Koh Tao Ferry PierThe very safe looking (not) pier

You’d think after my journey to Bangkok, I’d be done with traveling, but just short of 48 hours later I was back in transit. Justine and I grabbed night bus down the coast, and 11 hours in the smallest most cramped bus of my life later, we arrived in Chumphon. We waited two hours for the 7 am ferry, fought of sea sickness for another two hours, and then arrived, bright eyed and bushy tailed on the island of Koh Tao.

Koh Tao accommodationHome sweet home for three weeks

The island, only 13 square miles, has one main pier, Mae Haad, where Justine and I are staying. To the north runs the largest and main beach, Sairee, which is where most restaurants and shops and nightlife are situated. Along the opposite coast are the isolated, picture perfect beaches people come to Thailand for.

Home sweet home for three weeks

It did not take long upon arrival to die of culture shock.

1) In place of fast food there is street food, in place of cars there are motorbikes, in place of movie theatres there are beach bars and people watching. In place of television, there is this crazy thing called conversation. I think my parents have mentioned it from their childhoods.

2) Flush toilets do not exist. I stared at my toilet for ten full minutes before calling Justine over from her bungalow to explain to me that you used a little bucket dipped in a big bucket of water to manualy flush the toilet. Also, shower heads are in the middle of the bathroom, and dispense cold water anyway. Luckily, this is a relief from

3) The Unbearable Heat. I have never felt a heat like this. It is brutal and relentless and I have grown accustomed to being covered in a perpetual layer of sweat. The one respite? The island’s one superstore, 7-11.

Koh Tao accommodationThe mystery bathroom!

Pineapple plantFor a happier ending, the pineapple plant in my front garden

  • Turtledad
    June 20 2009

    I we ever going to get another update????

  • Steve
    June 14 2015

    Hi Alex, I have just started reading your story. Looks like it’s going to be a good read! I especially liked your second post which made me laugh (machetes!? really???). Did you go to Thailand completely alone or was the plan to meet up with other volunteers before you departed?

    • Alex
      June 14 2015

      I went completely alone, meeting up with some fellow volunteers for the first time on my second day in Bangkok. Hard to believe that was six years ago!

Leave a Comment