February 18th, 2010 – by: orcio81
From Hua Hin, where I burned my back on the beach (me silly) I took the 5pm train to Chumpon. As soon as we arrived (9:30pm) a lady was asking all the backpackers getting off the train if we were continuing to Koh Tao
. She told us there’s an overnight boat at 11pm that would arrive at the island at 5am in the next morning, and that the boat is equipped with matrace so we could sleep….Price-wise very much OK, sleeping and transport for 350baht. So this is how I got to the island. At around 6am we arrived to Mae Haad
, where the main pier is located and I didn’t know what to do or where to go at that early hour….
so I went to a nearby restaurant (surprisingly opened) and drank coffee while looking at what Lonely Planet guidebook says. “Most backpackers head to Sai Ree”, ok, let’s get down there. It’s about 3km from Mae Haad to Sai Ree which I would normally walked but because my back really hurt I had to take taxi. The asking price was 100 baht but I told the taxi driver I would give him no more than 50 baht for that 3km distance. Finally he agreed and I got myself to Sai Ree beach…..where everything was just opening. Any guesthouse or resort I had asked told me they would know only at 10am if they have a free room, so I had to wait. Where? In a hammock on the beach……
My primary reason why I went to Koh Tao was to get an Open Water PADI Certificate so when I was walking around the town I noticed a pretty nice package (the course and 4 nights accommodation) with SeaShell Resort which was in my opinion the best choice compared to its competitors considering location, staff, safety, quality of the accommodation etc…Anyway, diving is excellent, it is kind of weird at the beginning that you’re able to breath underwater but then you get used to it and have a lot of fun.
We also had to prove that we were capable of safe diving; we had to pass both theoretical and practical tests…
I spent in Koh Tao about 8 nights, yeah, a lot, I know, but the very first 4 days were designated to the course and the other 4 days I was exploring the “turtle island”, mainly its beaches. I can say my favorite part of the island was Mango Bay in the north because the water was very clear (compared to the rest of island) so I could do some snorkeling….I wished I had a waterproof camera….