Asia | South East Asia | Thailand | South Thailand | Ko Tao – 2001 – the early days
The dives on New Years Eve was stunning, one to 22m, one to 16m. Saw loads of fishes, swam with them in shoals, inspected their homes and just looked really. The ability to move all around, completely unrestricted is really nice. I like diving.
The afternoon was a bit of a daze, lunch and a beer at a simple life with the 4 + Anna, a celebratory smoke, a kip, a swim and then we were at the dry bar for cocktails as the sun went down. Ao Chalok Ban Kao is really nice (if not a bit of a mouthful) not as deserted as Hat Yuan and definately with an older more european feeling than Ko Pha-Ngan, a bit more of a Brighton feeling. Either way i really like it and the Bungalows are great.
Anyway on the beach there are 2 clubs; Venus and the AC bar. We spent New Years Eve in both. AC for 12, Venus for dancing. It was nice to be dancing on sand again. Anyway fueled by Red Bull, Vodka and diet pills we danced until 4 had a smoke, made a series of drunken passes and passed out.
I woke up fragile on news years day in my clothes, complete with body glitter and stars. i walked the 10 yards to the sea and dived in. A gorgeous start to the day. Breakfast was at the bakery – the food is stunning – and then the 5 of us hired snorkels, fins and kayaks and crossed the waves to Laem Toto – a couple of small islands just around the corner from our bay.
Snorkelling was dodgy at first, i’d never done it before, but it was actually really nice and there are loads of big fish round and you can get really close to them. And the water here is really clear. Swimming is all a bit of a joy really.
After a ham sandwich at the one hugely overpriced bar we kayaked back to the dry bar for a couple of small Singha’s as the sun went down followed by dinner at the bakery – obviously.
On the 2nd of january we just swam, read books and lay on the beach. Our group is splitting up. James is off to Malaysia as his 28 day Thai Visa is up. Melody is going home, so Penny and Martin are going to take her to Ko Samui before heading south. Anna is off to Bangkok and i’m not sure what i want to do. 2 reasons really, one it will be really hard to leave here and second there are so many options.
I’ve toyed with the idea of staying here until the Full Moon party on Ko Pha Ngan but i also want to go Laos. It doesn’t have a coast though and i want to get a few more days in the sea first.
On the 3rd saying goodbye was sad – a 2 staged affair for Penny, Martin and Melody and then after breakfast, James. and then i really didn’t do much. I have a cold that i have been trying to convince myself is actually lots of saltwater in my sinuses. anyway it finally got the better of me in the afternoon. I lay down at 4 and after a harried nights sleep woke up at 8 the next morning, had a swim and went looking for a pharmacist.
I’m not sure what they are but i have 8 pills. I take one 3 times a day and they seem to be sorting me out. The rest of today was really spent lounging around. Breakfast at the bakery again – I know i should look elsewhere but the food here is really nice (there is also a bungalow operation attached to it.
Anyway then a swim and i did my laundry, I intend to leave tomorrow for Laos, ideally via train from Chumpon. I decided against the full moon party, the choice was either party but rush Laos or no party, take Laos slow and try to rejoin Penny, Martin and James in Krabbi. I decided on the latter option so today was the penultimate day in the sea. i’ll miss it.
Since arriving here, i’ve been in it 3 hours everyday. I like the bouyancy really, and obviously swimming with fish is always nice.
Anna’s brother hired a bike and drove to Rocky Cove, snorkelled 200m out to the buoys and saw himself a shark. The divers said they hang around there. I toyed with the idea of doing that but decided maybe it was one boundary too far. Actually today it was just nice doing nothing – my skin feels a little crispy as well, so i was gentle on it today.
I ended up back at the bakery to have a slice of banana and chocolate cake and a glass of coconut shake and Kahlua as the sun went down and i wrote my diary.