Koh Tao, Thailand

From Bangkok by night bus (not a sleeper bus) combined with a high-speed catamaran ride we arrived at the island of Koh Tao.  ‘Tao’ means ‘Turtle’ as the island once we inhabited by so many turtles the beaches were totally black from the amount of turtle shells on the beach.  Nowadays, the island is known for its diving sites and one of the cheapest places to get scuba certified.  It is north from Koh Phangan (known for the full moon parties) and Koh Samui (party/backpackers island).  Sunny weather is what we expected but instead found out that the second half of November is their heavies monsoon season on this island!


It is quite a small island and has increased in popularity so we booked out hotel before we got there but were very disappointed in our place.  Little holes in the ceiling for insects and rain to get in, definitely not worth the price we were paying.   Searching many other cheaper accommodation options along Sairee Beach, we found a great room for 1/3 the price with a shared bathroom.  Excited about our savings we thought nothing could ruin our moods and then came the FROGS!  It started out with a laugh at the off-key croaks out our window from a bullfrog or two.  Then it was a choir of hundreds of frogs for hours and hours.  Earplugs only helped the sharpness of the pitch of the frogs so that it wouldn’t hurt our ears.  In the middle of the night we both awoke thinking we were going mad as the noise was at a deafening high-pitched level.  Needless to say our savings were now no match for our sleepless night.  Once again we switched rooms to a building only 200m from the swamp outside our window and we were saved.

We took a snorkel trip the next day and crossed our fingers for good weather as the morning started with pouring rain.  The boat route was to go around the whole island to Shark Bay to snorkel with black-finned reef sharks, then to Freedom Beach with hard and soft coral, Mango Bay and then Nang Yuan Island.  Unfortunately, with the monsoon weather patterns the water was too murky and rough for Shark and Mango Bay.  We did get jump off the boat for 3 snorkel sites but the quality of our dives weren’t what we expected.  Nang Yuan Island was amazing though!  Nang Yuan is three small islands situated off the northwest coast of Koh Tao and there is a 50-meter sand bar connecting the three islands.  Climbing along the wooden path and rocks to the viewpoint was breathtaking.  Definitely the highlight of the trip as neither of us has ever seen an island like this before.


Nang Yuan Island

Nang Yuan Island

The beach was great for swimming so we got a couple of open-water swim practices in.   Katie also enjoyed a spa day and we fortunately caught the Broncos/Chiefs NFL game.  To add to the list of our overnight transportation adventures we booked an overnight sleeper ferry to Surat Thani and then a bus to Krabi on the coast of the Andaman Sea.  Prepared with seasickness medication, puke bags and earplugs were set.  The sea was anger that day, my friends.  The first half hour the boat was rocking so hard through a fierce thunderstorm.  Worse case scenarios were running through our heads and Zane had his survival tactics played out and on hand.  Thankfully it smoothed out and it is now chalked up to another crazy experience.

Overnight sleeper ferry

Overnight sleeper ferry


Our blog is now up-to-date!  Currently we are in Krabi, Thailand were the weather has been looking up.  Thanksgiving will be spent here with a splurge seafood dinner and wine!

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1 Response to Koh Tao, Thailand

  1. Megan S says:

    If you are in Krabi; you should take a long boat over to rai leh and rent a bungalow there… Stay in the backpacker lagoon and walk over to the nicer beaches in the day when the tide is lower

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