Koh Samui and Koh Tao

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November 4th 2013
Published: November 4th 2013
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Aaaaaand relax!

Wednesday 30th October we arrived in Koh Samui. We treated ourselves to a flight straight there from Bangkok, which only took an hour, much different to our 10 hour bus journey a couple days before! As soon as we arrived, we were greeted from a guy that works at our hostel and he drove us there. We were staying in a quiet part of the island with very little around.

Our hostel was lovely! Very modern and even had its own pool so we knew we were in the right place for relaxation. We met some nice girls, one who was English and the other who was Dutch. The English girl had been travelling for 6 months and was on the last leg of her journey. She told us about one of her bus journeys in Vietnam. She fell asleep and when she woke her handbag was gone! It held her passport, all her money and her camera, full of photos from her 6 month journey! All gone! She found it hard to get a replacement temporary passport as the police in Vietnam couldn't speak a lot of English. I need to make sure I am super vigilant on my future journeys, it would be a nightmare to lose my passport, never mind all the memories I had taken pictures of!

We had a walk to the local beach, which wasn't very big but was full of coral that had washed on to the shore. We decided, as our hostel was in such a quiet place, we would rent a scooter the next day to travel around the island. I had never driven a scooter before and was quite scared but Stuart reassured me I would be ok...after all, my trip is about seeing things and new experiences so I knew I had to just trust I would be ok.

When I got on the scooter the next day, I had to glide down a steep hill to leave the hostel. I was sooo scared I wouldn't be able to stop but the breaks were just like a car so I just had to remember how to drive a car!!! I stuck to 20-30km per hour for the first part of the ride. The streets weren't busy so it was perfect to practise there.

Along the way, we stopped at a waterfall and decided to try trek up to the top of the waterfall. In Asia at the moment, it is low season therefore there isn't many people around, hence it was not unusual that our trek had no one on it. We reached an opening to the waterfall and went across a bridge. We then decided to climb across the rocks up the waterfall but stopped after a few minutes and decided that because there was no one around it was probably a little bit dangerous. When we got to the bottom, we checked the map at the entrance and it looked like we were definitely going the correct way. I have no idea how anyone could scramble those rocks safely. I'm starting to see how the health and safety laws here are totally different to England!

We carried on our journey around the island and stopped for something to eat. The guy at the restaurant gave us both a loaf of bread to feed the fishes. We thought we had to break the bread up into small chunks but the man was chucking in whole slices so we thought we should too. Suddenly, massive fish popped up to the surface and took massive chunks out of these slices of bread. We couldn't believe how big these fish were! We told the man at the restaurant we were riding around the island and he told us to be careful as the roads get busy after his restaurant. We were not prepared for how busy! We were suddenly in a very touristy area, cars parked on both sides of the street, trailers and scooters zooming and down the street, overtaking me with my measly 30km an hour speed! Stu was going a bit faster so would have to pull over every now again to let me catch up but I was determined to stay safe and keep watching my mirrors for those crazy drivers! When we were close to home, we looked at the map and couldn't quite work out where we were so tried lots of roads(which were now quiet). All of a sudden it was dark, no lights on the street apart from the ones on our bikes. Eventually, we passed a Thai cowboy bar and they told us our hostel was right around the corner! Hooray! Even though I was scared on the scooter for most of the day, when I got home I was really pleased I did it as we had a really fun day. I am glad I stayed safe and didn't go too fast. Why would I want to ruin the holiday of a lifetime!?

The next day we set off again, by boat this time, to an even smaller island called Koh Tao. We had heard that this island was beautiful but we didn't realise how much. Pulling up to the port, we noticed the crystal clear water. I couldn't wait to get into it! As soon as we got to our guesthouse, we dumped our stuff to get to the beach. WoW! The water was so warm. The warmest I have ever experienced in the sea. I swam for a while then decided to do a few press ups and sit ups on the beach as I hadn't done any exercise in 2 weeks! People were walking by looking at me and smiling, probably thinking she is strange! I didn't care, I was just happy I could still do a few press ups!

The next day, we decided to rent a scooter again, this time only one and I would sit on the back, to go another beach on the island which we heard was beautiful. When Stuart was sorting out the scooter, a German couple walked past that we had met in Chiang Mai on our Jungle trek. A small world! We decided to meet up that night. We have made some friends at last! That day we rode to a place called Haad Tien which was small beach with even more beautiful water. The journey on the way there was very bumpy and very hilly, it was very similar to a scary rollercoaster ride except I was relying on Stuart to be in control instead of a reliable machine. Stuart was very safe so we are still alive! Think my time on scooters are over, not sure my heart can take it anymore! That night we met up with the German couple and had food on the beach. We watch a fire show on the beach which was great entertainment. They were very skilled!

Yesterday, we went to yet another beach, which was on a private island called Nang Yuan. We took a taxi boat across to the island and had to pay 100 Baht to enter. This time we decided to snorkel in the sea. Literally, a metre from the shoreline there were lots of fish. A small school of fish even came up to Stuart and started nibbling his fingers! We swam right away from the shore and saw fantastic, brightly coloured coral. I saw numerous species of fish; electric-blue small fish, yellow spotty fish, jellyfish, angel fish and lots more that I don't even know the names of. The favourite part of my snorkelling was seeing huge fish with big lips picking up broken bits of coral with their mouths and throwing it behind them, blowing in the area where the coral was and watching for any smaller fish to come out...at least that's what I thought they were doing! I wish I had an underwater camera as it was so wonderful. I will just have to keep all those images in my head! There was a part of the island that you could walk to the top of called The Viewpoint. We walked up yet another rickety path to the top. It was worth it though as the view was spectacular. The colour of the sea was beautiful!

Today, I was supposed to
start a two-day freediving course ( freediving is diving without the air tank, so you are literally using your own breath). Unfortunately, when I was snorkelling yesterday, my ears started to hurt when I was diving down to see the fish more closely and they felt sore this morning so I wasn't allowed to freedive. Stuart had to go alone and really enjoyed it, although he did find it really difficult. Instead, I went to a two hour yoga class. I felt very relaxed! For the rest of the day I decided to do some research on Cambodia and how we would travel there and stayed away for the sun for a day as I had got a little burnt a couple days ago.

In two days, we will get a boat and bus back to Bangkok where we intend to take a day trip to a place called Ayutthaya, which is the old capital of Thailand, then start our travels to Cambodia. I have heard that when we cross the boarder, people try to scam you and try to make you pay twice for the Cambodian Visa, so I am going to have to make sure I have
my head on and tell them straight I will not pay until I get on the Cambodian side of the boarder.

Wish me luck! xxx

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