Koh Tao in Colour.

23 Mar
    “Every occasion in life can be categorized by either a good time or a good story”. – unknown

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As we get ready to leave Koh Tao, once more, this post highlights our last few days on the island. Tomorrow, we take the long journey to Phuket where we will hopefully find suitable teaching positions – (holding thumbs!) Our decision to change plans and go to Phuket, followed along the lines of “if we don’t go, we will forever wonder what opportunities existed there…” So, off we go…

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We knew it was Full Moon Party time but weren’t quite expecting all ferries leaving Koh Tao to be booked up for two days – luckily we managed to get some of the last remaining seats so our journey could progress without too much delay. A little suggestion – if you are considering traveling to Phuket from Koh Tao, prepare for a long day of traveling. You can either do a night ferry and bus (which is slightly cheaper) or a day ferry and bus. We chose to do the day ferry as check out time is 10am and neither of us is too keen on the idea of hanging around homeless until 9pm – with our bags and no place to shower!

The ferry involves changing boats at Koh Phangan, taking a new boat to Surat Thani, then a 5 hour mini bus to Phuket. So, if you are planning a trip, consider breaking your Koh Tao/Phuket plans with a stop over in between. The journey takes just under 12 hours of ferry-ing and bus-ing – not the ideal way to spend a precious day in Thailand! :) We’ve booked our first nights stay in Phuket Town and, to be honest, I cannot wait to have a flushing toilet! A break from the non-western toilet system is going to be greattt! :) Minor detail which we didn’t see on the website, is that our hotel (according to Trip Advisor) is on top of a hill – please, do not be on top of a hill – 12 hours of traveling finished off with a climb, not ideal.

Our last few days on Koh Tao were just as amazing as all the rest. We had some incredible snorkeling days (where it felt like we were looking through the glass casing of an aquarium), we hired lilos and floated off Sairee Beach for an entire day (found two hats – one nerdy one cool), we finally had a delicious beef burger at Ban’s (our craving for beef was finally satisfied!) and we watched James Bond, Skyfall, whilst enjoying our dinner (offering an 8pm movie is a popular marketing tactic in Thailand! :)

What we found quite interesting is that the restaurant staff are particular unfriendly on this island. Obviously not at all places, but at most. We couldn’t quite figure out why, but we have pinned it down to locals just having had enough of tourists, maybe. Having worked in a restaurant, we both know how frustrating it can be to plaster a smile on your face all the time, but we were often not even greeted. We had one experience where the waitress just put her pen and paper down on our table and made us write down our own order while she stood behind us and stared into space… I would love to put the language barrier as the basis of such behavior, but we ate at the same restaurant the previous evening and had a conversation with the same waitress. The bizarre thing is, that as a budget traveller, you will return to the same restaurant as a well-priced meal outweighs poor service. Don’t be offended if you are abruptly dismissed in restaurants, it’s just the way things work here – and it has taken some getting used to!

    A few photographs from Koh Tao

When we stayed at Freedom Beach, this was the incredible view we (and our washing line) had the privilege of adoring. You would think you would need to pay top dollar for a view like this one, but we were in the cheapest bungalow up on the hill! :)

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Sunset from Freedom Beach Bar

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Our quad biking adventure day led us to some beautiful little bays. Tanote Bay was one of them – quaint and far quieter than Sairee Beach.

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View point at Mango Bay.

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Boats on Sairee Beach.

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The next few photographs are taken by my dear friend Xandi on Sairee Beach.

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Koh Tao blessed us with some of the best sunsets we have ever seen…

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After spending just under a month here, the island is starting to feel like home. If we had enough money to afford the courses, I definitely think we would have invested some time in completing our dive masters and working on the island… (On that note, we might just be back. Who knows! :)) We have met some crazy, strange and wonderful people – each of whom has a unique travel plan and motivation for leaving their home country. Neither Kyle or I is excited to be leaving, but it’s time to see a new place and let the journey continue! :)

Thank you, Koh Tao, for being magnificent in every way possible. Until next time… :)

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5 Responses to “Koh Tao in Colour.”

  1. Caleigh March 25, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    Aah! Sounds amazing! good luck with your hectic bus-ing and ferry-ing! :) Holding thumbs for no hill at the end….

  2. CatherineTs March 25, 2013 at 11:03 pm #

    you’re so lucky to have spent a few weeks there – I visited for a few days, and am determined to go back for longer!

    • katekingsley89 March 25, 2013 at 11:06 pm #

      You must! :) There is just so much to do and see… I wish we had longer! come back soon! :)

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