Koh Tao, the island of scuba diving…
Or snorkelling in our case, because we’re not in a position to spend a couple of hundred quid on a one day excursion!
Day 280 – Sunday 26th February 2017
We had to check out before 11:00 this morning but had no further transport or accommodation booked so had to get ourselves together and come up with a plan. We decided that our time on Koh Phan Gan was done, so took a tuk tuk to Raja Ferry Port where we joined a queue of people in front of the ticket office for the Koh Tao ferry. Thankfully we’d done our research this time and knew that we should only be paying around 350฿ per person, so had the bottle to say no when they tried to charge us 500฿ each. Instead we just walked to the ferry, paid before boarding and cut out the middle man.
We didn’t arrive in Koh Tao until around 16:00 and still had to find a place to stay, so stopped for late lunch at a restaurant with Wi-Fi and weighed up our options. In the end we chose A Forest Story Hostel, where we saved ourselves 200฿ by paying upon arrival instead of booking online. We were the only two guests in our six person dorm as well, so had the room to ourselves which was quite nice.
In the evening we went for a slow walk as far as Sairee Beach where we stopped for a beer and a cliche sunset photo:
On the way back to the hostel we booked ourselves on to a snorkelling tour for tomorrow (because it’s my new favourite thing to do, you know?) then went straight to sleep. In hindsight we probably should’ve checked the weather forecast before booking anything, but excitement got the better of us.
Oh well, surely it couldn’t be that bad, could it?
Day 281 – Monday 27th February 2017
We had to be ready and waiting outside our hostel by 09:30 this morning when a taxi was meant to be picking us up. What they didn’t tell us is that by taxi they meant moped, and by picking us up, they meant the driver at the front, me at the back, and Abbie in the middle. With a combined weight of over 200kgs I’m sure that the journey was all kinds of illegal, but pretty funny too. Oh and to make things even better the driver was a ladyboy – you couldn’t make this kind of thing up!
We arrived at our boat at 10:00, joined a group of about ten others, then set off towards our first stop of the day – Shark Bay. Now as the name suggests, the idea was to swim with sharks, but unfortunately mother nature had other plans for us. Instead a huge thunderstorm rolled in, caused absolute chaos, and meant that we couldn’t leave the boat. Alternatively we visited Buddha Bay, which was great don’t get me wrong, but there weren’t any sharks so I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit disappointed. On a positive note though our boat did have a slide, which made it very fun getting into the water:
Other stops throughout the day included Hin Wong Bay, Mango Bay, and Koh Nang Yuan, a private island where we climbed up to a viewpoint once the clouds had finally passed:
The weather was far from ideal, and although we didn’t get to swim with sharks (which was a real bummer) I’m sure we’ll get another chance one day.
We had a particularly late night through no fault of our own, because the rasta bar next door to our hostel had an open mic night. It was amusing at first, but very irritating after a while, and kept going until the early hours. Still, with our alarms set for 08:00 tomorrow ahead of another relatively long travel day we knew that lost sleep could be made up for somewhere along the way, so it wasn’t the end of the world.