Koh Tao - Diving for n00bs
Koh Tao Travel Blog› entry 3 of 4 › view all entries
December 6th, 2009 – by: eiebjan
When Arriving at the Silver Sands Hotel, my bungalow hadn't been cleaned out yet (it was still early, can't really blame them), so the manager told me to go get a coffee across the road for half an hour or so.
I got checked into my hotel and John took me to see the bungalow. He said he had upgraded me free of charge, so I ended up paying 1000bht a night for a nice and clean bungalow about forty meters from the beach, with a minifridge, hammock, large tv, hot water shower, free wifi, a fan and the usual free dog on the porch. The bungalow also had an AC, but they had removed the remote. I could probably have paid for that as well, but those things tend to give me a cold so I kept with the ceiling fan.
In retrospect, I could probably have found something a lot cheaper on the island had I shopped around a little, but I booked this hotel earlier online, and as that usually gives you a better price, that's not always the fact in Thailand.
After a short nap to get to my senses after the lengthy bus ride the night before, I checked out Sairee Beach. And as Silver Sands was located almost dead center of it; I didn't need to walk many meters before finding several nice and cheap beachfront restaurants and lot's of bars where you generally just sat down on some pillows or beanbags in the sand. Lot's of them had live music in the evening and some also had the fire shows going all night.
As Davy Jones' Locker was located right across the street and of course, the guys working there was a really nice bunch; I ended up doing all my dives on Tao with them. Although I did get 6 pretty nice dives, I'm pretty sure the diving industry on this island is based on the newbies and the unexperienced divers. At all the trips on the DJL boat (which was nice) there were at least one group taking either their open water course or their advanced training.
However, it has to be said that they also took as good care of the more experienced divers as they possibly could. On my last day, I was paired up with a divemaster in training and kicked of the boat about a kilometer before we reached the planned divesite. Here we had a few really nice, but small caves, and also got some cool driftdiving towards the rest of the group. By far the best dive of the week.
They had both morning and afternoon divetrips, and both included two dives. The cool thing on Tao is that most of the dive sites is very close to the island, which means you don't have to sit on the boat for hours to reach the destination.
Although I had a really nice time there, and met a lot of cool people (specially the crew at DJL) I have to admit that I was a little disappointed with the island in total; It was a little to crowded (not Phi-Phi crowded though), the dives was a pretty shallow, murky and a tad uninteresting and everyone complained about how expensive it had gotten there. As I live in Norway, nothing really seems expensive to me though....
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