Changwat Surat Thani

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  • Day13

    Arriving to Koh tao after a sleepless night bus and ferry I immediately signed myself up to do the PADI Open Water Diving course which I had been recommended by so many people. Koh Tao is the cheapest place in the world to go this, the island itself having over 100 diving schools. I went with Ban's diving school, the biggest one in the world for diving. The first day consisted of theory and in the afternoon training to use all our equipment in the pool. Despite being quite tricky to get the hang of and taking on a lot of information at one time, it made me extremely excited for the next day when we would do it or at sea. The next morning was our first two dives. I was extremely nervous for the first dive, having only had 4 hours in a pool the day before and now doing it for real. These two dives we only went to depths of around 8 metres and was a way of easing us into things. The coral at the second site, called the Japanese Gardens were stunning and the tome really flies when you're under the water, being so absorbed in what you see. It really is a completely different world, beautiful nevertheless. The third day consisted of two more dives, the last ones before we got our certification. Both of these were amazing, seeing an array of colourful fish as well as coral.
    By midday we all had our certifications and I can certainly see why people get stuck on Koh Tao diving and never want to leave, it truly is an incredible experience.

    After the exhaustion of the 3 days of diving, the afternoon was spent by the diving resort infinity pool and soaking up the last sun of the day. The pool overlooked the jungle like landscape of Koh Tao and was a lovely backdrop. In the evening, the whole diving group, including our instructor enjoyed a dinner together and then went out for a fun evening of drinking, having not been able to do so during the diving process.

    Having loved it so much 2 days later me and two Irish girls from my diving group did a night dive. Our instructor claims it was his first night dive that convinced him he wanted to be an instructor, therefore I thought it was something I had to do. We all headed out at sunset and it was a surreal experience. Being quite daunting not being able to see further than your torch, I still got to witness a sting ray, sleeping turtle and squids. For a period of time we all turned off our torches and then were able to see all the luminous plankton around us, it looked as though we were swimming in glitter, truly magical.

    I feel very lucky I was able to do such an amazing experience and I loved my group, spending a lot of my time outside of diving with them as well, all being very good company. Needless to say it was sad to say goodbye to them as well as my instructor Atip who couldn't have been a better teacher.
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  • Day19

    Having had my few days being on my own again, Luisa and Corrie came over to join me in Koh Tao after our break of each other whilst they went to go visit Koh Phi Phi.

    The first two day's were absolutely beautiful, the sky was blue and the beaches looked stunning. After my intense couple of days it was finally nice to enjoy some time relaxing on the beach and topping up the tan.

    However, unfortunately the next few days weren't so great with rain and overcast weather which sadly ruined our plans to go to a famous viewpoint over Koh Tao. We also wanted to visit another beach on the island called Shark Bay to go snorkelling, as apparently the sea life there is amazing. But, despite this we still had a fun time and enjoyed the night life the island had to offer, finishing the evening with a mandatory ham and cheese toastie.

    Through our lack of activities, we resorted to food as per. We discovered THE best burger restaurant called Hungry Hippo and after that meal I was certainly put in to a food coma. It was one of the biggest burgers I have ever eaten, unable to finish it was something for me, seeing as I am usually someone who can demolish anything put in front of her.
    On our last day, Luisa even took the plunge and got herself the tattoo she had wanted which turned out great and looked very good on her. Me and Corrie however only spectated, having heard the sound of the needle I was certain I would never be able to get a tattoo myself.

    So despite not having the best weather, we still occupied ourselves with food, tattoos and shopping. I even treated myself to a new bikini. 8 days later I was finally leaving Koh Tao, an island I had become very fond of and was very sad to leave. However I was extremely excited for Koh Phanghan where the full moon party was awaiting us.
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  • Day27

    The next day, our final day together as a three after 6 weeks (very sad occasion), we headed to a hotel known as Bluerama to use their pool and spectate the views of Koh Phanghan from their viewpoint. Doesite the horrendous hill to get up there that we had to climb which I'm certain was at a 90 degree angle upwards, we made it. The location was absolutely incredible and to this day one of the most stunning beach views I think I've ever experienced, and throughout my 4 months I've been to some pretty amazing places. The infinity pool looked over the bay and off to the next island in the distance. We spent the whole day here, soaking up plenty of sun and I even treated myself to a yummy mango smoothie. Safe to say it was the perfect last day in Thailand and with Luisa and Corrie.

