Ko Tao

June 26, 2009 at 9:55 pm 1 comment

A tourist bus is a large privately-owned bus with soft reclining seats utilized only by tourists. I took such a bus for the first time last week. The passengers were separated into five or six groups according to destination and confined to a section of the bus.

It was almost 3am, I’d finally found a comfortable place for my feet when the light went on and a bus-man began prodding us to wake up. I ignored him. He’s just crazy I decided dreamily.

But I was forced off the bus anyway. Ten of us waited on the street until a minibus came and took us to another station where someone jammed on a guitar and someone sang until 7am. Then another bus came and took us to the pier where we boarded a boat for Ko Tao. Three hours later, sea-sick and sleepy, I cheerfully left stepped on Ko Tao.

...on to the boat

...on to the boat

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...that's Ko Tao ahead (after 3 hours)

...that's Ko Tao ahead (after 3 hours)

I followed some of the travelers I met to a secluded bay. Aow Leuk bay is beautiful, the waters are blue and transparent, fish swim around you while you stand in the water, and the water doesn’t sting your eyes if you open them inside. But because of the steep rocky and sandy path to it the bay is not really accessible.

Aow Leuk Bay (that's me and a friend swimming in the middle)

Aow Leuk Bay (that's me and a friend swimming in the middle)

We had a number of difficulties getting to our guest house, Nice Moon, because it was even more secluded than the bay. I felt like a caged bird. I had come to the island to be around people and the nice view and clear water was not enough compensation. So after spending the night with my new friends I left to Sairee beach, the most touristy part of Ko Tao.

I found free accommodation at AC resort where I signed up for a dive course. I’d wanted to try SCUBA diving since I arrived in Thailand 10 months ago, but circumstances always resulted in something else. (It is possible to dive without certification but most places wont rent you equipment without it) The course lasts 3 days and includes a text book, homework, an exam, skills training inside a swimming pool, and 4 dives in the sea where students repeat some of the skills. It cost 8000 Baht and included a free bungalow for 4 nights, breakfast, water, and wifi.

I was worried that I’d have problems inside the water. That for some reason I was going to be one of those few people who physically cannot withstand the pressure of water. But the only problem I had was with equalizing my ears and this was easily solved with a decongestion pill after my first dive. The lowest point I reached was about 15 meters =)

getting ready

getting ready

the air tank. contrary to popular belief it's not pure oxygen, but ordinarry air

the air tank. contrary to popular belief it's not pure oxygen, but ordinary air

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checking our 2nd regulators

Most of all I love the weightlessness and the different ways of movement under water. I like the fish and the corals. I like pretending to be a fish myself and imagining what life would be like if humanity evolved differently. If I had more time here I would do an advanced diving course (diving deeper and diving at night) but I need to return to Bangkok and fly to Japan on Tuesday.

But I don’t want to leave…

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Sairee beach

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fire dancer

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Entry filed under: travel. Tags: , , .

per l’amaro e il dolce… bye bye ราชอาณาจักรไทย

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. babelt  |  June 28, 2009 at 9:09 am

    Thanks for the encouragement! Looks like it was a really great course for a good price. I might have to check them out.

    Reply

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