The best beach on the island is Ao Pra in the west, but it is mostly taken up by the Mira Montra Resort. For now, swimming and beach strolling are best on the northwestern bay of Ao Suan Yai, which is a wide arc of sand and looking-glass-clear water that gets fewer sandflies than the southern beaches. It is easily accessible by bicycle or motorbike if you stay elsewhere.

Depending on winds, all beaches can suffer from quantities of rubbish washing up, much of it generated by the fishing boats.

Offshore is Ko Kham, a private island that was sold in 2008 for a reported 200 million baht. It's now a resort island but is still popular as a day-trippers’ beach; boats heading across from Ko Mak depart 10.30am, 1.30pm and 3pm ((300B including island fee and transport).

Boat also run from Ao Khao to the island of Rayang Nok (350B, from 10am to 4pm), where there's a fine beach and a resort offering watersports.