It’s been an eventful and very full 2 weeks in since my last post, which is why I’ve decided to combine them, rather than try and separate out two weeks of island life which were pretty similar. Before reading this, my suggestion would be to get a cup of tea, ensure you’re sitting down comfortably, and then I’ll begin – its another long one.
My initial plan was to spend about a week on Koh Tao, do some diving and explore the island, then head to Koh Samui for a few days before moving onto Koh Phangan. However, I met so many lovely people on Koh Tao, I ended up staying here until my ferry to Koh Phangan for the Half Moon party. The first few days were spent going to some beaches and just getting a feel for the place before I went down to Big Blue Diving to book my first dive in 4 years. Of course once I was in the water, it was nearly impossible to get me out. My first dive was 61mins – a record length according to my instructor – who said I’d matched his air consumption and he’s been doing it pretty much every day for 4 years. Not bad! I booked my Open Water course the next day to complete my training, and to get another 4 dives in (its very addictive!) The reefs and fish around Koh Tao really are truly stunning, and I had a great few days pretending to be a mermaid.
The rest of my time here was spent on beaches, such as Shark Bay (didn’t actually see any sharks around there, but there was huge turtle), just relaxing in paradise.
Just up from our hostel was a view point called Fraggle Rock, which I went to a few times to see the sunset – once on the back of a scooter (very tough ride so I’m glad I wasn’t driving!), and the second time I climbed up, which was one of the sweatiest experiences of my life, but I’m sure you’ll agree, it was worth it for the view.
The social/party scene in my hostel (Summer Hostel for those who are interested) was really good, and a great way to meet the awesome and lovely people who also stayed there. The nights always ended up in a bar called Fishbowl, which is filled with beer pong tables. I learnt a valuable lesson about myself during these nights out – I am truly awful at beer pong. I think it’s actually harder to miss essentially every shot, but I somehow managed it.
After a great 11 days, it was off to Koh Phangan with a group of guys from my hostel. I can honestly say, my 4 days on Koh Phangan were some of the most fun I’ve had so far – I don’t think I’ve laughed so much or seen and done such silly things since Hoi An in Vietnam, and I got to explore one of the most idyllic islands I’ve had the pleasure of visiting. For those who only visit this island for the Full or Half Moon parties, you’re really missing out.
Again, we stayed in a social/party hostel which had a great atmosphere in the evenings (Nomads house), with so many games arranged by the staff (thankfully not beer pong on my first night!) to get you into high spirits before heading out to dance the night away on the beach. Jenga rules and flip cup are definitely better games for me than beer pong.
After our first night there, we all got scooters and went on an island tour with the hostel. Mum, don’t worry – I drove like a grandma and was totally fine, not even a little scratch or bruise. The hardest part of driving was keeping the helmet on my tiny little pea head! Any time I got my speed up, granted only to about 50km/hr, it kept flying back off of my head!
We mainly covered the West of the island, visiting some beautiful beaches and finished the day at the 360 bar for sunset. Again, pretty impressive.
Once we’d driven back from the view, it was time to get ready for the Half Moon party! Again, I had such a fun evening, and for once I wasn’t the worst at beer pong. Still didn’t sink one, but at least I was hitting the outside of the cups pretty much every shot. My poor partner definitely carried us through! Once we’d all been knocked out (even the boys were off their game this evening), it was time to get the face/body paint on, squeeze in one more game of Jenga rules, and then head into the jungle.
My last day on the island was spent scooting around, chasing waterfalls and finding tucked away beaches to enjoy the beautiful weather. I had the best time – just me, myself and Simon the Scooter soaking up the natural wonders of Koh Phangan.
That, my friends, finally concludes the last few weeks of my trip!
“And then the Princess collected all of her belongings, boarded a ferry in the pouring rain, and left paradise behind to sit on a bus to Bangkok for 7hrs. Never fear though, adventure is still ahead of her, as her noble steed (Philippine Airlines Airbus Industries Jet) is waiting to whisk her away tomorrow, where she’ll continue to live happily ever after in the new paradise of the Philippines.”
Until next time, stay safe – thinking of everyone in London!