Connect the dots

Friday, May 18, 2012

Koh T(ow!)

When you've screwed up the dates on your Vietnamese visa because the guy at the counter didn't tell you that the dates you put on the application will be the exact start date of your 30 day visa, what do you do? Suck it up and head south to one of Thailand's spectacular islands. With forecasts of rain on the Andaman side, we thought a few days of diving and relaxing on Koh Tao was just right. 

Our puddle jumper

This seemed to be the perfect spot, especially after meeting a family from Petaluma, California who had a boy nearly Alex's age and a toddler. We joined them at Nangyuan where boatloads of Japanese and Korean tourists were losing their scuba virginity. Not a bad spot, all you had to do was get in the water and the fish came to you. Unfortunately, our excursion with this family ended after lunch since they were headed back to Koh Samui. We continued on to explore the entire island by boat and snorkeled 3 more spots with nearly no one but schools of fish.

I'm glad we at least got in some snorkeling, because aside from forgetting my dive card and log book (what? this is THE diving island of Thailand) we took a big spill on a motorbike we rented to explore Koh Tao's turf. As per doctor's orders, we were NOT to step in that turquoise water, at least while our wounds were still fresh.

All is well when a lollipop is present...
or when sipping a virgin mojito
With diving, snorkeling and pretty much anything that had to do with water out, we instead entertained ourselves with some miniature golf. 

Forced relaxation also meant alternating between reading and napping  in our huge bungalow, nestled in the woods at Sensi Paradise Beach Resort. Though we thought we had left Myanmar behind the week before, nearly the entire staff at this place was Burmese. So, we got to greet with mingalar bar and thank with jezu ting ba de. Apparently there are over 7,000 people from Myanmar on Koh Tao alone. Many are there to make a decent living and to escape the oppression occurring in their native land. 

Here's where we didn't get to go for a swim: 

Or right in front of our hotel: 

On the way back, to add insult to injury (literally), we were told that our flight had been cancelled due to "bad weather". I think it was simply for the lack of passengers. However, we were refunded our plane fare and shuttled practically for free in a comfy minibus, sharing only with one other couple, on a 6 1/2 hour journey back to Bangkok.

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