Here on Koh Tao, life is pretty simple… People wake up and head to the beach, those who want to dive do so and those who want to just sunbathe do! Cassie and I spend our first day taking in the sun and swimming in the ridiculously warm water. I mean this water is warmer than most of my baths! The water is amazing… Warm, clear and beaming with fish swimming around the coral.
We sit in the sun for the best part of the day then head back to our hostel for a shower and much needed rest after the long travelling. En route back we see beachside bungalows for rent, we expect them to be expensive but we enquire anyway. When the lady behind the reception desk quotes me £9.23 for a beach and pool side bungalow, one wall is facing the beach one is facing the pool, I bite her arm off to get a room. Unfortunately she says they are fully booked and that id have to come back tomorrow morning when everyone is checking out to see if a room becomes available.
Zipping around the island
We have an early night and are up early. After our extensive sun exposure the day before cassie is burnt, and not even a little bit… Its painful to look at!! It looks like half cooked chicken, when its still pink in the middle. We decide that minimal sun is what we need to today and decide to rent a scooter to see a lot of the island. Now if you search “Scooter renting in Koh Tao” all you will find are people warning you that everywhere is a scam and that you will get ripped off for scratches that were already there. We rented from a place on the main road, outside of a pharmacy and opposite a petrol station, all by Sairee beach. Sounds bad already, what was worse was that this guy didn’t have a proper office, just a row of mopeds and a clipboard with damage sheets. Whenever you rent a scooter they will take your passport, this is to prevent drunk tourists smashing the moped to bits and not returning it. When we hired the moped I took, without exaggeration, about 40 pictures of scratches, dents and any marks I could see. I even took pictures of non existent marks just so the guy would think I knew every mark on it. We paid him £3.96 for 24 hour rental and set off.
We travel the island, north to south and east to west. We head to the southern part, park the scooter up and walk about 5 minutes downhill and along some suspicious cliff side walks and witness some great views.
We head due north and get to the Nang Yuan island view point. This island is beautiful, two separate points connected by a bank of sand. The island is privately owned so there is a fee of 100 Baht to enter the island. From the viewpoint you get great views of the island and we decide that we will head out there and make a full day off it another day.
We then head west on the scooter and start climbing some dodgy hills. We get to a certain point where we pass through a small village and see a few men holding rifles. I don’t speak thai…but that is the international language for “GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY VILLAGE!!”. We swiftly do a u turn and get out. It then starts to rain, not normal rain, monsoon rain. It goes from no rain to shitloads of rain in 10 seconds. As quick as it starts is as quick as it ends and we decide to carry on riding. We see a sign for “sunset view bar”. This is up a crazily steep hill, but we aren’t walking it so what the hell. We get to the top and the view is wonderful but its overcast so we know the sunset won’t be good. We SLOWLY make our way down this hill and return the scooter. We don’t really need it overnight and don’t want to risk someone scratching it and us having to fork out for it.
We head out that night and get lured into a bar by offering all cocktails at 100 baht (£1.80). We witness a large group on a pub crawl and decide thats what we are doing tomorrow night…
Crawling around the island
We get to Choppers Bar where the pub crawl kicks off from. The banner says meet here at 7 but we arrive a bit early. This works to our advantage as getting there before 6.45 gets is two free shots on entry along with the customary two free buckets and the Koh Tao pub crawl vests. Everyone has their names written on their arms in permanent pen so no matter how drunk you get you will not forget names! We drink our two buckets, that consist of three quarters of a bottle of vodka and one can of sprite!! From there you head to a pool party where a free shot is offered to any one that jumps in the pool, easy shot. We then buy another bucket here, but save yourselves 100 baht and buy from the guy outside the pool area. After everyone has dried off we move on to a cabaret show where the stars of the show are… LADYBOYS!! Prices here are hiked up so we stick to a beer before moving onto the third bar. We head back to choppers as the third stop of the crawl for some live music and pool. We arrive at the bar just in time for a 2-4-1 offer on buckets… Who doesn’t love a good alcohol offer?!?! We drink two buckets, shoot some pool and dance away on tables. We head outside for some fresh air and it hits us… We’re fucked, trashed, wasted, mouldy, whatever word you and your friends use to describe the point where you can’t walk… That was me!! We don’t make it to the fourth bar and head home!! FAIL!! Suppose at least it’s a good night when you wake up with pictures on your phone with some people you don’t remember seeing?!?!
The following day we recover very slowly by just doing nothing all day!
Snorkelling Koh Nang Yuan
I mentioned at the beginning that we looked out to and island, Nang Yuan. We’ve been told that this island is amazing for snorkelling and only a 5 minute longboat ride from Sairee Beach. Everyone we ask says the price is 300 baht and no one will haggle lower. We head to the island and spend the day snorkelling and heading to the view points… Day very well spent!!
Good bye Koh Tao…
All in all I loved Koh Tao, BUT, it is somewhere that budget backpackers should stay a minimal time. The lack of street food stalls mean higher food prices and that’s where most of your money goes unless you’re into diving in which you will then be in heaven! Every 3 steps there is a dive shop or a group of people heading out for a dive!
So we are off to Koh Pha Ngan tomorrow and still haven’t booked a place to stay! I’m off to do that and I’ll see you soon!!