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He only went out for some milk A blurb of monstrous proportions - it was only supposed to be a couple of lines and the odd photo.

Koh Tao

THAILAND | Sunday, 24 June 2007 | Views [2614] | Comments [1]

Sun tastic

Sun tastic

I'm 20m under the sea, there are five, 2m long, grey reef sharks swimming within a few meters of me, and my instructor is trying to encourage them to come closer by making noises with a plastic bottle. 

Noooooooo!  doesn't she realise sharks scare the hell out of me...I should never have watched Jaws as a child!

As they come nearer she tries to get me to take the bottle and continue the noises so she can take "some nice pictures".   Believe me, the sharks are close enough.  I really don't like sharks, and i literally didn't have the bottle.

I love diving though, I am now supposedly a 'specialist' in nitrox, deep, night, naturalist, navigation and wreck diving.  Really it doesn't mean much except that I've gone a bit overboard booking courses and making PADI rich...good fun though.  I've also enjoyed going back to 'school' by studying and taking all the tests - I really am sad.

I've spent a nice few weeks in Koh Tao, and i love it here.  It's a reasonably developed island but not too developed, it's full of farangs, and things are more expensive than the mainland, although the diving is perhaps the cheapest in the world.  However it has some great views, amazing sunsets and fantastic beaches.  It's easy to have a party every night, or just have a quiet meal and enjoy the scenery.  Nearly every night I've been here, I've had unbelievable firework displays, courtesy of the storm fronts surrounding the island.  They are so far away that you can't hear them...eerie and beautiful. 

The island suffers from rubbish, too many boats and too many bad drivers - particularly the ones on the huge ATV's that zoom everywhere.  Although at times, with some of the bad roads I can understand why they hire them.  I naively hired an automatic moped thing to explore the island.  It's only afterwards that i find out it's recommended to hire a dirt bike and be an experienced rider.  Now I know what it's like to physically carry a moped up a hill.  Riding in flip flops also isn't recommended.

You have to watch out for the coconuts too - there are many palm trees on the island, and they really do like to fall on peoples heads.  If the locals got their act together and didn't let the farangs do everything (it sounds mean but looks like what happens), this really could be a clean, green, not over-populated even greater place to visit.

I've also tried freediving, swimming 20m below the sea with just the one breath.  It's quite easily the hardest yet most serene activity I've ever done.  I'm not a natural at this, even with the Yoda breathing exercises I've been taught.  The force is not with me, but jelly fish and sea lice are...they are a distraction and really painful and they like stinging me on the lips!  Unfortunately, this is one activity you need to relax for.  It was a great experience and i can see why people take it up, the combination of Yoga, pushing yourself to your limits and the sublime, yet calm surreal-ness of being way under the water without a dive tank is amazing. 

The people in Koh Tao are friendly, and the food is good - REALLY good, western and Thai. 

Yeah i like it here, no wonder i stayed 3 weeks.

Tags: diving, island, motorbiking




Oh man, you're walking through my memory lane again. We were to stay there for a day or 5, ended up staying 2 weeks and needed to leave because of our visa.<br><br>Good to hear you're still enjoying yourself! Anyway, be good in the meantime ;-)<br><br>Roelof .... . Shane: Good to hear from you Roelof. Yeah I know what you mean - my visa ran out too. If we didn't need one i have visions of me still being there in 10 years time, lazing on the beach and drinking Sam Song whiskey...now there's a good idea.

  Roelof Jun 29, 2007 2:15 AM

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