Koh Tao

Tag: Destinations, Gulf of Thailand, Thailand   Type: |
February 8, 2011   3 Comments

After the hectic buzz of the city we very quickly settled into island life. There is a very chilled-out, slow pace of life here, which seems to seep into everyone and everything (which sometimes becomes tedious when waiting to be served in a restaurant!)

Koh Tao Sairee beach sunset

Koh Tao Sairee beach at sunset, with the ubiquitous longtails and diving boats

We stayed on Sairee Beach, west of the island, which is a 1km stretch of beach, with various beach bars, restaurants and amenities. To the north end is Sairee village itself = buzzing with everything you could ever need, with lots of Western-looking places that offer a massive range of cuisines (pizza, Mexican, English fry-ups etc) as well as good authentic Thai food. Seemingly, this is a place no locals lived.

Audio MP3

We had a lot of rain our first few days on Koh Tao, with heavy overnight downpours. A heavy thunderstorm one morning was particularly loud - recorded here. You can here Carly mention the flash of lightening and then a few seconds pause until the thunder. Hugely distorted but it gives a hint of a nuclear-bomb force of this storm as we huddled in our wooden bungalow...

We settled into our new surroundings by chilling out and enjoying not doing very much at all. We had our first massage – shoulders, back and head – which was more like torture and a bone crunching wrestling match at times. It reduced Ben to watering eyes and fits of giggles which the masseur seemed to enjoy. It’s meant to leave you simultaneously relaxed and energised and that’s exactly how we felt afterwards.

Chilling outside a bungalow on Koh Tao at Silver Sands

Chilling outside a bungalow on Koh Tao at Silver Sands

We booked our accommodation and diving course through Big Blue Diving and they placed us at the Silver Sands Resort. It cost 900 bht per night and Big Blue wouldn’t give us any complimentary accommodation even though we were both booked on a course (complimentary rooms were advertised by every other dive school on the Island). Others on our course did have free accommodation for 4 nights…beware if you book via these guys, we felt a bit annoyed with them about this – they offered us a t-shirt instead. No thanks!

The accommodation, a bungalow, although basic – especially the bathroom—had a decent fan to keep cool at night, a fridge, a tv, a small side-board, a double bed and a single bed. Windows permanently open with mosquito nets covering them well. Outside we had a nice area with table and chairs and a great hammock, which we adored chilling out in. The downside to Silver Sands is there is a late night and very noisy bar (called Fizz) which was a stone’s throw from our bungalow. Not nice if trying to get your head down a bit early.

The croaks, squawks, chirps, clicks and whistles of these Myna birds contributed to a great stay on Koh Tao

Our bungalow was cleaned daily – one of the women who cleaned would continuously and disgustingly clear her throat and nose of phlegm before flobbing out the results. Really loudly. This was worse than a bunch of lads trying to outdo one-another after a night out. Sick and inexplicable?!

Koh Tao Sairee beach looking towards Nangyuan

Koh Tao Sairee beach looking towards Nangyuan

10 seconds stroll and we were on the beach, which at high tide isn’t a beach…you have to walk in the water to get around the bars that line the whole waterfront. At a lower tide it’s still only a few metres wide (as above). Koh Tao isn’t for beach worshippers….it’s for divers and having chilled for a few days that was why we were here – to learn to dive.

<< From Bangkok to the beach | Koh Tao Open Water Diving Course >>

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3 Responses to “Koh Tao”

peter & jean
February 9th, 2011 @ 12:33 pm

hi guys, wow what an adventure, looks really good and you’ve only just started. We’ll follow your journeys with great interest for when we take our gap year! Look after yourselves xxxx

February 9th, 2011 @ 1:25 pm

Thanks Jean & Pete! Great to hear from you, glad you got back safely from Egypt! We love hearing from you so please comment whenever you like. Glad you liked the articles so far, more to come soon! 🙂 xx

February 13th, 2011 @ 10:41 am

I am spellbound by your accounts of your travels, you write most eloquently. The photos and sound effects are a great addition, it’s almost as good as the telly and much less time consuming. keep ’em coming Ben, and lots of love to you both. xx

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