Tourism is booming in Thailand, and it seems like everyone knows about the main beaches and islands by now. The country is almost in danger of becoming too popular, and we're almost in need of somewhere more under-the-radar to escape to.
But never fear: There's at least one Thai island that tourists haven't found yet, and it might just be the best one of all.
Koh Mak is snuggled in the Gulf of Thailand, not far from Thailand's border with Cambodia. It's a verdant little speck of coconut groves, bike trails and clear waters. You can swim to neighboring islands with a snorkel mask, or take a diving lesson from the island pros. Seafood here is always fresh, fishing villages wait for exploration, and white-sand beaches are often totally empty.
The best part? Koh Mak is one of those rare islands that shuns all things touristy. You won't find any nightclubs or Jet Skis here -- just perfect tropical paradise, the way it was meant to be.
You'll reach Koh Mak by boat from the mainland or Koh Chang, a neighboring island. There are a handful of (cheap!) places to stay on the island, from $10-a-night bungalows to a luxe resort with hot tubs in private abodes.
Most island business are still family-run, giving the whole place the local feel of an "old Thailand" that's totally "off the grid." Oh, and don't forget the wild pigs and dolphins that roam around, just looking for a playmate.
We knew there were party animals around here somewhere.