We had one week before we needed to be back in Bangkok to meet up with a friend of mine from Semester at Sea and catch our flights back to France. We were going to visit a few new islands, but we looked into things a bit more and realized there wasn’t good snorkeling or a lot we could do on the other islands without buying excursion packages. Three buses, two shared taxies, one tuk-tuk, a boat ride, and 30 some hours later we made it back to Koh Tao.
Koh Tao is my version of paradise. It’s fun to return to a place and know exactly where you’re going. We found our bungalow right away, and headed to the beach. Once again, I couldn’t believe how warm and clear the water is on the island.
Mornings were slow – they usually consisted of yogurt and fruit or peanut butter sandwiches on the front porch, followed by some time at the beach. Around noon we usually hid from the sun; the afternoons were spent snorkeling and exploring other parts of the islands.
Throughout the week we visited different bays and made our way around the island. Shark Bay remains one of my favorite places in Koh Tao – it’s absolutely breathtaking.
Ao Leuk Bay was a lot of fun for jumping in big waves; apparently baby sharks live in the area, so there are a fair amount of snorkelers out looking for them. Tanote Bay was another fun beach. There was a giant cliff a quick swim out from the shore where people could cliff dive – I opted out, but Vincent had a good time! The snorkeling in between the rocks was absolutely incredible; schools of fish came and surrounded us and colorful coral was everywhere.
For the entire trip we had been saying we needed to try barracuda. I didn’t like seeing them in the water, but tasting them was a whole different story. On our second to last night on the island we went out to dinner on the beach with another couple we had met and had barracuda, corn and potatoes. It was hands down one of the best meals we had in Southeast Asia.
In the evenings we’d have dinner or drinks with some people we met, watch the sunset, and read. There is one area on the island where there is a bit more nightlife, but for the most part it's a pretty quiet island.
Once again, we bought tickets for the night boat so we could spend an extra day on the island. While I was sad to leave Koh Tao, especially since our adventure was coming to an end, I was excited to head back to Bangkok to celebrate the Thai New Year.
I’ll be posting lots of advice for getting around Thailand (and Myanmar and Cambodia) soon, but feel free to shoot me an e-mail if you’re heading there and want a few more details!