05.02.2012 - 05.02.2012
As it turned out the trip to Koh Tao which I was a little apprehensive about due to the reported poor seas in the gulf was not actually that bad, maybe I'm developing sea legs with all the boat journeys we have been taking, but I slept through the majority of it which was nice!
Koh Tao is famous for it's diving! It's the smallest of the three islands in the Gulf, not that it matters, with it's relaxing island vibe. The island is expanding, particularly the Sairee area which we were staying, potentially in a few years it will be another Phangan or Samui (from what we had heard). The nice sandy long beach at Sairee has clear waters and although there is long boats along the shoreline, it's not as manic as Ao Nang or even Phi Phi, and it also doesn't have the jet-skis or parasailing like Phuket, I hope this doesn't change!
On arrival we found a very cheap guesthouse, dumped our stuff and went and grabbed a bite to eat. We were meeting Shaun later in the evening who had been on the island almost a week taking his diving courses. We had a good night out at one of the beach bars, it had a good fire show on and we sat around chatting, eventually saying our goodbyes to Shaun for the last time, unless we catch up in Australia or if we are in his neck of the woods Toronto.
(these pictures are actually a false account, I took these in Phi Phi of a fire show but forgot to include them on my blog for then, bit give you an idea of the fire show, the are all relatively similar).
The next day, I unfortunately had a dicky tummy to go with the hangover, although hard to beloved I can assure you they were unrelated, but I'm not going to divulge any details. I spent the day hydrating, and dehydrating in a constant cycle. In the evening we met up with Bryony and Bully who we had made friends with on Koh Phangan and had caught up with for New Years on Phi Phi too!
The following day, feeling better now we decide to go to the mini golf we had seen advertised around Sairee Village. As it turned out it was a great laugh, and one of the more difficult mini golf courses I have played. They also had a bowling ally there too, it was like an episode of the Flintstones, bowling down a relatively uneven ally to have the pins and balls sorted out manually by some poor Thai guy, I kinda felt sorry for him, but it was a laugh!
The next few days we payed a few pounds to go and spend some time round a resort swimming pool. Just relaxing and mucking about. After being in our cheap accommodation for a good few days we decided to look elsewhere, and as we were paying for a pool, maybe somewhere with one. We found the place to be was Asian Divers Resort, we payed for a very roomy 2 person room, and only for a little extra they put an extra bed in for us, the room was really nice and even had a balcony. The swimming pool was of a good size, plus very deep at the deepest end, they used it for dive practices, this meant for ridiculous entrances into the pool and plenty of laughs. The next few days were spent in the same vain, around the pool. One afternoon me and Smith decided to take a little trek to the view point on the island. 'it's just up a hill' we thought. After almost an hour of walking, sweating like marathon runners up and down the side of hills, 'how can we be going down? Surely a view point is at the top of a hill', we weezed blinded by the sweat pouring off us! Eventually we made it, cursing our way up the hillside on the mud tracks as other tourists wobbled by on the uneven road on their mopeds and motorbikes. It was worth it and the view was amazing, allowing us a moment to ignore the fact that we had to do the same journey to get off the hillside!
By now we had become residence on Koh Tao, deciding to stick around, i was very keen to see my Birthday out on this chilled island. We decide that we would get a taxi boat to the famous little island off Koh Tao, called Nang Yuan. This is where the vast majority of diving is done off Koh Tao. It's made up of two islands one larger than the other, poking their way out if the water and creating a sandbank in the middle. There is one diving resort on the island other than that you can only visit for the day. We hired snorkels and took the 10 min boat ride over to the island with Bryony and Bully. The water around the sandbank was the clearest I have seen on out trip so far. We saw lots of tropical fish, whole shoals of them, someone them were brightly coloured and not fazed by humans in the water, they were almost playful, one or two nipping my toes, but only felt like a little pinch, still a little unnerving though, but funny when you realised what it was. There were pipe fish, or what I assume to be pipefish, sea Cucumbers and sea Urchins. We are a little convinced that we saw a barracuda too, not a massively large one but easily 2 (and a bit) ft long, which swam by looking relatively aggressive, but far enough away not to seem threatening, of course we are not convinced it was a Barracuda, but it still counts, Birthday Barracuda. On this island there is also a view point, not a trek like the one on the mainland, and it offered postcard images of the little island. A perfect place to spend a Birthday, during a month when it would normally by raining or snowing at home. That evening we went out and had a few beers, enough to make me feel considerably rough the next morning when we had to be up at silly-O'clock to catch a boat to Koh Samui! (Why am I always hungover before a boat trip?)
(King of the World!)