The little and charismatic island of Koh Tao is placed in the Gulf of Thailand. Very well known for its numerous scuba diving schools, in fact this tiny piece of rock in the middle of sea issues more diving certificates than any other place in the world. So, I (Nuria) did not lose the opportunity to join the divers club and signed up for some classes. Cheaper than anywhere else and surrounded by coral reefs make it heaven for underwater life lovers!
I took two PADI courses to become new Robert’s buddy who is already certified. After 6 days of training full of nervous situations, excitement, loads of fun and meeting very cool people that never said NO to hung around the island and down a few pints, I finally picked up my medal of honour!
We stayed at Sairee beach which is the neuralgic point of Koh Tao, full of restaurants and pubs by the seaside. The owners are experts in creating charming character by placing tables with candles and relaxing mats on the sand right on the sea front where you can eat your meal while watching fire shows. The locals here do nothing but play with petrol, ropes and matches. The performance they provide is jaw-dropping. They also know how to entertain your thirsty throats - buckets full of buzz are always there to be served and consumed. Everything is ready to just have fun. Curiously, despite of all of it, people don’t drag their legs for too long as most of them have some compressed air to breathe underwater next morning or enjoy other kinds of healthy activities.
Next to Koh Tao there are three magical islands joined by a triangle shaped white beach. Luckily, government protected the islands by creating National Marine Park called Koh Nang Yuan. Unluckily, they started to make business by charging every single visitor for entrance, disallowing plastic bottles from outside forcing you to buy expensive water onsite and kicking everyone out at 5 pm if you have no accommodation booked in one of a few bungalows available for rent there.
When the long-tail boat dropped us off there and we stepped on the beach we could only say “WOW”. During the whole day we couldn’t stop taking pictures trying to capture the beauty of the place. The site is magical. Its shallow waters are perfect for snorkelling where we saw loads of colourful fish swimming near the beach and around coral reefs surrounding the islands.
When we finally got bored of frying on the sun and chilling in warm and turquoise sea we went for a short hike to a magnificent viewpoint where we could see all three islands at once. It was just wonderful….
After 11 days we left this tiny spot in South East Asia with a feeling that these islands became one of our favourite places in Thailand.
Hope to see you soon Koh Tao, it was a pleasure...