Ko Samui was obviously pretty and fun-
But after three nights we decided to move on. Chaweng beach is a bit too overdeveloped for my idea of tropical paradise, and I’d heard great things about nearby Ko Tao so we decided to set our sights there.
A view of the ferry terminal on Ko Samui, while waiting for our boat to arrive that was nearly an hour late. (This isn’t Japan after all!) Which I found pretty typical for Thailand, stray mutt and all as there are a lot of them about.
Finally the ferry arrived and we started the two hour journey towards Ko Tao, stopping briefly at Ko Phangan in between. (In case you can’t tell yet, “Ko” is island in Thai!) At Ko Phangan several workers from various diving resorts got on and started courting us for our business- diving is the thing to do in Ko Tao, you see- and we settled on Big Buddha’s which is on one of the more remote beaches on the south of the island. For a four day dive course we get free accomodation and all that jazz for about $250, not a bad deal at all!
When we arrived at Ko Tao I liked it right off- the island is a mere seven by two kilometers so quite easy to manage, and it felt like “real” Thailand to me. You know, sitting in the back of a pickup while your driver passes more sharply than you’d like, dirt roads the last stretch of the way, your typical petrol stand-
Clearly, the world has become more interesting! Here’s where we ended up at Big Buddha’s-
Frankly the entire thing feels like I have regressed in life and gone back to summer camp- the room could be straight out of there, there’s a set program every day, etc- except with fewer rules and more alcohol. And learning how to dive!
This is our instructor, Jasper, who we hope can dive better than draw as we’re entrusting our lives to him and all. (We also have a guy named Goose in our group who’s learning how to be an instructor, so lucked out with one-on-one instruction!) We’re going into the pool this afternoon and doing five dives in the ocean over the next three days, which is super-exciting. We even get to start late on Super Bowl Monday (ie the game is early morning here- Go Steelers!) and a bunch of us are already planning to wake up to see it.
So life is good- nice beach, nice people, nice island. We’ll check in later once we’re adept at floating underwater, but until then here is a picture of the moon and Venus at sunset-