Diving in Koh Tao

RTW: 2007-2008, Scuba Diving, Southeast Asia, Thailand — By on July 13, 2008 8:41 AM

NOTE TO SELF: Do not travel by boat or in the hot sun after drinking from a bucket at the 1/2 Moon Party!

I wasn’t feeling 100% at breakfast the morning after the 1/2 Moon Party. I wished that I could crawl back into bed; however, we had to check out, get to the pier and catch our ferry to the island of Koh Tao. The ferry boat was packed and the ride was less than smooth for the 2 hours ride to Koh Tao. I spent the majority of the boat ride inside the sweltering hot toilet as I was sick as a dog! NOT FUN! Upon arrival to Koh Tao we were picked up in an old pickup truck. There was no way I could have rode in the back of the truck in the blazing sun, so the driver let me ride in the front with him. Thank god our room had AC and after a few hours I had recovered and was at the pool with Nicole and Aine.

The next day was our day of scuba diving. Nicole had never been diving before and began to have second thoughts. She said diving was so unnatural but the dive instructor reminded her that so was flying and driving a car. The dive group we went with was Phoenix Divers, and the three of us went down with two certified instructors. Unlike diving in Australia where intro divers can go down 12 meters, we were only allowed to go down 6 meters in Thailand. Nicole felt better about the situation and instructor Neil offered to hold her hand the whole time, so she decided to give it a try!

Nicole did great and really enjoyed diving! We were able to dive for 45 minutes which was double what I was allowed to do in one dive in Australia. I enjoyed having more time to explore! I saw the largest school of fish I have ever seen in any of my previous dives! It was as if I was completely engulfed by the fish, it was a bit freaky at first but so amazing! Aine and I both have done diving in Australia and agreed that the coral and colors were not nearly as vibrant in Koh Tao as what we saw at the Great Barrier Reef. Koh Tao is known to be one of the best places to dive in Thailand, but I feel that it did not compare to the dive I did a month ago in Port Douglas, Australia.

After our dive, we lounged on the top of the boat while the other dive groups went under. We amused ourselves by jumping off the top of the boat into the water. So fun!

That evening we had a great Thai dinner overlooking the ocean. We heard there was a party going on but we were all too tired. We heard that diving burns 1200 calories in 45 minutes, and I believe it as I was totally exhausted!

Unfortunately, we stayed in the worst accommodations thus far while in Koh Tao… the beds were so hard that we felt like we were laying on wood. We had non flushing toilets, the kind that requires one to pour a bucket of water into the toilet to manually flush. The toilet became clogged and we sent Nicole to bring back help and after being flustered by the language barrier, she created her own sign language meaning “clogged toilet”. Nicole and I cracked up as Aine tried to explain in English to the Thai guy that the toilet was clogged with “poo” and she kept holding up two fingers for #2! Apparently, the toilet was fine, we just hadn’t poured enough water from the bucket into the toilet. Nicole was always found hidden within her sleeping sac, fearful of any portion of her body to touch the bed!

I don’t know if it was a result of not feeling well, but I was in a constant state of annoyance and defiance during our stay on the island. Aine was shocked as she knows me to always be a “sweet southern belle” and wondered where my new found rage came from? I can’t explain it either except that I had no tolerance for anyone who snapped me out of my state of paradise… including the taxi driver that I cursed out as he attempted to rip us off, the rude receptionist at the crappy accommodation who ignored us, the motorbike drivers that almost ran us over, and all the others who seemed to make our lives more difficult on the island!

We were all ready to leave Koh Tao and find a better room. We just arrived on the island of Ko Samui where we were pleased to find a flushing toilet. We catch a flight tomorrow to Chiang Mai, located in Northern Thailand. I am sad to leave the islands but also excited for all the fun things we have planned the next week!

To see more photos of Koh Tao CLICK HERE!

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