Final days in Bangkok and a new destination (delayed entry)

Koh Tao Travel Blog

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Mike and Anna.
So, I woke up on Thursday morning not knowing where Mike was. Go figure. I spent time up to the early afternoon switching hotels because we forgot to let the hotel staff know we were extending our stay. Let that be a lesson learned. In the meanwhile, Mike had gotten back; he had gotten to be friends with a Thai vendor working on Khao San Road, Anna. Nothing was planned for the day, but we had another show that night. One of Bangkok's famous cabarets of transvestite dancers. It was only an hour long, but it was quite a show. The dance work and costumes were pretty good and it was filled with gusto designed to shock and entertain. It's another one of those things that had to be seen in Thailand, although it cost 1200 baht (around $40). Mike even paid for Anna's ticket and we had a good time before we came back for yet more drinking.
I guess it got really ridiculous when the flamingos came in.


By now, the pattern should be familiar. I wake up a little later in the day than usual and Mike didn't stay in the same room. But at least in the afternoon, Anna decided to show us around Bangkok's Chinatown. In a way, it wasn't as unique or as bustling as I would have expected considering the numerous places we've been to before. But car traffic was still as heavy as in central Bangkok. One interesting thing though was that every intersection corner seemed to have a goldsmith or shop selling gold. And in a few of these, there were a TON of people inside. I'm not sure if it was because they had good service or a special deal or something related to Chinese New Years, but they were unnaturally packed at times. We didn't find too much of personal interest there so Anna eventually took us to a Thai open market she was more familiar with.
Posing with the cabaret.
That was more interesting including having a manga bookstore/library, all in Thai of course. The Thai kids love that as much as everyone else does. We even used a river ferry and it cost 3 baht, really cheap. We got back again and once again, there was more drinking, with some of the same people we had been drinking with before.

By then, I had already planned our next location. We'd be heading to Koh Tao, one of the majestic islands in the Gulf of Thailand. It is also pretty much the cheapest place in the world to get scuba diving certification. So I could not resist passing this up. We'd leave 6 PM Saturday evening so that day, we just relaxed all day and mooched off free wifi in a coffee shop after we bought a drink there.
Bangkok's Chinatown.
The bus would take us to a small town named Chumpon then a boat ride to the island.

To start the description of this leg of the trip, I should first note that at around 4 AM, our bus dropped us off at a roadside stop that looked like it was in the middle of nowhere. The only reassurance we had that this was indeed a planned stop was the scattered few other tourists sitting at the bus stop with their luggage as well. By chance, I got into a conversation with a Chinese guy named Jacob. We conversed mostly in Chinese, but his English was good enough to cover for any words that I didn't know in Chinese. Then to pass the time, we started a game of Chinese Chess. Let me just say that nothing says FOB (Fresh Off the Bus) more than playing Chinese Chess on a cheap paper board at a bus stop at 4:30 AM.
Yeah, we be bros!
Fortunately, a different bus picked us up shortly and after several stops which I slept through, we got to Chumpon before 7 AM. We then quickly boarded the boat where I tried to sleep fitfully on until we landed on Koh Tao right before 10 AM. Just our first glimpse told us this was already the most beautiful place I had been to yet. The water was crystal blue and the visibility was great even at the dock. Of course, walking off the dock, we're bombarded by people soliciting their hotel or dive shop. In the end, we picked one that offered small (max of 4 people per instructor) certification classes and a good discount on rooms as part of the package for diving with their resort. This also had to apply to Mike and Anna (yes, Anna came with us), since I was actually the only one doing the scuba certification. So it was off on the pickup truck to the Scuba Shack at Chalok Baan Kao beach on the southern coast of Koh Tao.

Since this was a delayed entry (originally typed after the 3rd day of my Open Water Diving course), I will save those details and my time on Koh Tao for later.
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Mike and Anna.
Mike and Anna.
I guess it got really ridiculous w…
I guess it got really ridiculous …
Posing with the cabaret.
Posing with the cabaret.
Bangkoks Chinatown.
Bangkok's Chinatown.
Yeah, we be bros!
Yeah, we be bros!
Koh Tao
photo by: RyanCorrea