OK so Koh Tao.
What an impressive little Island this place is. Situated off the east coast of Thailand, in warm, crystal clear waters, koh tao boasts one of the best diving areas in the world. This little known Island is an oasis for wildlife, great views, incredible sunsets and best of all, great food.
After our epic journey from Cambodia to get here it had to be pretty special to pull us out of the onset of depression we were stumbling into after some of the worst roads in history beat us up in our very loosely termed 'bus.'
When we arrived at the ferry port, at around 4am, we had to wait a little bit before being treated to a taster of what this place had to offer. Over our left shoulder the sun came gracefully over the dock to light up the water and surrounding Islands nearby. At this point, despite not having showered in a few days and having eaten a fair bit of sand on the Cambodian bus, we knew that it was all about to change. We jumped on the high speed catamaran and an hour and forty five minutes later we arrived at Koh Tao. Sadly the dock is a bit of a mess and it wasn't until we reached our first stop, a small bay on the south of the island, that we truly realised where we were!! White sandy beaches, clear blue water, tiny little fishing boats, clear blue skies, it was almost too good to be true. As with most things it was as half an hour later it started raining!! Nevertheless we were in the water splashing around like school kids after the last day of school. It is worth pointing out that since that downpour, we have had no rain what so ever.
For the first few nights we stayed in a place with tremendous views over the bay and really got into the swing off Island life. A few beers in the evening on a bar whose deck spans over the ocean, Island life was looking particularly rosey.
After two days in the quiet bay, just relaxing, walking around the nearby bays, lacerating ourselves on the coral, we headed over to Sairee Beach, the largest beach and epicenter of the island. Despite having a considerably more lively nightlife, the beach life remains calm and tranquil. It is almost as if no one really wants to do anything during the daytime! I wonder why...
We are still in Sairee Beach but I cant help thinking I am missing something...O yes, I remember. The two nights Baker has spent in hospital with a blood and stomach Virus! Mr. absent of all immunity contracted the virus we think off of the coral on the first day. That accompanied by the heat, drink, lack of water consumption and humidity culminated in Baker spending a few nights in an air conditioned room with four meals a day and an unlimited supply of liquid, all for the measley sum of 300 English Pounds. Cheap you say? Yes, yes it was. It also confronted our prejudice of Thai hospitals, as it was clean, efficient and generally a really pleasant stay, for me, as I spent two nights along side my fallen travel buddy!
We are now out on our limb again but still in Sairee Beach.
We spent a day snorkeling in a little private bay called Aow leuk after hiring a bike for the day. It turned out to be one of the most spectacular days of both of our lives. Having never snorkeled properly before I was fairly useless but after successfully not drowning on a few occasions, we managed to work our way out to the Coral reef just 30feet from the beach. What lay beneath the surface, still makes all the hair on my body stand on end. A complete aquatic wildlife, a wash with fish of all shapes sizes and colours. Accompanying these beautiful but harmless fish, were the find of the day. A group of reef sharks, up to ten of them, scowerring the reef looking for breakfast lunch and dinner. Never in our wildest dreams did we expect to be swimming with sharks, armed only with a snorkel and an inquisitive mind. As it turns out if you stay still they will circle you. We didnt know this until we got out of the water. We spent the time chasing them and wondering why they were swimming away!! Still lesson learned, a phrase which is rapidly becoming the phrase of the trip!!
With all this wildlife it is easy to look past probably the most impressive thing about this dive. The coral itself. The living organism is a full spectrum of colour and each part is a different shape or size. Some parts spanned an good 5 meters across. It was truly spectacular. Another phrase which keeps creeping into these blogs.
I could go on all day about this Island but I wont, the pictures will pretty much give you a better insight than I ever could. As the famous old saying goes, A picture says a Thousand words.
E n j o y x x