Mike Catty


Mike Catty

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Samui August 25th 2014

We were up early and had just a few minutes to take a look at the beach. It had worn the brunt of the storm the previous night and wasn’t in great shape with debris all over the sand. We were briefly joined by a cat that wasted no time in making itself at home in the bungalow. We were booked through to Bangkok with Air Asia and the TBH1200 each (NZD48) covered a ferry to the mainland, an hour bus trip to the airport and the 45 minute flight to Bangkok. The day went slowly and it was no surprise that we were both thinking about Koh Tao. It was another hour on board a free bus from Don Muang Airport to Suvarnabhumi Airport where our flight was due to leave around 2000. We were ... read more
Sea Valley Hotel & Spa
Sea Valley Hotel & Spa
Sea Valley Hotel & Spa

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Tao August 24th 2014

The taxi collected us for our final two dives at 0830 and this time we were joined by an Austrian family of four, two of whom would be diving and two Americans that were doing an open water course. Green Rock was the first site and we were lucky that Marco spotted a moray eel hiding under a rock - it hid away as I tried to capture it on the GoPro. We were surrounded by clownfish, angelfish and many others that I’d never seen before. There was even a swim through that was very tight indeed but we both made it through. Dive 5 - Green Rock Max Depth 19.5 metres Dive Time 40 minutes Water Temp 31c Our surface time was at Lighthouse, a site on the north east coast of Koh Tao that ... read more
Jo hitting the water at Lighthouse
Sea Valley Hotel & Spa - Koh Samui

Asia » Thailand August 23rd 2014

There's no rest for the wicked I'm told and with an 0830 collection for two morning dives, we were rudely awoken by an alarm clock on what was meant to be a holiday. I probably shouldn't complain as if the diving was half as good as it was the day before it would be well worth the effort. I hit the buffet breakfast with the sort of vigour you'd expect from a 110kg bloke and immediately after complaining that I'd eaten too much, began to put some thought into the fact that it wasn't the smartest thing to do an hour before diving. Chumphon Pinnacle is off the north-western coast of the island and we had to travel probably twice the distance that we had to get to White Rock a day earlier but we were ... read more
Groper - Chumphon Pinnacle
Chopper's Sports Bar - Sairee Village
Sunset at Chalok Ban Kao Bay

Asia » Thailand August 22nd 2014

The breakfast buffet put on by Pinnacle was excellent and the made-to-order omelette hit the spot nicely with the superb view from the deck of the restaurant making things just about perfect. We were due to go on our first two dives in the early afternoon and had some time to spare so we headed into Sairee Beach for a look around and a shop. I needed some sort of device to hold the GoPro while I was diving and found just the thing. Kho Tao is a very small island - certainly no more than seven or eight kilometres end to end. We figured that we may as well take a look at the northern side given that we were most of the way there already and were rewarded with a pretty view of Koh ... read more
Jo at Nang Yuan Terrace
Jo and the gun on HTMS Sattakut
White Rock Dive - Rising Buddha

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand August 21st 2014

We were up before daybreak and the mini-van we'd ordered collected us (to our relief) just before 0530. We changed onto one of two double-deckers at the train station in Chumphon and were at the wharf an hour later. The boat that would take us to Koh Tao was a huge catamaran that held around 300 passengers and their backpacks (no first-class luggage on this vessel!) and although we left late and travelled via the pier at Ko Nang Yuan we arrived at Ban Mae Hat Pier around 0930. There were somewhere in the vicinity of 100 touts gathered by the small exit from the pier where it links with a narrow street lined with shops and restaurants. Getting through the crowds with our backpack was a mission in itself but once through the bulk of ... read more
RPM Motorbike Rentals
Pinnacle Dive Resort Koh Tao
Pinnacle Dive Resort Koh Tao

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Chumphon August 20th 2014

Jo had booked what appeared to be a stunning little bungalow on the beachfront in Koh Tao, a small island in the Gulf of Thailand. We planned on getting in some diving and taking it easy for the remainder of the trip. This day was always going to involve alot of travel but we figured it worthwhile as Koh Tao looked like our kind of place. We were at the breakfast table around 0830 and by 0900 I had gassed up my bike for the final time and Jo had finished packing. We dropped the bikes back to Say Cheese Guesthouse and began asking around about how to get to Chumphon where we planned on taking a ferry to Ko Tao. There was one place that had a bus / ferry combo that unfortunately left at ... read more
Chalicha Resort

Asia » Thailand » Western Thailand » Hua Hin August 19th 2014

The breakfast included in the night rate at Nantra Hua Hin Hotel was best described as basic but toast and fruit was enough to prepare us for the long days riding ahead. We'd already seen enough of Hua Hin to want to get away and Lonely Planet suggested that things would improve if we headed south. Armed with a 8cm x 20cm map of a 250km area we headed down the road with absolutely no idea where we were going. We'd only gone five kilometres before my bike required a refill - the tank was tiny (less than two litres) and this would be the first of several refills throughout the day. Our "service station" came in the form of a motorbike repair shop that was selling petrol out of old glass coke bottles at a ... read more
Khao Tao
Hat Sai Noi
Puncture repair in Pranburi

Asia » Thailand August 18th 2014

After our final breakfast at Kanpuri Hotel, Jo and I headed out on the motorbikes to start making plans to travel south, with the coastal city of Hua Hin our proposed destination. We collected our finished laundry (4kgs - THB80 - NZ$3) and found the train station to figure out how best to get to our destination. Trains from Kanchanaburi were few and far between, and didn't seem to fit in with any connections heading south, we may have even had to go back to Bangkok. A mini-bus seemed to be the way to go. Before leaving, we had one more tourist stop to make in town - the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery (Allied War Cemetery) located across the road from the Thailand Burma Railway Centre. 6982 Australian, Dutch and British POWs are buried in the cemetery, ... read more
Kanchanaburi War Cemetery
Hua Hin - Restaurant
Hua Hin - Fishing boats at the restaurant

Asia » Thailand » Western Thailand » Erawan NP August 17th 2014

I convinced Jo that we should take a good long ride out of town - our first motorcycle adventure. We ate the free hotel bacon and egg breakfast, had a quick swim in the pool and dropped some laundry in to a small shop in town. With our errands run we headed north approximately 70 kilometres towards Erawan National Park and the Erawan Falls. The 125cc Honda bikes are not really designed for comfort over long distances but behaved themselves well. They were fairly good on the open road up to about 75kph and would do around 90kph at a push. We stopped several times on the way to take in the Thai countryside and rode through small villages with smiling locals wondering what the hell two white faces were doing coming through their town on ... read more
Erawan Falls
Erawan Falls
Saiyok Yai Waterfall

Asia » Thailand » Western Thailand » Kanchanaburi August 16th 2014

The hotel arranged our taxi as we checked out so we missed the usual fun and games of getting a driver prepared to use the meter. Victory Monument was the destination as we were advised that this was the place to book a bus to Kanchanaburi. There were no signs in English at all but a tout pointed us in the right direction. I was about to buy two tickets at THB120 each when I was told that we needed a ticket for our bag also. "Why would I do that?", I asked. Silence... We walked to the ticket counter next door and forked out THB120 per ticket with the bag travelling free. Within 10 minutes a mini-van rolled up and we were on our way on the two hour journey. Kanchanaburi lies around 130 kilometres ... read more
Bridge Over The River Kwai
Thailand Burma Railway Centre

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