I want to start by thanking you all for the outpouring of compliments and kudos on the new site — I’ve been walking on air reading them! I feel a lot of love from you guys right now and believe me, I’m beaming it right back at ya.
So, sappy stuff aside, how is it possible I’ve only been back on Koh Tao for just two weeks? It feels like my new routine — one that involves laptop time with delicious takeaway, a daily pick of yoga or Muay Thai, hectic nights out with the crew and lots of next-day giggles with my girls — has been in place much, much longer. Basically I’ve slipped back into a beautiful life here so easily it truly feels like I never left. And you know what? Leaving is seeming less and less appealing…
Some of my new neighbors in Sairee (apologies to anyone with a weak stomach!)
A stunning day at Aow Leuk
Fight night at Island Muay Thai
My girl Päivi killing it on the paddleboard
Which photo is your favorite?
The colours and the ‘capture of a moment’ of Photo A are too fantastic to pass up…even if my tummy is starting to feel a little wobbly! You are probably getting numbed to it now, but your site redesign is awesome…I may have to add a wanderland mug on my list to Santa!
Please do, I’d love to see a photo of you sipping out of it! And yes, I still have mixed feelings on Photo A as well!
Gotta go with D. Because that looks so fun! (And a little tricky.)
It was… I don’t know how she did it!
The sense of ease you feel in Koh Tao sounds great…happy to hear that you are back and have time to relax and and enjoy it.
A & D are equally fav-worthy for me this week.
I agree with Caity; that mug is calling me! And if you had a shot glass up there, I’d buy that too. 😉
HA! Off to go see is Zazzle has one available…
Loving D a LOT! So stunning, but I also feel very jealous of her amazing tekkers on the paddle board. *signs up for paddle boarding in the Thames immediately*
Now THAT would be something that would bring me back to London again!
Okay, I’m dying to know. Who won? The snake or the lizard? 🙂
I can’t be sure but… I’m pretty sure it was the snake 🙂
A: Stunning but EUEWWWWW!
D: Stunning and AAAAAhhhhhhhh…….
Photo A depicts my new neighbors. It’s a jungle out here!
What a fascinating photo of the snake and the lizard. You’ve captured them both and the situation beautifully! My votes goes for A.
Believe me, I was feeling pretty brave when I went after that thing with my dSLR! Not for the faint of heart!
B….having a stressful day here and it’s cloudy so B is very helpful to just look at as well as dream of being there.
I’d love to have you!
Totally Photo D!!! My ABSOLUT favorite!!! It has so much calmness in it that is very relaxing for my eyes and I love the color combination!!!
I’m with ya — it’s one I would frame!
Photo A for me!
A real feel of adventure in that one!
I feel a bit torn over the new site design.
On 1 one hand I do like, on the other, I kind of feel a real opportunity was missed to have a bit of fun with it and really tie it in to the ‘through the looking glass’ theme…
There are some nods to Carrol… check out the quotes section, and my profile photo 🙂
Photo A is pretty impressive but I’m going for Photo D. Crazy how this is possible, I’m happy to be able to stand on a paddle board 😛
Well, she lives here so she’s had plenty of practice 🙂
Love photo A! What a badass snake. So great that you are happy back in Koh Tao. If you run into Kyle from Scuba Junction or Irma from Reef tell them Rika says hi!
Still super in love with the redesign! The blue & yellow make me happy every time I look at it 🙂
Me too! I click through every morning… is that a sign of extreme narcissism? Ha, addicted to my own site design!
Photo A is cool, but it made me feel a bit barfy, so I’ll go with Photo B! 🙂
I actually kind of concur. I love A, but I relate to the barfiness, ha…
I am choosing D, amazing sense of balance.
She’s a talented lady!
Definitely photo B cause it just brings out all of my Koh Tao memories.
It sounds like your life is pretty perfect at the moment 🙂
Congratulations on your new and amazing design!
I’m pretty blissed out! Life is beautiful — and yes, so is this new site Hannah made me 🙂
What a great new look to your site 🙂 looking forward to exploring it!
It has to be photo D for me. The ocean just pulls me to it every time and I see your mate is up for a little acroyoga.
Photo A reminds me that Koh Tao does have its fair share of critters.
I experienced a golden tree snake fly out of a tree and land on my belly when I was sunbathing at Chalok last year. Didn’t half make me jump and wouldn’t have chosen to have it land on me but because it happened spontaneously – it was quite exciting.
I even managed to catch a little of the snake as it went back up the tree on video. My kids thought it was very funny!
Happy memories 🙂
Ha! Yes Koh Tao for all its development is still the jungle 🙂 I love all the wild encounters — they remind me where I am!
Wow! Site looks great. I have been a silent closet fan for about a year. Since then, I’ve started a site too, but want you to know you have been an inspiration at top of my favorites list for travel blogs for a long time. Oh and I’ll go with Photo D! All the best!
