitude here.
Thank you very much to Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA) and all staff for coordination.
Thank you very much to Khun Ar Chak or Khun Chakapan Tavedhikul, a Chairperson for Trat Provincial Tourism Business Association for letting us visit the organic farm.
Thank you very much to P'Eak, Khun Thanin Sutthithanakul for taking us touring Koh Mak Local Museum and the fun story telling.
Thank you very much to Khun Su and Khun Ball, for being the most special and wonderful two tour guides :)
Thank you to the Cinnamon Art and Spa Resort : www.kohmakcinnamonresort.com
And also thank you to Seavana Beach Resort : www.seavanakohmak.com
P.S.** Low Carbon at Koh Mak is one of the Low Carbon Destination Projects which will connect the whole Koh Chang islands and the starting place is Koh Mak.
Please leave some comments for my moral encouragement or simply leaving some trace to let me know that you already visit me here :) I'm Nai Nam Fah, Yo! See you again at our next review!