    On the way back to our hostel we even stumbled across an English pub. Seeing this in the middle of Thailand was by far the most exciting thing that had happened to us in a very long time. I can't express my happiness when I got served a big plate of sausages and mash for dinner and it was even better when it didn't disappoint. I honestly felt I was back in England and it certainly felt comforting.

    Heading back to the hostel we packed up everything, all three of us with early mornings to catch ferries off to our various destinations. We finished the day off with a movie, Taken 3, and a reasonably early night as well as big hugs goodbye.

    Leaving on my flight from Krabi to Singapore it dawned on me that my trip was speedily coming to end and despite making me sad I was excited for what the rest of my trip would bring me. I can honestly say Thailand was a dream and I will definitely be returning.
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  • Day26

    Having done very little exploring of the island due to late nights we decided to stay extra few days and see what the place had to offer and it did not disappoint.

    With Corrie not feeling well, me and Luisa decided to go on an adventure to a small bay around the corner of the main Haad Rin beach, known as Haad Yuan bay. We had the place pretty much to ourselves apart from some others wondering through the beach. It was a stunning location, hidden away from the main beach and a lovely place to spend the day. Having brought a little picnic with us, it was the set up for a relaxing day.

    Having spent most the day there, we made it back in time to watch the sunset at a bar called Three Sixty, which gave you a full 360 degree view (kind of in the name) of the island and islands off the coast of it. It was so beautiful and one of the best sunsets I've on my travels. It was certainly a perfect setting to enjoy a drink and meal.
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  • Day75

    Whit and I arrived at Koh Tao after a two hour ferry trip from Koh Phanang. Since starting this adventure, other travellers have consistently had good things to say about this relatively small island with the highlight being its affordable scuba diving.

    At the recommendation of my brother, we rented a scooter and some snorkelling gear and spent one day visiting several different spectacular snorkelling spots across the island. We discovered a phenomenal Thai vegetarian restaurant and devotedly attempted to eat each item on the menu during our numerous visits. While we had reserved a scuba diving trip to 'the best dive site in the Thai peninsula',  unfortunately the weather did not cooperate, cancelling this excursion and dashing our hopes of diving in Koh Tao :(. After four relaxing days we leave Koh Tao feeling refreshed and ready to travel to the city of Hua Hin, two hours south of Bangkok.Read more

  • Day22

    3 days prior to the Full Moon Party we excitedly boarded the ferry from Koh Tao to Koh Phanghan with the crowds of others heading over to Koh Phanghan for the same reason. You could sense the excitement in the air, everyone buzzed for the few days ahead. Despite being low season the ferry was still rammed with people.

    We got to our hostel called Dancing Elephant, which is renowned party hostel close to the full moon beach. Our dorm was the biggest I've stayed in yet, sleeping 41 people in just one room. I presumed sleeping was an unlikely acitivity in the next few days. Nevertheless the vibe was very cool and buzzed for event if the month. With the lead up to full moon there are events on each night, the first night we arrived was the waterfall party which was lots of fun and set in the scene of a waterfall. We bumped into friends from home; Alex, Ollie, Tom and Giancomo who we would be with for the next few days. They were an absolute laugh and really good company, making the few days all the more interesting.

    With the late nights or should I say early mornings, not much happened in the day, only having time to recover then start to get ready for the next night ahead. The jungle party was up next, which was so much fun and set in the jungle, hence the name. This was a heaving event, with lots of people and had a very festival vibe. Personally, I preferred this to the actual full moon party because it was less spread out and more confined.

    The big day of the full moon party arrived and the island was buzzing. Everyone was out and about buying their paint and luminous outfits for the night ahead. At 8pm the drinking started, and being happy hour it meant one thing, lots of buckets. The pre's at Dancing Elephant was lots of fun, meeting new people from all over the place getting ready to head to the beach. At 12am it was time to go and hit up the beach. The whole beach was flooded with people with bars all along the beach, it was certainly a sight.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Changwat Surat Thani, จังหวัดสุราษฎร์ธานี

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