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May-June 2009 Thailand, Koh Tao, Day 1 - 7

Set out for Thailand on May 28. Ben blitzed me to the Welly Airport 20 minutes before my flight which I caught shit for, but got on anyway. Had lunch with Tracy Lee at the Auckland Airport then jumped on the 12 hr flight to Bangkok. It was a great flight with a whole row of seats to myself and of course video on demand.

From my Wellington plane up to Auckland.

Somewhere over Aussie?

Scary clouds

Breakfast at the Airport hotel I stayed at, SP Power ($30 US includes Airport transfers and breakfast). I think the smallest sausages ever.

Flew into Samui on day 2 and caught the boat to Koh Tao ($18 US, 2 hours). Although I had been to Koh Tao last year, I felt I should go again to dive some more. Met Neil MacDonald of Scotland on the boat over who helped me find a room at SCUBA Junction, Sairee Beach (Prick Tai Bungalows), which is in a perfect location for eating, drinking and the beach. Also, SCUBA J use a long boat from shore to go to their dive boat so you need not dick around at the very busy main pier. My room was good enough for $10 US /night (diving price and $12 when you're not). Next time I would still dive with SCUBA J, but would probably stay next door at JS Cabana or Sairee Bungalows which was tipped to me by other travelers.

Sairee Beach

My hut

Loving the Thai. Phad Thai and Green Curry, $3 US each.

Crashed a wedding the first night with an invite from Jeannie. Had to get on the Thai Red Bull at least once. The second night we went to Lotus to watch the Poi entertainers. The little one on the left must have been about 8 years old.

Pork inside two rice patties. How come I'm the only one who likes these?

After two nights drinking it was all diving for 3 days. The diving was good for some of the spots, Chumpon Pinnacle and Southwest Pinnacle. Massive schools of fish, the odd Stingray, but no sharks this year. Regardless you can't complain when it's $20 US a dive and 30 deg C. Unfortunately on my last dive I hurt my ear a bit and to top it off later that day I got Thai Stomach which confirmed I was done diving on the trip. This put me out of action for at least a day sleeping 20 hours and not being able to drink any beer! Ah, traveling. Thanks to Keith for getting me some waters and crackers.

Going to Chumpon Pinnacle

Neil and I hiring scooters in order to explore a bit and make it to the Budha View BBQ which is about 3km away from Sairee. This was one of the highlights from last year and well worth it.

Gasoline in a rum bottle (1 litre) = $1.50 US (cheaper at Petrol Stations = $1/litre. I think there is only one station on Tao).

Great electrical wiring at the main intersection of Sairee. I wonder if the birds are happy with this or not?

And finally, on a political note I found out that the Thai people in Koh Tao aren't Thai. They are Burmese. Even in Thailand there is explotation as the Burmese will work for less then the Thais. It's amazing that they can leave Burma and come to Thai to make more money than home. I didn't think this was possible in Thailand. Wow.

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