Saturday 21 May 2016

Koh Tao & Koh Samui

We travelled down from Chiang Mai to Koh Tao where we had booked on to an SSI Open Water Diving Course at Roctopus Dive.

In a way I'm a bit surprised we managed to have such a great time on Koh Tao as we seemed to accumulate new injuries daily during our time on the island.

On our first day we decided to head to one of the beaches and snorkel with some black tipped sharks. The snorkelling was amazing but I quickly managed to cut my hands and soles of my feet on the sharp coral whilst Phil was busy building up a red raw burn from the sun.

We then hired a moped as we thought it would save time and taxi money getting to and from our dive course every day as it was on the other side of the island... Of course, I immediately crashed it, resulting in most of our bodies being covered in cuts, scratches and bruises.

The following day we began our Open Water course and, as luck would have it, I then perforated my ear drum due to the water pressure. By the next day all our cuts were infected and both Phil and I had the beginnings of ear infections.

Despite all of this - we had the time of our lives. Koh Tao is one of the most beautiful places either of us have been to. Every morning we woke up to the turquoise sea and cloudless sky over Freedom Beach, and each evening we watched the sun burning orange, red and purple over the horizon.

Freedom Beach, Koh Tao, Thailand
Freedom Beach view from our balcony
Sairee Beach, Koh Tao, Thailand
Sunset on Sairee Beach

The food was also delicious, most of all the out-of-this-world fish platter at Barracudas near Sairee beach. Too much fresh fish to know what to do with.

Roctopus Dive were a 5* dive school and we are thrilled we completed our Open Water with them. They take groups of up to 4 people per instructor so we were well looked after the whole time. Our instructor Mick was fun, patient and so passionate about diving it was hard not to feel the same fire in our bellies by the end of our course.

Our first day consisted of pool training, day two was our written exam followed by two 12m dives, and finally on day three we did two 18m dives and became certified Open Water Divers! We had heard a lot about Big Blue dive school, but they take large groups and it seems a bit of a factory - churning new divers out day by day. I would recommend Koh Tao to anyone who is thinking of doing an Open Water course, and there is no better dive school to learn with than Roctopus. 

We left Koh Tao the following morning and spent a couple of nights at a beautiful air bnb on Koh Samui which had views of the ocean and mountains.

Koh Samui

We had just one day left in Thailand so followed a friends recommendation and booked onto a tour to AngThon Marine Park where we kayaked and relaxed before flying back to Singapore the next day.

Kayaking, Angthon Marine Park, Thailand

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