Day 18 – Mon – 22nd June:
Today for breakfast I decided to eat the cereal that I bought last night in the supermarket, then I packed and reevaluated my bag.
In the end I decided to post home the following:
my second pair of sunglasses
some keyrings I bought for souvenirs
my zip off camping trousers
my charger and adapter for my iPhone which no longer the works
and my grey camping jumper
I packed it all up in my satchel and walked out to the road to catch a taxi to the post office, which I had looked up and was quite nearby on Google maps. The taxi wanted me to pay 300 baht which was ridiculous so I walked a bit further and found a motorcycle taxi to charge me 150 baht, which is still quite a lot of money but I couldn’t be bothered to haggle for less than a pound, which is what the difference would have been. So this guy took me to the post office all the way he kept asking me if I wanted to buy a wife and if I wanted him to take me to all the different waterfalls and/or other attractions on the island. I kept saying no, ‘mai krap, mai krap’ over and over.
At the post office I purchased a box for 25 baht and tied it up with string which came free with the box. I went to the counter, you had to take a paper ticket and wait for your number to come up on the screen. I asked for two weeks delivery air mail because I decided that would be best for the parcel to be in the post for the shortest amount of time possible.
I didn’t have enough cash so the taxi guy drove me down the road to the nearest ATM and then we returned to the post office and I paid. Off it went so fingers crossed that it gets there okay.
Just to mention that I used the official Thai postal service not one of the many courier companies that operate in Thailand. In this post you can read more about the things I have posted home.
Outside the post office it was really hard to explain to the taxi driver where I wanted to go, (back to the same place that he picked me up) because he kept offering to take me to the waterfalls and other places, it was really hard to get him to understand.
I eventually managed to explain by miming putting on a helmet, because shortly after he picked me up, he stopped by his house to put on his helmet. This is because it’s the law here that one person has to wear helmet while on a motorbike (but only when you have two people on the bike, if you just have one person they don’t have to wear a helmet, crazy much). Anyway he finally realised that I wanted him to take me back there (to near where he picked me up).
On the way back he talked animatedly about his favourite football team Man United. They are very popular with Thai people over here I have no idea why but anyway. I walked from his house back to my hotel and packed the rest of my stuff. I then left the keys on the bed because the pizza restaurant doesn’t open till 1 PM and the reception was closed.
I then went out to the road to get a taxi to the ferry port. I asked in the tourist office but she said it would cost me 300 baht because it was too late for me to join the cheaper bus to the pier, so I got another motorcycle taxi. Again the driver spoke very little English but hummed all the way and pointed and laughed at random signs on the way for some reason.
At the pier I had a smoothie in the cafe next door and then caught the boat. On the boat they were playing Mr Bean videos on the large screen TV. The journey was about 1 1/2 hours.
When I arrived at Ko Tao I got another drink in a cafe to use the Wi-Fi and messaged Maren my German friend to arrange to meet her at her hostel. I walked 15 minutes, as she told me, to her hostel but they weren’t there. They had checked in but I wasn’t able to get in contact with them.
I asked how much for a room and the guy told me 600 baht a room, it was only 300 baht for them because they were sharing but I would’ve had to pay 600 for same size room. I tried to haggle as recommended by another backpacker I met the other day but no luck.
I walked two minutes back the way I came until I found a hostel called ‘Goodtime Adventures‘, the Russian girl at the reception showed me a dorm rooms which were mixed rooms for 400 baht a night. They were nice, very modern, with air-conditioning and a lockbox. I decided to stay there and the girl let me even though she had been asked not to check in any more guys to the mixed dorm (they like to have a balance, a bit like in the UK if you rent a cottage they like to have a mixed group).
I ordered a burger at my hostel bar right on the beach and read my book, 1984 and later I managed to meet Maren and her friend and we went for drinks at one of the many bars overlooking the beach. It was really nice to catch up with Maren and hear all about her trip to Cambodia.
Day 19 – Tues -23rd June:
Today I got up at 8am and walked up to 7-11 to buy breakfast. I was planning on moving hostels today but in the end I couldn’t be bothered. I sat in the common room and finished 1984. I had forgotten how depressing the end is but it is still one of my favourite books. I left it on the book-swap shelf in the hostel.
We were planning on going to the beach but I didn’t really have a suitable bag, so I went to one of the diving shops a few doors along and purchased a 15 litre dry bag. It has a shoulder strap and is very sturdy, more like a beach bag. I have seen a lot of backpackers carrying them around this morning. It was very handy today and I could just throw it down on the beach and not think about my stuff getting sandy etc.
Met up with Maren and her friend and we walked to Aow Leuk beach which took about half an hour. We were passed by lots of cars who (as usual if you walk anywhere in Thailand) found it hilarious that we were walking.
We found the beach fairly easily despite the tourist cartoon map being very out of proportion :p The map showed two main reefs for snorkelling on this beach but one was roped off for a scuba diving school.
The other side had a handful of other snorkelers swimming about but was not crowded. We saw some awesome fish. It was a decent reef with a good variety of fish, nothing rare but we did see a couple of really big ones (about a foot long), and some lovely electric blue and yellow fish.
We walked back changed and showered and then met again in the evening for dinner. We also met up with two other German girls from the travellers Facebook group and we all went for drinks at ‘The Rock’, the club next to my hostel. It was very busy and typical of any club (back home) with disco lights and rave musics. We sat on the beach part of the club where the music was quieter and saw some good firethrowing displays. Two of the four guys (doing the display) were throwing their fireballs (on string) to each other, one on the beach and one on the top of the rock (literally a massive rock that the bar is named for).
Tomorrow we are going to check out some of the other bays that are supposed to be good for snorkelling.
No pictures again sorry but as I am actually on day 49 in Thailand (in real time) I can promise that in a few ‘days’ time there will be pics again.
Next up: days twenty and twenty-one.
Previously: days sixteen and seventeen.