Published: April 22nd 2012April 1st 2012
After leaving Cambodia on 17 March I travelled to Ko Chang. We had to change into one of those horrible minibusses at the border and typically for Thailand the minibus driver asked us to pay an extra THB100 because we weren't enough people. We already had paid for our trip from Battambong to Ko Chang but what can you do - argue and upset yourself or just fork out the extra bhat.
Finally we left the border and travelled towards Trat where you catch the ferry to Ko Chang. As it is with minibusses we stopped at random intervals at random places. We just had a toilet break when we got caught up in what to us looked like a traffic jam. After sitting in it for 30 mins it became clear that it is a queue of other minibusses queuing up for petrol. We took another 30 mins to get petrol and then drove in the same direction from where we came from for another 15 mins. It turned out that the petrol was a tiny bit cheaper there and it was worth for the driver to waste more petrol getting there.....the petrol station where we stopped for the
toilet break was empty!
We eventually made it to Ko Chang in torrential rain. The roads on Ko Chang are very steep and winding and especially in rain can be very dangerous. However, we made it safe and sound to Lonely Beach and I checked into the Jae Gun Resort where you pay THB300 for a bungalow with en suite bathroom. It was recommended by a girl on the bus and it's a great place.
I went out to get some dinner and a singha at Stonefree one of the best places at Lonely Beach and went home for an early night. The people at my resort had other plans and all congregated in the restaurant and basically forced me to sit with them drinking. All this peer pressure! That was the end of the early night in.
The next day I booked my open water course and chilled in the sun, topping up my tan. I went to White Sand Beach which is nice but more for couples and older people. Lonely Beach is definitely better.
The following day I started my open water course with the first two dives and met some nice people
on the boat. The day after I did my theory watching that awful video and the pool session. I did not like the pool at all and started freaking out when we did the exercise where you take the mask off but continue breathing. On the third and last day of my course we did the final two open water dives and the exam. I didn't quite get the exercise with the compass..... With a little bit of help from my friend (dive instructor) I passed with only one wrong answer. That called for a celebration and we went out that night. That night I met loads of nice people and a little group formed. We spent the next 6 days drinking, chilling, kayaking and just hanging out at Stonefree. What a great time!
But all things have to come to an end and on my 11th day (after 3 attempts) I finally packed my bags and left Ko Chang (a very very sad day!).