Koh Tao...wow

Trip Start Oct 02, 2011
Trip End Jul 26, 2013

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Where I stayed
Sairee rooms

Flag of Thailand  ,
Monday, November 7, 2011

 The boat took 2 hours and 45 minutes to get to Koh Tao. The island suddenly appeared out of the mist. Felt like we were on a Pirate ship discovering land for the first time in days. 

 We jumped off and gave Will (couchsurfer) a ring. He told us that he had some others guys staying at his at present, so he was full, but should have space in a couple days. He told us to head to Sairee beach and find a cheap hostel round there. 

 We got a taxi to Sairee beach, which was the beach nearest to his dive centre. As we got out of the taxi we were approached by a British guy called Rob. He had a couple of rooms spare for just 300 Baht (6ish) a night. We had no idea if that was good, so took his number and went to get a 2nd breakfast. This time a big English breakfast. Was exactly what i needed. We also used free WiFi to research places to stay and prices. 

 Finally we decided that Rob's offer was actually pretty good and gave him a call. He appeared 5 mins later and took our bags one by one on his scooter. We walked to his place and on the way stopped off at Roctopus dive centre to meet Will. He was South African and seemed like a cool guy. He told us that a space at his would be available in 2 nights time. He knew Rob and said he was a good guy. We got to the room which was just down the road and pretty new. Rob had built it himself. We even had free wifi which was a bonus. 

 His next door neighbour hired out scooters, so we got one for 150 baht (3) a day. Had a lie down for a bit then headed out on the scooter to a beach on the south of the island, which is supposed to be the best one. We found a restaurant which over looked it, grabbed a quick drink, then descended the steps down to the beach, clambering over rocks to get there. 

 The water was crystal clear, the sand was white and there weren't many people around. It was so peaceful. We lazed around for a few hours, then went to find food. 'Eagle view' was a restaurant we discovered on the other side of the beach and up on top of a hill. It was an amazing place built of wood, like a big tree house. We were there only ones there. It was essentially a families house and we we're using the living room. 

 I had Thai green curry with chicken, which was unbelievably good. The best curry i have ever had. We watched a breathtaking sunset, read Ephesians and did a little breaking of bread. 

 Then we decided to try and find another way back to the bike, which was parked outside the first restaurant as we didn't want to climb over the rocks in the dark. Chose to walk up a steep hill for about 15 minutes only to find that it lead to someones house. We came back down and went along another track with also went up a steep hill and wound round lots of hill and cliffs. I used the torch on the phone as it was pretty dark. 40 minutes later we found the main road and walked back to the bike and drove back to our room.

 After showering and changing we went to a local bar for a drink, then i felt hungry, so we went in search of chips. Walked along the beach front and found a bar where there were 3 fire performers outside. We sat down to watch the show, which went on for a good hour, spinning the fire over their heads and throwing it up in the air. They even came into the crowd and span their firey chains over peoples' heads. There was a massive game of Jenga going on on the stage and there was a free pool table, so we had a few games and then went back to the room to bed.

 Woke up later today at about 10:30. We made the decision to go cheap on breakfast and went to a local shop to buy provisions. We got back to the room and used the kitchen area to make toast and had cereal. We paid the guy next door for another day on bike usage and headed to the beach front with the intention of hiring a kayak. It was 1pm and but we didn't want to pay for a half day hire, so we chose to come back at 3pm and take it for 3 hours.  

 After looking at the map we chose to go to the north side of the island to look at the 3 small islands off the coast called Koh Nangyuan. We found a resort with a view point which overlooked the islands. There was a Thai guy singing badly translated karaoke the whole time we were there. We drove back to the room to grab some more things then went for lunch at a small place called 'Pud'. We went back to the Kayak hire place and grabbed a double kayak and some life jackets

 It took about 40 minutes to paddle over to Koh Nangyuan. When we got there a guy from the island came up to us and told us that it was a private island and that we had to pay 200 Baht to stay. We paid and went for a quick dip in the sea, before climbing up one on the hills to a view point which looked out over the islands. i managed to scale some rocks and get right to the top, so had an awesome view of everything. 

 We walked back down and over to the bigger of the 3 islands. There were signs that read 'private' but we ignored them and continued along the rickety wooden walkways until they abruptly ended. The walkway hadn't been completed yet and there were loads of bits of wood lying around as they were building it in time for the high season. We walked back to the beach and grabbed a beer and ice-cream from the bar.  It took another 40 minutes to kayak back to shore, but on the way the sunset was spectacular. The temperature was perfect, so we stopped paddling and enjoyed the moment. The sea was so clear that we could see all the coral beneath us. 

 We took the kayak back to the hire place on the beach and went back to the room. I spent the evening booking my flight from Batam to Pekan Baru with Dani Pogson and Han had a big debate outside with Rob about religion. There was a spanish guy staying in the room next door and he came and sat in on the discussion. We went to bed at about 12:30 after beer and noodles. 

 The next day we set our alarms for 7am. This didn't work as we snoozed till 8, then i tried texting Will to see if it was cool to stay at his. I popped over to Roctopus to see if he was in, but it wasn't open yet. Luckily I checked the Couch surfing website and Will had left a message saying that his phone had died and that we could stay the following night. We told Rob that we were gonna stay at his that night and paid for another day for the bike. After grabbing a few things and eating breakfast, we drove down to the Kayak hire place and headed out south around the cliffs. 

 After about an hour and a quarter we came across a really nice beach, which was empty except for one guy. We pulled the kayak onto the beach and explored the area. There was a swing on this beach tied between two palm tree's. The hire place had also lent us some snorkels, so we swam out into the bay and had a look around. It was really cool to see the reef and watch all the different tropical fish swimming beneath us. We chatted to the other guy for a bit. His name was John. He was from Taiwan, but lived in Melbourne and was a stoke broker. He told us that Freedom bay, was better for snorkelling than this beach, so we packed our stuff up and carried on round the coast to find it.

 After about 30 minutes we paddled into a big bay called Chalok Baan Kao Bay. We were pretty hungry by this time so we pulled the kayak onto the beach and found a restaurant. I had an amazing Chicken kiev type thing filled with mozzarella and ham, with potatoes and salad. Very good. We lazed on the beach for a bit, then decided to paddle across to Freedom bay, which was on the opposite side of the cove. On the way we stopped for a bit of snorkelling in the middle of the bay. We found a buoy to tie the canoe onto and jumped in. Snorkelling is amazing. There was a massive reef beneath us and loads of different species of fish swimming around. I swam over to Freedom bay where the water got really shallow and Han paddled the kayak over to pick me up. We snorkelled around the beach for a bit, then chose to head back to Sairee as it was 4:30 and we needed to get the kayak back for 6.  

 We got to a point about halfway round the cliffs where the water was really clear and you could see the sand at the bottom. I told Han i wanted to free dive down and try to touch the bottom, so I put the snorkel on and swam down. The water pressure was too strong on my ears, so i didn't make it to the bottom, but it was cool to stand upside down underneath the canoe. 

 We got back to the hire place at 6:30 and drove back to the room, where we lazed around not doing a lot. We had the rest of our noodles and put on Sherlock Holmes. I fell asleep halfway through.


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simon on

last line made me lol. :) it all looks awesome mark. God bless.

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