The Travelling Series
After spending a night in the lovely Lime N Soda Resort in Koh Phangan (mentioned in this previous blog post), it was time to secure some longer term accommodation in preparation for some partying!
We actually moved down the beach to Coco Gardens, which consisted of a number of cosy bungalows complete with a porch, hammock and sea views. The resort had it's own restaurant, bar and chill out areas and it was an ideal base for the remainder of our time on the island.
The best party we went to was the Jungle Experience; it's basically what it says on the tin - a party in a jungle - with a few cool extras such as Fire Breathers, Thai Boxers and international DJ's. We ended up meeting our friend from Uni, Katie, and her travelling buddies there which was absolutely insane. It's weird how you can live less than an hour away from someone in England and not have the chance to meet up, yet somehow find them halfway around the world! Kane and I both loved seeing her again and her buddies were all awesome which made the experience even more enjoyable!
After Jungle, we also did the Full Moon Party. This was the one I'd been waiting for and, in all honesty, I'd have to say that I was disappointed overall. It didn't quite live up to the hype - it was okay, just not as amazing as it's made out to be.
We also ran into a bit of trouble on this island when my feet decided to swell like balloons. After a panicked visit to the doctor, it turned out that my feet and ankles had swollen due to long haul flying. Apparently it's something to do with the air compression in the cabin, so the blood pools around your feet instead of circulating normally. The doc said it would clear up in a few days and to elevate my feet as much as possible, but they still look like elephant feet at the moment! Lesson learnt: always wear compression socks on future flights.
After Koh Phangan, we hopped on the ferry to Koh Tao. I actually preferred Koh Tao to Koh Phangan as soon as we stepped off the boat, as it has more of a community feel and everything is much more compact and closer together. We had Katie with us too which was good as she's visited Koh Tao twice before, so she could show us what to do and where to go.
We had a bit of trouble finding good value accommodation in Koh Tao - the first night we went to a basic guesthouse but I didn't like the fact that there wasn't a sink and the toilet didn't even have a flush on it. One thing that people never tell you about Thailand is that having a toilet with a flush is a luxury! Then the second place we went to had an ant infestation - not ideal! We didn't stay there in the end because I thought my Mum would kill me if she knew I was going to stay in such a dive. However, we struck third time lucky with the hotel we ended up staying in. Samatha B&B was a few minutes' walk from Sairee Beach and one of the cutest places I've ever stayed in.
Speaking of Sairee Beach, we got to spend some time on the actual beach there and it's so gorgeous! It has the softest sand I've ever felt in my life and sea that feels like you're stepping into a lukewarm bath.
I've always wanted to try diving and Koh Tao is the perfect place to go as it's well known for it. I went with one of the bigger companies on the island but didn't have the best experience. I had a lot of trouble trying to adapt to breathing underwater - because the air comes from a nitrogen tank, it feels odd and not at all natural. We only did one of these 'try dive' day things, which was tough as there is so much to learn and cramming it all into a few hours just doesn't work (in my opinion). After learning the theory, you don't have much time to practice before you're thrown in at the deep end (literally). I was nine and a half meters deep in the open water at one point with barely any training and I just panicked, so unfortunately my diving experience had to be cut short. I suppose these things aren't for everyone so I'm glad I tried it - but I'll stick to dry land in future, thank you very much.
After the day of the 'try dive', I felt like I needed a drink (or five) so we followed around the famous Koh Tao Pub Crawl. It was such a good night - I particularly enjoyed Choppers with the live music, Lotus with the Fire Breathers and Fishbowl with the incredible vodka and passionfruit buckets.
The three of us got a ferry this morning to Chumphon and now I'm on a seven and a half hour bus journey back to Bangkok to explore the delights of the capital.
That's all for now until my next instalment!