Wow, thanks Brian, that is so lovely to hear! Congrats with your site and hope you keep reading — maybe even less silently 🙂
Man I hate snakes, but still voting for photo A. It’s awesome – you’ve definitely got a knack for wildlife photography.
And I’m also loving your new blog design as much as everyone else is!
Thanks Karen — on both counts!
Sometimes it’s just necessary to be back in a place that is easy, comfortable and feels like home. Sounds like you’re successfully recharging your batteries!
Loving Photo D this week 🙂
Yes! That’s the perfect way to put it — my batteries are completely being recharged!
I feel like Addy’s always got some giant tokays living with her, getting into epic battles like the one in photo A. I’m voting for photo B though because that beach gorrrrgeous! Glad you are enjoying the Thai life!
Come visit… Thailand misses you!
Hey Alex, I absolutely love your new site. I liked the old one but this one is so bright and pretty. (That’s as techy as I get) anyways photo A is a sweet nature shot but my love of yoga, sunsets, and paddle boards has me hooked on Photo D as my favourite.
Thank you so much for the kudos, Breanna! And believe me, we’re on the same tech-y level right now. And yes, most weeks I don’t have a favorite but this week I do — and it’s D!
All of them except for A…I like to pretend snakes do not exist abroad.
Ha! I won’t blame you for that 🙂 I have a childhood friend who wouldn’t even consider coming to Thailand due to the snake situation — if I ever showed him this photo I’m sure that would only cement it!
You sound so happy! I wish there was a place that I loved as much as you love Thailand…
I know! I don’t even recognize myself? In spite of technological issues, an overwhelming workload and the usual life dramas, happiness meter is off the charts!
Going with D this week- great shot. I tried paddle boarding on Gili Air and loved it (not ready for tricks just yet though!).
I’m still bummed I never made it to Gili Air in three months on Gili Trawangan… it was so close! Ha.
I’m going to go with A…it’s not often that a photo makes me pause to contemplate it. Those colors and patterns are pretty epic too!
It kind of grossed me out to take the photo but… I do love the end result!
D is definitely my favorite for its uniqueness and absolute beauty. Wow!! And btw, LOve, love your new website! So easy to navigate, modern and pretty, just like you:)
Thanks so much Sophie! I am in love 🙂
I love Photo A because it seriously took me a moment to actually figure out what was going on! Haha…
Believe me, it took me a minute when I stumbled upon it on my front lawn as well! 🙂
Looks AMAZING! Love photo D 🙂 xo
It’s a good life out here 🙂 Thank you!
Ok, I pick D because it’s so cute- but I love the colors in A. Unfortunately, I don’t know what it’s a photo of because I only looked for two seconds and got scared thinking it was a snake. I can’t even see them in photos!
Ha — you made the right choice. It was a snake! I’ll warn you next time 🙂
Photo A! 😀
I wasn’t sure if that one would be loved or hated 🙂 Glad it’s leaning towards love!
In response to that first photo, all I have to say is MEEP!
Also, how is your friend doing a HEADSTAND on a paddle board?? I don’t even think I’ve got the balance to even stand on one! Talk about skills! Very impressive.
Lots of determination! And lots of practice 🙂
So at first I thought it was A for sure, no doubt…. and then I got to D. Both amazing photos but D wins for me this week.
I’m with ya! It’s one I might frame someday.
Life on Koh Tao sounds wonderful! Which makes me very excited as just this morning I booked a bus&boat to the island from Penang! Can’t wait to finally see the place I’ve read so much about on here.
And Photo A… What a shot!
Oh my gosh, how exciting! You are on your way here right now?! How long are you staying for?
Just arrived this morning and staying until the 18th! Booked into SB bungalows and the beach is beautiful!
Photo D – it looks so awesome!
And it makes me think… I need to get out on that paddleboard again soon!
I love D!
Clear reader fave this week 🙂
I thought a lie down with the company of your blog would be just the thing to help me get over epic carsickness from bad Spanish roads and an epic Spanish hangover. One look at photo A and I feel just a little bit sicker. Thanks for that Alex! Gonna go with the much calmer photo B.
Ha! I know how you feel… I was hanging hard when I took the photo and I had to go inside and lie down after.
Hey Alex! Beautiful photos, Koh Tao seems to be a real paradise.
I am considering going to SEA next year to do my advanced open water, would you recomend doing it in Koh Tao or in Indonesia, where you took the divemaster course?
Thank you in advance
Hey Camila! Either one would be fabulous, I debated quite a bit myself and the only reason I chose Gili over Koh Tao was because I hadn’t been there yet and needed something new! I have plenty of posts about my decision making process in my diving archives. Hope that helps!
D is definitely the prettiest but A is great in a gruesome way! I have to add my compliments on the new site too, it looks very clean and fresh and is really easy to navigate around. Congrats!
Thank you so much Amy. Still glowing every time I open it!