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Swimming with the fishes in Koh Tao

THAILAND | Monday, 17 February 2014 | Views [385]



After an uninspiring time in Bangkok I was eager to move on- to Koh Tao, an island famous for scuba diving. I've had the idea of getting certified in the back of my mind for absolutely ages now, just never got around to it, really. Well, I heard that Koh Tao was the cheapest and most beautiful place in the world to get it done so bam! I booked it online in one fell swoop and was on my way on the night train from Bangkok's busy Hua Lamphong station.

The trip started off pretty well as I was bunking with a group of Calgarians, a couple more Canadians down the car a bit and a friendly Spaniard in the seat across from me. We chatted, had a beer, then let the train staff rearrange the seats into reasonably comfy beds and hit the hay. It would've been a pretty good's night sleep if

a. I'd been more tired and able to sleep earlier

b. I weren't paranoid about missing my stop and constantly waking up to check the time

and c. our train didn't arrive at our destination at 4am

So the bus ride to the ferry, the ferry ride to the island and the tuktuk ride to the diving resort passed in a kind of blurry but happily tired haze.

That very night I started my SSI Open Water Course with one of the many many schools on the island, one named Big Blue. To sum up the experience it was at times: amazing, exhausting, challenging, thrilling and SO MUCH FUN!!!! I am so incredibly happy I did it, despite a few setbacks to do with improper equipment and trouble equalizing my ears. I can now breathe underwater with the fishies and sharks (!!)and eels and barracuda (!!) up to 18 meters deep. For life!!!

I also enjoyed just lounging at the beach or the resort bar/restaurant, soaking in the gorgeous view and hanging with some really cool people- my diving group consisted of me, a Texan, a Quebecker, a South African and a Torontonian. We all went out to celebrate our certification and I came to realise I absolutely love beach bar hopping! It's so easy and relaxed. I also lost my flip flops (apparently a typical experience) and discovered I am terrible at fire jump rope but hey, you never know if you don't try ;)

I was sad to leave a place I'd gotten pretty comfortable but I knew exciting things awaited me on the next island (well actually I didn't know but now I do!)

Tags: beaches, diving, koh tao, partying, thailand

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