So after a very drunken 9 days in Koh phangan we headed to the next island across, Koh Tao, famous for being the cheapest place in the world to learn how to scuba dive! This was ideal for a detox session as we didnt want to be hangover for our dives.
The island itself was probably even more beautiful then Koh Phangan. All the hostels were along the beach which was full of small bars and palm trees. There were very little cars around as the roads were in very poor condition so everything was very close to each other.
The first night didnt quite go as planned.. a quiet few beers turned into being a very messy night. It seemed that everyone that had just been at the full monn came across to Koh Tao to continue the party.
We did however stick to the plan which was to get our open water diving courses done so that when we arrived in australia we could do the dives for alot cheaper.
Only 4 of us decided to do it but this was perfect size for a group. The first 2 days just consisted of doing theory courses and alot of homework which was not very fun at all. I did not expect myself to be back in a classroom anytime soon. We also had our first sort of dive in the swimming pool, just gettin use to all the basic skills. This just refreshed my mind from when i had done it in tenerife many years ago.
After we had completed our theory test it was onto the sea, we were all properly pumped up for this as we had been told we had a chance of seeing turtles, sting rays and a whale shark. I dont really know what to say about the diving apart from it was amazing, we had no turtle or whale shark but some of the other things we saw were unreal. After every dive we just wanted to get back down there. So after 4 dives we were qualified open water divers!
We had the diving bug though, we just wanted to carry on going, so we decided as a group to take the next course on which was advanced open water divers. This meant that instead of only being aloud to go down to 18metres we could go to 30metres. It consisted of 5 more dives and no theory. The dives however werent any ordinary dives though, we had a shipwreck dive, a night dive and a 30metre dive (going this far makes you feel very drunk).
The 30 metre dive was our last one and it was an early morning one, a 6am meet, it meant that alot more fish were around because it was breakfast time for them. It did however happen to be the morning after our last night! It also happened to fall on the night where 2 ibiza DJs came over to dj at a bar which one of the diving instructors owned. As we had been diving for nearly a week it was hard to resist an invitation for a drink especially as it was one of our dive instructors who owned it. So we went along with a strict no drinking after 12pm and lots of water before bed. Well at 12 we moved onto sprits and extended the time till 2am, at 2am we moved onto shots.. 5.15am and we finally got to bed, just for our alarm to go off half hour later. We were all very much still drunk and throwing litres of water down our throats when we had to meet. Luckily for us all the sea was calm and as soon as you hit the water all hangovers just dissappear and your back in the right frame of mind to enjoy the dive. It was lucky we didnt find this out on our first dive otherwise the detox would of definately gone out the window!
All of the dives were absolutly unreal, the amount of fish and coral we saw were unbelievable. I think i would say the night dive was by far my favourtie. Now we're just looking forward to australia and the barrier reef.
Oh and how could i forget, every group that did the open water course had a dive filmed by an under water camera, which was then shown later that night. The camera man followed as around for a while and then went off to film some of the fish that we had been swimming with. There was also a chance for us to get filmed on the bottom of the ocean. This is where you take your fins off and can do front flips, back flips, moon walking and a bit of kong fu fighting. Our group had other ideas though, we thought we'd make it abit interesting, do something abit different. On viewing that night in the dive resorts bar we had people in stitches and was apprantly one of the funniest videos they'd ever seen. We;ve brought a copy so you'll just have to wait and see what went on.
So as scuba diving was the main attraction, snorkeling just off the beach was also very popular. A few of us hired out off road motorcross bikes to travel around the island and up some of the mountains on the island. This was the first time i had riden a bike with gears and as the roads werent very good a was a little worried. 5 mins in and i had picked it up and was like i'd been riding them for ages. We had heard about a deserted hotel on the other side of the island which was very hard to get to as there was no roads. The bay on which it was located was called shark bay, so without alot of hesitation the 5 of us headed over to check it out. The path there was even worse then we had thought, massive ruts, boulders in the way and 3 ft ditches either side. The ride was painful and very hard but we manged to get there in one piece. Unfortuanly we didnt get to see any sharks but the snorkeling was pretty good and walking round the deserted hotel was a good laugh.
Just off the shore of Koh Tao was another really small set of islands called Ko Nang Yuan. apprantly the only place where 3 islands were joined together by just a beach. There was enough room for a very small luxury hotel and a bar. A short walk up the hill to the viewpoint was the only thing to do apart from relaxing on the white sanded beaches, it was only 300 steps up but the view was beautiful.
We left Koh Tao to move onto the West coast islands and start the sunbathing and partying again :)