A month in Thailand – traveling to the island of Koh Tao
If you read my first post from this series, A month in Thailand – first days in Bangkok, you left us at the train station getting on a night train to the city of Chumphon, the capital of the Chumphon Province and the Mueang Chumphon District, at roughly 465 km south of Bangkok.
The train ride took about ten hours, we had upper berths and train rocks you from left to right and backwards, sort of like in a cradle but with the force of train :). If you’ve ever been to Thailand you already know that train schedules are really not an exact science over there. But as the Thai people say, with a smile on their face, “same-same”.
We were coming from Romania, so a bit of train delay was not a big deal for us.
We got to Chumphon at about 5am and it was still night. At 6 o’clock a bus came to take us to the pier where we would take the Lomprayah catamaran to Koh Tao.
I was tired as I didn’t really sleep very well on the train so I spent most of the catamaran ride inside the main cabin. Lomprayah catamarans are fast boats and quite steady ones too. If you suffer from sea sickness I recommend paying the extra and use this company as they get there a bit faster and with less rocking.
We finally got the Mae Haad Pier on Koh Tao. This is the main town on the small island which is a divers’ paradise.
We got lost a little bit, again, looking for the driver who was taking us to the Simple Life Resort, on Sairee Beach, the place where we were going to stay for the duration of the diving course we booked before leaving Romania.
We finally found him waiting by a 4×4 pick-up truck, tourists travel in the pick-up, needless to say, they don’t give much thought to seat belts 🙂
The road to Simple Life is anything but simple, it’s actually pretty steep and the more it goes inland, towards the middle of the island, the steeper it gets but, in about 10 minutes, we arrive at the destination safe and sound.
We meet Tim, a nice Englishman and diver instructor, who gives us some details about the scuba diving course and put us up in the room we paid for, a fan double room at the upper floor.
As we were completely spent we went straight to bed and woke up a few hours later in a sweltering heat.
We decided to go buy water, insect repellant (which is a must) , and other useful stuff we needed, then we ate at the beach restaurant, spicy Tom Yum Goong, a Thai soup with prawns and a lot of bird eye chilies that make your mouth feel like it’s on fire and Khao Phad, fried rice with prawns.
Later on we met our diving instructor, Luke, who explained the basics, made us watch a couple of movies and gave us books to study. I was happy for the book, I still have it 🙂
Meanwhile, Tim got us a beach bungalow instead of that sauna room with no extra fee, gotta love that.
So, this is it, we got to this beautiful island but the first day we were just too tired to go anywhere or explore the beach. We had to read for the diving course, of course.
In my next post: Meeting Koh Tao and getting used to the simple island life.