Koh Tao and the Blue Waters of Thailand
Our third and final destination within Thailand took us to Koh Tao, an island on the western shore of the Gulf of Thailand. While Phuket on the opposite side of the country was an option we considered, the quieter and more relaxed descriptions of Koh Tao proved to be a perfect place for our family. Koh Tao is well known for it’s diving and snorkeling and as you’ll see in the images we spent the majority of our time enjoying life on the water.
Traveling from Chiang Mai, we took a flight to Bangkok and connected onto another flight to the island of Ko Samui. In the middle of our travel day, upon arriving in Bangkok we realized that we (I) had neglected to book ferry tickets from Ko Samui to our final destination of Koh Tao. I, without really checking, assumed we would catch one of the many personal “water taxi’s” with family and luggage in tow once we landed and made our way to the water. It turned out we needed to take a larger ferry on a near two-hour trip, something we obviously hadn’t booked. Upon arriving, we had missed the second and final of the two ferries each day. Needless to say we ended up booking a hotel in Ko Samui and catching the first ferry to Koh Tao the following morning. It was a bit of a panic, but as all things go it worked out just fine. The kids really go with the flow and more often than not it is myself or Michelle, more often me, that gets wound up when a wrinkle finds it’s way into our plans. We should know by now that &#%*! comes up and things don’t always go as planned. Alas, another day ended and being quite wiped out from travel, we all slept like babies.
Our ferry ride to Koh Tao was on a catamaran, apparently a smoother mode of water transit than a regular boat, taking us by many colorful fishing vessels with locals mending their nets and getting things in order for their daily work. One of the more “colorful” sights was a guy letting it all hang out, relieving himself off the side of his boat as our ferry passed alongside him. I kept that visual to myself until after we had passed. I would say that “care free” attitude was something we quickly grew fond of, not the peeing wherever you want part, but the relaxed nature of island living that so warmly and comfortably greeted our family. Although our lives are far from stressful at the moment, upon reaching Koh Tao it was clear that this was a place to relax and enjoy the simple pleasures: kicking it with sand between our toes, watching the seemingly endless beach combers and boat traffic, taking it all in stride and appreciating our last destination before heading off to Europe where winter was ready and waiting with open, much colder, arms.
A few highlights of Koh Tao include our “tree house” cottage on the beach at the so perfectly named Sensi Paradise Beach Resort. It wasn’t actually in a tree, but the name suited it’s elevated architecture. We also loved the dining areas, all outdoors regardless of the time of day, and of course life around the pool and on the beach! All of us took in some snorkeling with Frankie getting kudos for literally diving right in for this activity. Fins, snorkel, mask, and she was off! Not her typical style as far as trying something new, especially a little more daring activity like this. She has grown up on this trip and this was one sign of her getting “more brave” each day.
We kept a close watch for mosquitos as that seemed our greatest, and seemingly only worry while being in Thailand. Walking on the streets was a bit dodgy due to the motor bikes and narrow streets. I was nearly hit at one point and all of us heard the passenger on the motorcycle utter something frightening as they grazed my shoulder. I was working so hard to keep Frankie and Wesley out of harms way and got a bit too close to the shoulder myself. We quickly adapted to drinking only from water bottles and at the time of writing this post, had yet to have any “backdoor” issues from eating the local cuisine.
Cheers from Thailand. Europe awaits!