Our Koh Tao visit – how did we end up there?
My dad went to Koh Tao island in early 2016 and could not praise it higher. He went diving there with a Slovak instructor who was born just 100 km from my home town.
For me, Koh Tao was exactly the only bigger island out of the three famous ones in the Gulf of Thailand I did not visit on my previous Thailand trips. I spent a few days on Koh Samui and even more time on Koh Phangan back in 2011 but Koh Tao was still on my bucket list.
So when we started to plan our Thailand trip with dad, we decided to spend some time on both Koh Tao and Koh Samui. Thus each one of us could revisit one of the known islands but also explore a new one. What a nice compromise, right!
To be honest, in the beginning I wasn’t sure what I’d do on Koh Tao as it’s a diving island. Maybe it’s even the most famous diving destination in Thailand. But then hey, I spent 17 days a few months ago on Malapascua which is the number 1 diving spot in the Philippines, yet I did not go diving. Not even once. Despite of that, I loved the island more than anything.
Similar thing happened with Koh Tao once we got there. Our initial plan was to spend 8 nights there and then 8 as well on Koh Samui. But things changed, Koh Tao turned out to be cheaper than we expected Koh Samui to be… We had a comfy accommodation with a swimming pool close to everything – beach, great massages, grocery shops and fruit stalls, good restaurants etc. And also dad’s friend from Slovakia worked at a diving centre just a few minute walk from our hotel. (Now he works at the Ocean Sound diving center so if you are on Koh Tao, ask for Marian and go diving with him.)
I repeat, I did not feel like diving (I still have to overcome my fear and health issues) but it turned out not to be a problem at all. We would spend days snorkeling on the Freedom beach, walking around, having massages, tasting vegan Thai meals, swimming in the hotel pool and enjoying evenings with dad’s friend.
In the beginning I naively thought I would get loads of work done each night after exploring the island during the day. I thought my dad would spend evenings with his friend so I would have my peace and quiet for travel blogging. For some reason we never talked about his friend so I assumed he was of dad’s age. But on the second day they wanted me to join them at dinner so I agreed.
When a cool young looking guy showed up instead of a boring elder man I was expecting, I burst out laughing.
He was a couple of years older than me, very talkative and funny. He really made me look forward to our dinners and evening walks as his laugh was getting us in a better mood. I was grateful for that because in the meantime my grandma, dad’s mom, died and as we would not manage to get home on time for her funeral, we stayed on the island. And without dad’s friend it would just be too upsetting. In the end I got no online work done while on Koh Tao but at least had relaxing days and nice evenings also thanks to dad’s lovely friend.
Altogether we spent 11 nights on Koh Tao instead of the initial 8. There was always something to do even though it felt as if we were doing nothing but sunbathing, and getting massages and loads of food. But why not? I can always get more holidays, and for dad this trip was holidays anyway.
Honestly, those 11 nights on Koh Tao flew by faster than I’d like to. I remember that the only thing I really planned on doing there was to visit Koh Nanguyan, a sand bar between 3 islands, that famous landmark seen on many Koh Tao photos and postcards. But not even during 11 days I could find time and enough energy to go there.
Dad had visited Koh Nanguyan island already in 2016 and I was just not in a mood for going there. First days I kept postponing it for later, then I felt super lazy during “my days”, then grandma died and then it was our last days. We did so many other things instead but no Koh Nanguyan. But you know what? A few years ago I’d go there no matter what, but the more I travel, the less I travel. I mean I am not so rushed into doing things under any circumstances. I’ve learned t o go with the flow and do what I feel like doing, and don’t force myself into doing things just because I “should” or they are well-known landmarks. So even without Koh Nanguyan I truly enjoyed our stay on Koh Tao.
So what did we do there? What do I recommend you to do on Koh Tao island? You can find it on the blog in the next article in a few days.