Thailand: Koh Phangan to Koh Tao

We set an alarm early enough to clean our room before checking out. There is some face paint and glitter on just about everything, and it will cost us 500 baht if they have to clean it. We do our best to cover up any paint stains that we can’t remove, which I don’t feel bad about because our sheets were stained and had patches sewn on when we arrived. The glitter will do the room some good, it’s pretty now. When we’re done it looks acceptable at best, but it’s check out time so we just drop the keys and hope that they won’t check the rooms before we’re good and gone.

We tuk tuk over to the pier where we are supposed to catch a ferry at 2pm. We’re extremely early so we go get breakfast at a small cafe close by. The cafe lists American sausage, and English sausage on their menu, which gives me hope that they actually know what they’re doing. Why differentiate between two different types of sausages if they’re just going to be hotdogs? I roll the dice and order the English sausage which arrives later, looking like everything I’ve ever dreamed of. I take a bite and it is heaven. I have finally found a real breakfast sausage in Thailand. The kind of breakfast sausage that is good, even by Canadian standards. If I walked into a cafe in Canada and ordered this, I would say to myself, wow this is a delicious breakfast sausage. I am now content.

We walk over to the pier, still early so we stand and wait for a while before our boat actually arrives. We get on close to last, so it’s a challenge to find seats together. AJ and I find one across the aisle from each other and I don’t know where the other girls go. It’s a short ferry ride, just an hour and a half, so I watch some of The Apparition on my phone. It’s finally fully downloaded, but iTunes only gives me 2 days to watch a rental movie and I don’t think I’ll find the time to sit down and fully watch it, so I’ve been watching it in pieces. I start to feel sick, the same way one does when reading in a car. The stillness of my iPhone screen in contrast with the rocking of the boat as it cuts through the waves has caused my brain some confusion, which it does not like. I start to feel slightly nauseous, so I turn off the movie with still half an hour to go…I’ll watch more later. I soon fall asleep, doing my best, in my barely conscious state, not to flop over onto the shoulder of the small Thai lady sitting next to me… but I don’t think I’m successful. I wake up when we arrive, and she gives me a funny look as we’re standing up to go, which confirms my assumption that I did indeed fall asleep on her shoulder. Whoops.

As we arrive in Koh Tao I can already tell that I am going to like it. Sarah has already done some research and has looked up a place to stay so we get in a free “taxi” to go check it out. When I say taxi, I mean an over sized golf cart with promotional ads for the hotel we’re going too. The thing about Koh Tao is that it’s been named one of the best places in the world to scuba dive. This has resulted in an over abundance of dive shops at extremely cheap prices (about 290 Canadian dollars) to get your full diving license over a period of 4 days. Almost all the resorts and hotels on the island are linked to a dive shop, so in many cases you can arrange to have free accommodation if you sign up for a diving course. Not a bad deal.

The place we go to look at is luxurious and fabulous with free accommodations for all those who want to dive. None of us have fully discussed whether or not we will be diving in our time here, and I am still unsure of whether or not I am able to do it given my medical circumstances, so it’s a bit of a mess trying to figure out if we should stay. They have offered us one room for all 7 of us traveling together…with one bathroom. (Did I mention that there are 7 of us now? Tim, one of the boys we met from Waterloo, has decided to travel to Koh Tao with us before returning back to Canada in a few days).The bathroom is my only reservation but even that I can deal with. I have learned while traveling that I can and will sleep absolutely anywhere as long as I am prepared for it. I don’t need comfortable beds or hot showers. If I can pay 3 dollars to sleep somewhere, and not die, I’m cool with whatever they wanna give me.
Everyone is still tired and we’re all generally awful at making any decisions as a group, so we end up walking down the road to another resort just to check it out. They have the same deal for divers, but cabin-style rooms that can house 3 of us in one and 4 in the other, which seems like a more comfortable option. It’s also directly across the street from the beach, which appeals to me. We decide to stay here for at least one night because we can’t be bothered to roam around Koh Tao with heavy backpacks on, especially when we don’t know who will or won’t be diving. Some of the girls stay behind to take a nap while the rest of us go out to check out the beach and find some food. We find a cute strip of shops and restaurants in town which are all walking distance from our hotel. We’ve lucked out with our location for sure. I like being able to walk around to places, instead of being forced to pay 100 baht every time I want to tuk tuk somewhere like in Koh Lanta and Koh Phangan.

On our walk around town we magically stumble upon Alonso, our Mexican friend who we met in Laos. He is carrying his backpack over his shoulders as he searches for a place to stay, because it has ripped open. Classic backpacker problem. We tell him to come stay with us for the first night so that he doesn’t have to wander around with a broken bag. Now there are 8 of us between 2 rooms, which makes it a little cozy but Ilona and I share a double bed as per usual so I am comfortable. It’s so nice to run into friends we’ve met previously on our trip! We go back to the room, collect the well-rested girls and all go for dinner down at the restaurant on the beach. Afterwards we walk down the shore to see what else there is in the way of night life in Koh Tao, because Ilona’s birthday is tomorrow after all! We find some cool fire twirlers, but still nothing in comparison to what we saw in Railay, and then a cool bar a little further down with wi-fi so we hang out there on the beach for a bit. Our hotel shuts down the wi-fi at 8pm, which is super annoying. Why have it at all?

It starts to downpour outside so we have to run for cover inside the bar, which is not as cool as it’s beach tables set up outside, so as soon as we get a break in the rain we leave. I am exhausted and just want

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