Blog : Koh Tao
Getting to Koh Tao was a bit of a nightmare, apparently loads of people had the same idea as us, to have a hangover day after the FMP and then travel higher up the island trail to the last and most beautiful one, Koh Tao, so the ferry was rammo! We woke and packed and then went for breakfast altogether (which i think threw the one man in the kitchen, 12 orders all at once or something) but we thought an hour between ordering and our taxi pick up to the pier was plenty. With ten minutes to go and no food in front of us we all got a bit fidgity! Finally it came and i wolfed down some eggs which came with toast not beans and im not eating bread again, main cuz its so sweet and disgusting but also because it immediately makes me lethargic! We ran to get our backpacks and jumped in an airconned minibus to the port which took ages longer that i remember the way there taking... We got there in plenty of time though, even with our delays, exchanged our receipts for tickets and then just sat around with about a thosand others (everyone going everywhere, islands, mainland, airports gahh confusing) for three hours as our boat was so late! When it finally arrived and we got a seat we were crammed in like sardines with not a single space empty. The boat took about another three or so hours, not the just less than 2h wed been told. Typical thai exaggeration there! I was still a bit worried about trying to find accom for eight of us, having not booked anything but we got a pick up truck taxi (oh health and safety bods would have heart attacks!) to the beach we wanted to stay on and eventually found some pretty alright bungalows which when shared four ways were almost half the price of our koh phangan hostel but triple-y nice and clean! It was called island dive resort i think but they didnt offer any diving any more, so i assume thats why it was cheaper than the other places?! Koh Tao is famous for diving however and Kelly and Shaun from the Liverpool group were going to do their padi there.
We stayed in Sairre beach in Koh Tao which was really cute, the beach was literally 100m from our bungalows and there was a cobbled path lining the beach with lots of restaurants, a few bars, clothes shops, loads of travel agents and a seven eleven (supermarket - everyone loves them here, they do a cheap white bread and cheese single toastie for a pound or something which everyone raves about but that look disgusting! Imagine that, getting a toastie in a corner shop at home!) I preferred the vibe on Koh Tao the Koh Phangan as well, it was more chilled and relaxed than constant party party party, who can drink the most sort of thing. Although the main road was behind our bungalow and further along i think there looked like there was a few big bars with music and cheap drinks and there was a three nights a week bar crawl too, but still not on the same level as the full moon island.
We had a beautiful dinner on the beach on our night, sitting literally on the shoreline and watching the sunset which was do nice and relaxing! I had chicken bbq skewers and spring rolls which although a bit more pricey than the previous islands was really tasty and easy as it was right outside the bungalows! Kate, Andy, tash, charl, bri (liverpool peeps) and i all booked to go on a snorkling boat trip the following day which we were all excited about and so we didnt have a big night. Everyone stayed at the bar resturant wed had dinner in and watched the movie the beach but i slinked off to bed as i was super tired and didnt was to get chaste for not drinking that evening - granny central! The snorkling trip was soo good the next day. We were on a big boat with a sunbathing area and free tea, coffee and biccys all day! Lunch and fruit was also included bonus! But unfortunately because of the choppy sea conditions we couldn't go the bays that had been orginally scoped two of the spots were a little bit disappointing, the coral was quite dead and there wasnt that many fishes or anything :(
The third spot on the other hand was incredible, we saw giant shoals of fish circling around, like like out of finding nemo and beautiful coloured coral. Some of it looked like gorgeous mosaic and crystal bathroom tiles it was that pretty (i dont think that is a v good way to make it sound amazing but its what it reminded me of, in a swanky Eco hotel suite toilet) i also chased around a shoal of squid for a while which was so cool because ive never seen them before and they swim so funny! The biggest ones were at the front of the pack darting around and then they were kind of in a bullet formation getting thinner towards the back as the squids got smaller and the baby ones were at the end, they were about the size of my hand! I really cursed my camera being broken at that point - i took it on the snorkel earlier and it came out of the water with condensation all round the screen as if water had gotten inside if it and it wouldn't turn on :( As i swam back to the boat they were throwing pineapple to the fish and these big shoals just came up around me to nibble on it, so i watched that for a little whole, all of the fish fighting over one bit of pineapple at the surface whilst so much of it had sunk down a little bit all ready! On the boat we were given lunch, egg, rice and chicken, which the others demolished, but i really didnt fancy the brown chicken(!) so just ate a little of the rice and the egg on the top. We were then given a plate of pineapple which went down an absolute treat :)
In the afternoon we went to an island called Koh Naunyuag (no idea how to spell it) which was beautiful. Its two islands that are joined by a thin strip of beach in the middle that you can walk across, and lovely white sand beaches in the bay on either side. The island is mainly a hotel, with bungalows and boardwalks scattered across the hillsides and a nice beach bar and restaurant near the pier. Although i think you'd be annoying if you were actually a guest there with all the millions of day trippers that get dropped off thereto look around, it was quite crowded when we got there and not very much beach space for us to sit on. We decided to walk to the view point which was a hell of a lot further than we thought it was and not desperately easy in flipflops! It was up loads of crumbly narrow steps which took us about fifteen minutes to walk up and we were all panting and sweating like anything when we got to the top! But at the top it was like a cattle market, there was so many people trying to get up and go down and lots of pushing and squeezing past one another. We had to climb up big boilers right at the top as there was no path left which were sharp on your feet and i was still carrying my beach bag with everything in it!! The view standing ontop the biggest rock was worth it though! It looked as though we were over 500 above the sea below and it was a picture postcard setting. You could see over to the other half of the island, to koh tao which was actually relatively close and out to sea where there were lots of tiny islands/rocks dotted about! After the climb down as well though we were absolutely knackered so spent a long time just chilling in the clear blue sea cooking off, although with the water being very shallow, it wasn't actually that a' refreshing temperature! A chilled coke and a sit in the shade afterwards worked wonders though!
When we got back from the boat trip and showered etching everyone was ready to go for dinner so we went to the same BBQ place as the night before, because noone else had ordered the BBQ the night before and then when mine came they were jel! I had a chicken skewer and a sweetcorn this time and then a cinnamon and banana pancake - it didnt sit v well with me though so i had to slink off back to the room.
For the rest of Koh Tao i wasn't feeling very well, i had a pretty high temperature and no energy so i really didn't do very much other than sleep and have the odd walk around the town to get water and drugs! i did find myself a decent bit of shade on the beach in the afternoons though and i sat and read my book which was nice. I did also try and make the effort to go out for dinner each night with everyone and i had a nice margherita pizza one evening, although it took ages to come!!