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The Slow Pace of Island Life on Koh Maak

Thailand has a plethora of beautiful islands off of its coasts.   Some are well known and filled with tourists, such as Phuket or Koh Chang.  Others are much less touristy, where the slower pace of life is preserved and enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.

Koh Maak is an island in the Gulf of Thailand, southeast of Bangkok and near the Cambodia border.  To get there, we flew into Bangkok,  and took a van to the wedding I photographed on Saturday.  The next day we took a song-thau (a small truck with bench seats in the rear) to a pier, then took an hour-long speedboat ride to the island.

It’s a small-ish island (about 16 square km), but certainly big enough to explore.  After settling in to our beach-front bungalow (for an amazing $15/night, run by a family that used to be fishermen from their private cove that is now the Baan Ing Kow Bungalows), we did a lot of nothing.  Long afternoons reading in the hammock were followed by evening meals of Pad Thai and Pad Kee Maw, accompanied by lime smoothies.

We did some exploring, some off-road scootering (it wasn’t a motorcycle, it was a Honda automatic scooter…) through coconut plantations, beach walking, swimming, snorkeling, Thai massages, and lounging.  Nothing moved very fast on the island, and there was virtually no traffic on the concrete and red-dirt roads.  Just the right pace to make up for a very busy season of photography this past fall and winter.  Being stress-free for a week, I could feel the tension rise just by thinking about checking my email (which was infrequent and slow, and required a 20 minute walk).

Nonetheless, I did accomplish some useful things, including some stock photography, and a business plan for the year ahead that I’m excited about.

Our home for the week, a nicely designed little bungalow, on the beach, made of palm wood.

The view from our living quarters.  In Thailand, where it’s never below about 75 degrees, all homes (outside of the city) are partially or mostly open-air.  It was hard for me to get used to the fact that nobody here has any kind of heating equipment in their homes.

You can always view more of my travel and stock photography, at my Travel/Editorial/Commercial Photography website.

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