Hey Guys, Ashley here.
I felt like our time on Koh Tao was breathtaking and adventurous, as well as a bit of a rough start. The island was beautiful but I ended up at the clinic a couple times and we were adjusting to the heat and sleeping with no a/c. Our bungalow was great, hot but great, and we paid $15/per night, which of course is insane. To sum it all up, I made a highlights and anti-highlights (that’s a word, right?) list for you.
1// Scuba diving for the first time – the visibility wasn’t great on the days I went but it didn’t matter because the feeling of just hanging out in an underwater world was so rad
2// Coffee + reading in the mornings at Cafe Buddha
3// Renting a scooter and feeling the wind in my hair – There were two ways of getting “air conditioning”, riding on the scooter or jumping in the shower and standing naked in front of the fan. Even though the ocean looked refreshing it was 32 degrees and felt like getting into a hot bath. ha.
4// Finally finding a bathing suit to buy. I actually found it in Bangkok at the JJ Market just before we came to Koh Tao (an “H&M” bathing suit with a strap missing for $8)
5// Discovering electrolyte powder at the Pharmacy
6// Fruit Shakes and Chicken Sandwiches. We pretty much ate at the fruit shake and chicken sandwich lady’s stand everyday. So good! Mango for me, and something with banana for Mike
7// Just being by the ocean
8// Meeting some really sweet German friends and watching them get Bamboo tattoos (actually the tattoo shop had some of the nicest guys and became one of our hangout spots for our 11 days on the island)
9// Going on a night dive (Mike actually dove but I just came along on the boat) and being out on the ocean for the most beautiful sunset
10// Hiking to one of the viewpoints on the island. There is nothing like standing in a high place and overlooking paradise
1// Finding a scorpion by my pillow on the first night in our bungalow
2// Sunburns from snorkelling
3// Thinking I had decompression illness from diving for 2-3 days then finally realizing it was this Thai bugspray that was making my hands and feet numb
4// Getting an ear injury from blowing too hard when equalizing underwater
5// Adjusting to sleeping in the heat
We stayed on Koh Tao for a total of eleven nights. I would have liked to explore more of the nature, more hikes and more viewpoints, but the scuba classes keep you pretty busy. It is really scuba diving central, dive shop after dive shop. We ended up leaving earlier than planned because I had to take a week off diving with the ear injury and if you are not diving you are a bit out of place. Unless you are doing your Dive Master, most other people didn’t stay longer than three days. I completed my PADI Open Water course and Mike completed his Advanced Open Water as well as his Rescue Diver course (which was a crazy experience).
I would definitely recommend going there for a dive cert, it is so easy to take a course, and it is the cheapest place in the world to get certified. We dove with one of the smaller outfits, Sunshine Divers, in Chalok Bay on the quieter part of the island.
Good news is, we can dive anywhere now!
So much love to everyone at home! After Koh Tao we moved on to Tonsai (we will post about that soon), and now we have one more week before our Thai visa runs up so we are making our way back up the coast to Bangkok and then flying out to Indonesia.
Wi-fi has been a bit harder to come by then I thought, but hopefully we can post again soon!