Koh Tao (Finally!)

The day has arrived! But there are… lots of pictures, and I don’t have much time, and I know that’s what my loving public (all two of you… Hey Mom!) are really here for, so I think I’m just going to post away with limited (I mean, we’ll see how this goes…) commentary.

First (ha… “limited”) one of our primary reasons for going was to get PADI certified for Open Water Scuba Diving. We succeeded in this and it was fantastic! Koh Tao is known to be one of the best places in the world to get one’s certification because of the low cost (roughly US$300 across the board, at any of the myriad dive sites on the island, most of which provide your accommodation for each night of the four days the course spans), and the quality and ease of the dive sites at the relatively shallow 18 meters to which the Open Water certification permits you to dive.

We chose to dive with Crystal Dive, mostly, if I’m being honest, because we were offered a promotion on our [final] boat to the island that gave us an extra night’s accommodation and because we were pretty wiped upon arrival and they were situated a short walk from the pier and we didn’t feel like doing our intended shopping around. That being said, we were quite satisfied with our experience and met some great people (including our necessarily trilingual instructor, Nick). We also have friends who got certified with Ban’s Diving Resort and Scuba Junction, and they seemed equally pleased. It really seems like you can’t go wrong. Part of me wants to keep rambling about scuba, but the other part of me is screaming, “Half an hour until this internet cafe closes even though their advertised hours clearly state there should be an extra hour tacked onto that amount,” so I’ll proceed with the pictures. If you happened on this post with specific interest in the dive experience feel free to inquire and I’m happy to share more details!

seaview across the pool at crystal dive resort

early morning walk on mae haad (the beach where we stayed while diving)



waiting to meet our dive group

i found an enormous turtle! (“koh tao” IS thai for “turtle island,” after all)

getting set up to take our first plunge! (in a pool, but it still counts.)

victor the spaniard, what’s-his-face the saffer, and matt the irishman

here’s where i tell you all i’m NOT pregnant, despite what the ‘slimming’ rutching of my swimsuit may suggest.

s’pose we’ve done our first dive at this point!

our group catching the last rays on the sundeck.

‘can you believe they’re made with REAL FRUIT?’

unbelievable sunsets every night we were there…

notorious beach fireshows.

right after our best of the four dives, at the twin peaks diving site just off nang yuan

our whole group: leo and manuela, the swiss son-mother combo, victor, matt, nick our swiss-belgian instructor, wayne, and me

got delayed waiting for new tanks before our last dive… had to stay busy somehow

getting ready for the final plunge, and doing so in style, if i do say so myself.

And here’s where I must confess that we were never afforded the opportunity to get photographed underwater. I know how the whole, “Pics or it didn’t happen” thing goes, so I’ve created a little visualization of what we might have looked like while diving, but in the real thing there would have been less drowning. Thanks Jack and Carolyn for being good sports haha.

and we did see huge schools of fish! just… while snorkeling in the days after we dived.

and i did see a giant clam! just… not as giant as they seem to come on the great barrier reef.

best sunset yet.

big turtle goes to sleep.

at moov, a funky tapas place on mae haad. off the beaten path but seek it out if you’re in the area! good stuff.

sairee beach on yet another gorgeous day

pineapple man on sairee.

And.. finished. Just in the nick of time! And if that didn’t satisfy your need for aquatic-themed pictures, you’re in luck because I just picked up the roll I had developed from the underwater camera I bought while on the island to, you know, take pictures of all the cool fish we were seeing. The problem with paying 400 Baht (US$13) for a camera is that… the quality isn’t what it could be. In fact, with the exception of a handful of shots, the quality is dreadful. And it’s also harder to get such pictures on one’s computer. But all in due time.

In Life News… well there’s really not time for all that now. But it’s a whirlwind over here, let me tell you!


About Angela

I'm not actually a sleeping monk (though if I had my druthers...).
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4 Responses to Koh Tao (Finally!)

  1. Andrea Leehan says:

    fantastic photos – helps us see what you did!!! Miss you and hope that we’ll get to see you soon. Love A

  2. Jess A. says:

    haha love the underwater pics! you’re smiling like a little kid… remember when we took pictures with our “straight smiles” like that way back when? all of your pictures are amazing! aaaand, whoa, whoa! give your readers some credit! i’m sure you have more than 2! and if there really are just three of us i think i deserve a personal shout out like your mom! 🙂

  3. amcalonder says:

    Haha, Jess, I was totally thinking about the ‘little kid’ smiles when I took/posted these pictures. I even told Wayne “We look like total children here!” and almost made a reference to it. I also almost said, “Hey Mom and Jess!” but you’re right, I do know I have just slightly more than two readers (like Andrea! Heyyyyy Andrea!) and thought people might start to feel left out. Miss you lots; we should catch up soon.

  4. Pingback: Three-Day Weekend on Koh Mook | i'm [still] having the THAIme of my life!

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