Poseidon's Adventures

Trip Start Nov 01, 2011
Trip End Apr 12, 2013

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Where I stayed
Ban's Diving ResortP

Flag of Thailand  ,
Monday, January 2, 2012

Safely back on Koh Tao, having survived the insane asylum that was the Full Moon Party, we had no time to properly recuperate, we were starting the learning for our diving course the very same night. The island is a veritable Mecca for diving, and we were truly spoilt for choice when selecting a dive school. Ultimately we went with Ban's Diving Resort, one of the largest diving schools in the world. This came with pros and cons, the size meant the service felt a bit impersonal at times, but also provided us with a huge number of highly skilled staff, with huge combined experience. It was time to learn how to dive!

Unfortunately, for the next 48 hours the heavens had decided to dump its contents on our heads, and the island was deluged with a torrential downpour. This turned out to be as good a time as any to spend shut in a classroom, learning the basics of diving, underwater pressures, densities etc, and spending time in the practice pool learning our initial scuba techniques. On days three and four of our course, the real entertainment begun. We did two ocean dives on both days, going to a maximum depth of 18m, for just under an hour each time. I’ve always enjoyed being underwater, be it in a swimming pool or snorkelling in the sea, but scuba diving offered a wholeheartedly different experience. The visibility was variable, sometimes pretty cloudy, but sometimes the ocean depths were as clear as glass, and we had a breathtaking time swimming around the magnificent coral sites of the island, viewing a stunning array of wildlife at the same time. By the end of day four, we were now fully certified PADI Open Water Divers, and it was a great feeling, we were just gutted we didn’t have the money to pursue the qualifications further. However, we’re both looking forward to doing plenty more dives in some more excellent locations in the future. Our instructors, Liz, Santi, Mark and Sarah did an excellent job, and we had a brilliant laugh drinking the last night away with them in the school bar and enjoying a classic fire show, a staple of Southeast Asia.

Koh Tao turned out to be a very memorable place, and certainly one of our highlights so far. The nightlife was superb, some really cool beachside bars and restaurants serving some totally delectable grub. During the day we were finally blessed with some consistent sunshine, so we actually managed to work on our tans for once. Eventually my pasty Scottish complexion is being forced out in favour of a more bronze choice.

It was also here that our group we had travelled on and off with for nigh on two months was to split up. Three of the kiwi lads had left us on Koh Phangan, but we still had the main contingent of Lou, Harry and Tim. We spent our 24 hours together in style.

We hired a longboat taxi in the afternoon, and explored the island a little. We went snorkelling in a place called Mango Bay, and relaxed on the beach, before returning back to Sairee Beach, where we were staying, in time for sunset out at sea.

We rented a large beachfront bungalow for the night, which had a huge balcony facing the ocean. We made ourselves a couple of whisky buckets in the room, got some beers chilling in the fridge, and ordered a mammoth pizza delivery to our accommodation. Some chilled out tunes on, playing cards out, reminiscing about ridiculous and hilarious times past, we had a hell of a time. Of course, the night didn’t end there, as after a few rounds of drinks we had the disastrous thirst for more, so we went back to the diving school bar and partied for a few hours, watching the poor attempts of travellers to combat the flaming skipping rope, discussing how terrible DJs are in this part of the world, before promptly forgetting our complaints and dancing horribly on the beach shortly after. A classic night by all accounts.

Bereft of our travelling companions the next day, it felt like the end of an era, and that our travels were moving on to phase two. Funnily enough, our dive course was the last point of official planning we had made before departing the UK.

It was time to slow down the hectic pace, and take it easy. Abi and I had a few days left to chill out and do nowt, before moving on to one of many more exquisite beach areas we would visit in Thailand. Next stop, Railey.

Koh Tao, you’re a beaut, keep up the good work!

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