After traveling for about a month and a half we finally found ourselves living the island life. Every backpacker we talked to raved about Koh Tao. They said the beaches were incredible, the water was beautiful, go there to dive and that it was truly paradise. Stacey and I took a night train from Bangkok and then a ferry out to sea. We got to Koh Tao decently early in the morning and we realized immediately that this was going to be expensive.
We couldn’t get a ride to the beach area we wanted to go to anywhere near the price we wanted to pay, but after lots and lots of bartering with multiple drivers we found that we could only bring the price down by about a dollar.
These were undoubtably the most expensive 4 days of our trip. We did very little in those four days other than taking our only day apart of the trip, really feeding our Western cravings and being beach bums.
Stacey and I had spent literally every single day together, almost every moment for almost 2 months at this point, and we just felt the need to spend the afternoon and evening apart. I chose to spend it treating myself with a Long Island Iced Tea, a grilled chicken sandwich with PESTO sauce on it and blogging the day away while I FaceTimed my fiancé. It was the perfect afternoon and then I read at dinner while eating HUMMUS before walking to the beach and enjoying an insanely striking sunset peacefully
So, here’s the deal with Koh Tao – it’s THE SPOT in Southeast Asia to get dive certified and you can do all kinds of different levels of it and find the price that you want to pay. We didn’t have the time or money (and for me, honestly, the desire) to dive. Because of that I wish that we had decided to go to a different beach because this wasn’t the best for affordable beach living and a taste of local island life.
Even though we didn’t go scuba diving we did take some time to get under the water and we went snorkeling on a scuba boat with their company. This had pros and cons:
The pros are that it’s cheaper than going on the snorkel tours and they provided tea, water, fruit and cookies. (So, lunch for that day) and we got to go to two different sites.
The cons are that they aren’t there to show you how to snorkel. They are scuba instructors and gave us literally no instruction on how to snorkel, which was fine for me because I had done it before, but Stacey hadn’t, so that left me showing her. Also they didn’t show us what sorts of fish and coral we could potentially see. Also, the second dive site was way to deep to see anything from anywhere near the boat, so we had to swim over to a big rock formation to see any coral, but I have a serious ocean fear, so that was not something I really liked. However, it was a great experience and I liked pushing myself in the ocean.
Once back on the land we just enjoyed beach living by wading in the beach, floating on our backs & soaking up the sun, and of course laying on the beach on my beautiful sarong I purchased there.
Koh Tao was great for something – feeding those Western cravings. I had pesto, hummus, apple cinnamon pancakes & SWEET TEA! I was definitely excited to have a taste of some of the things that I missed, but we quickly missed the more exotic things that we had become accustomed to.
Koh Tao is a great place to be Western. The majority of American’s I met on this trip we met here in Koh Tao and it the Western food was REAL Western food! If you’re going to dive or want to meet a ton of backpackers and spend a lot of money, go. If you’re not diving and want to have a cheaper experience, don’t.
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