Asia | South East Asia | Thailand | South Thailand | Ko Tao – Koh Tao, Thailand
Amazing Thailand…. I remember how I started travelling, and stopped over in Bangkok for a couple of days. What a culture shock that was ! I saw poor people in worn out clothes, trying to make a living driving tuk-tuks around, or selling cheap goods or food on the streets.
This time when I flew back into Bangkok I couldn’t believe my eyes either… but my perspective was totally different, after spending 4 months in Nepal and India. This time I saw incredibly luxury airport busses, organised traffic, expensive cars, buildings and shops: I saw wealth. All of a sudden, Thailand was a rich and expensive country to me!
It was great to be back on KhaoSan Road, also bringing back many great memories of my Thailand travels with Stephan and Dave earlier on this year. This time, I’d arrived here with Sue. She left straight for Koh Tao the next day, where I was supposed to meet her a few days later. But as things go, I changed the plans again and would never get there until long after she left the island.
Why I changed the plans: My good friend Alex from Holland decided to come over and visit me on Koh Tao for his three week holiday. He wouldn’t be here for another two weeks though, so I could take this time to explore some of the Northern regions of Thailand.
So I went up to Chiang Mai, and booked myself on an organised trek into the jungle of Thailand. The next three days I would spend in a group of 10 travellers and a Thai guide, trekking through the jungle. We stayed at some primitive hill tribe villages, we rode elephants through the jungle and rafted down the river on a simple bamboo raft. It was a memorable trip, putting my Thailand experiences into a new light, that of mountains, jungle and hill tribes.
Isn’t it great how things always seem to fall into place when you’re travelling… Just when I was wondering what to do next, I got an e-mail from my friend Santos, still in India but flying into Bangkok a few days later. So I hopped on the bus back and met him there. Bangkok was supposed to be just a short stopover on his way back to Canada – but all flights were booked out, providing him with an excellent excuse for an additional holiday on Koh Chang…. We spent 6 days on this island, living the good life of chilling out, ocean, beaches and great Thai food.
Unfortunately, sunshine was a rarity that week but that could hardly temper my excitement of being back at the ocean.
By the 10th of September I was back in Bangkok again, to pick up my friend Alex from the airport. Great, but also weird to meet him there since he’s the first Dutch friend to ever come and visit me abroad.
Right now, I’m on the island of Koh Tao, Alex is still here with me and we are having a ball. Life is evolving around secluded beaches with palmtrees, diving and snorkeling coral reefs, great food, parties and night, meeting many other travellers and generally just the good life at an easy pace.
I’ve moved another step towards becoming a divemaster; I’ve just finished my rescue diving and Medical First Aid courses. Alex has finished his first two diving courses, and I’m very pleased he’s sharing my enthousiasm about scuba diving, and travelling life in general. He will not be too thrilled about getting back on that plane in two weeks.
But we have some time to enjoy left… We’ll be spending a few more days on Koh Tao, before heading over to Koh Pha Ngan for the next full moon party. Shortly after that however, we will be going separate ways again.