better late than never, I wish you all a wonderful new year 2016, full of surprises and success 🙂
It’s been quite some time since I wrote my last post. Let me update you about my recent adventures.
The last 2 days in Koh Tao are not really optimal in terms of weather. It rains a lot, which is not really cool to explore the island but which doesn’t have any impact on the scuba diving, except for my neighbours in the bungalow next to me.
Indeed, they cancelled their dives with the excuse that it is raining too much. The dive guide tried to explain to them that it didn’t really matter, as they were going to be wet anyway in the water but it didn’t help…
On my last day in Koh Tao, I have the chance to watch a Muay Thai Tournament. The fights are really impressive, especially the kids, who are hitting very hard despite their light weight. In the adults fight, I see 2 knock-outs, one after a high kick in the face, one after a series of punches in the abs. After having witnessed that, I am happy to have chosen table tennis as main sport when I was young 🙂
On Christmas day, I am moving with the Ferry to the neighbour island Koh Phangan. The plan is to stay there 3 days, and to celebrate christmas at the famous Full Moon Party.
As my guesthouse is on the opposite side of the island compared to the pier, I experience my first trip on the back of a moto taxi. The main roads are asphalt streets where the taxi, car or bike are driving full speed, but the last portion to the guesthouse is only sand and mud. The trip takes only 20 mins, but I am almost not exaggerating when I say that I survived it 🙂
The guesthouse is really nice, with a pool and a private beach. Some guests are here to sunbathe and relax but the majority are young people here for the Full Moon Party.
I meet a few nice people and we decide to go together to the party. After a nice painting session, we take a taxi to the beach where the party is.
The trip is epic, the taxi is actually a truck and the group is sitting somehow on the back, trying to anticipate the holes on the road to avoid being ejected in the air 🙂
The scenery is really cool, the party is on the beach under a real full moon 🙂 The music is cool, there are different stages and we spend most of the time around a drum and bass bar.
At around 5 o’clock in the morning, we start our taxi marathon to get back to the guesthouse. It was such a chaos that I still feel proud that we made it home before lunch.
First, we had to find a taxi driver who was not trying to rip us off, then we had to make sure that it was heading in the right direction as the taxi was just picking up anybody on the way and was driving towards the last passenger’s destination.
I must admit that I have mixed feeling about the full moon party and from my point of view, it is really overrated. On the one hand, I had a lot of fun as the place is really cool and the group I was hanging out with was very funny. However, on the other hand, the atmosphere was a bit too much “Springbreak” for me. I saw a bunch of young people who were only here to get drunk as fast as possible by drinking deadly buckets.
Maybe I would have enjoyed it a few years ago as a student for example, but it’s not the way I like partying anymore.
After a nice recovery day, I take the ferry back to land, where I continue my trip by bus to the south west coast in the adaman region. The sea is quite unsettled and I spend one hour seeing my neighbours on the boat getting sick the one after the other.
After a long bus trip, I spend one night in Khao Lak before getting on a boat for a 4 days/4 nights liveaboard diving cruise.
During the cruise, the boat takes us through different diving spots in the Similan Island marine national park. The scenery is amazing and from my point of view, there is far more to see underwater than in Koh Tao.
During the first days, the schedule has to be changed a bit, as some islands are blocked by military boats, because the thai prince is enjoying holidays there.
The group on the boat is very cool. I dive with more advanced divers, which allows me to work on my air consumption.
Somes dives are really challenging because of the stream, and it is quite exhausting to dive 4 times a day. However there’s always a bit of energy left to enjoy life onboard, for example to take part in an improvised latino dance session. In this session I did everything I could, but as already proved many times in the past, my dancing and hips moving skills are quite limited 🙂
Another day, a turtle spends the morning around our boat, hoping to get some food. We jump in the water to swim with it and take pictures.
On new year’s eve, we struggle with a few others to stay awake till midnight. After some fireworks on the boats around us, we all rush to our beds, as the next dive is at 06:30 in the morning.
Back to land on january 2nd, I take the night bus to go back to Bangkok where I spend some days visiting my friends JC and Stephanie. Stephanie and JC are friends from my university and I am quite excited, as I haven’t seen them since about 10 years.
During 3 days, they guide me through the typical tourist spots in Bangkok. First we make a stop a the Chatuchak weekend market. This is a huge covered market where anything can be found, from clothes to kitchen stuff, furnitures or animals.
On the first evening we enjoy a nice view on Bangkok from a rooftop bar in a building where Stephanie is working. After that, another friend from university, Benoit, is joining us for dinner. We enjoy the evening catching up after so many years.
On the next day, after a nice squash/hammam session, we take the boat on the Chao Praya river to go visit 2 nice temples, Wat Arun and Wat Pho. We are very lucky as there are not so many tourists and so we can enjoy our visit without stress.
The day after, I spend the morning planning the next steps of my trip and playing with the 2 cats at home and on the afternoon I try (but fail) to visit the grand palace. No problem, I am postponing that to the next morning. This time, I am not alone visiting and I must fight a bit to get to see the famous emerald buddha, which is actually tiny 🙂
Spending time with my friends was so pleasant that time flew so fast. After the grand palace visit, I go back home to take my backpack and take a mini van to my next destination, Ayutthaya.