Today the journey to Koh Tao began! We left our hostel at 9am, 5 hours before our flight to Bangkok because we didn’t want to risk it with Jakarta’s apocalyptic traffic and we were hoping to take advantage of our access to lounges and have a good meal (and wine) there. We arrived at the airport around 10:20 and they wouldn’t even let us check in until 11am and right at 11am their systems shut down but luckily that was brief! We checked in and then learned that all the lounges are in a different terminal that we do not have access to! (the lounges are at the International terminal, but for some reason Air Asia has its own different terminal). The terminal we got to wait in had no restaurants, not even a place to buy water and no a/c! So much for our plan, but luckily we had pre-ordered a meal to eat on the plane. We had about a 3 hour flight to Bangkok and took a cab to our airport hotel. It still took 30 minutes to get there due to bad traffic. We were excited because we had our first Thai food dinner and it was delicious!! I must say the US does a good job with Thai food as it isn’t much different here.
We woke up at 4am to continue our journey to Ko Tao. We took the airport shuttle the hotel provided to the airport which was more like an open truck where we sat in the back ( I felt like I was a horse or something). This flight was only an hour but when we arrived we then took a 2 hour bus to take us to the ferry. The ferry was another 4 hours but a beautiful ride on the stunning turquoise ocean filled with excellent people watching. Everyone that seems to be going to these Islands is disturbingly good looking its ridiculous! We then got to be horses again taking a similar hotel shuttle to our hotel.
This hotel is a divers resort so basically if you book diving with them they include your room which is a great deal because the resort is really nice. The one catch, you need to book the right dates! When we arrived they said that we had booked for Februray 17th and not March 17th (slow clap for Eitan…but given all the booking he did this was bound to happen). Luckily they still had rooms available but the deal of the room with the dive was no longer in place so now we had to pay an additional 30 bucks a night to stay here. Given how nice it is it is still a deal. But they said for the third night we want to stay (since Eitan isn’t diving anymore) we have to pay the full rate which is 78. Thus we researched and found a cheaper hotel to transfer to for that last night.
We were gross from all our travel day so freshened up and explored Ko Tao. We had low expectations thinking it may be another overly touristy, lost all its character and class sort of Cancun type of place but we were pleasantly surprised. We ate a more local restaurant which was recommended as excellent authentic food and it was yummy!
Then we explored the main street and it is extremely cute and does not have any American chains! We walked to the beach and arrived in perfect timing for one of the most beautiful sunsets we have ever seen. The lighting illuminated the sand, incredible!!
The beach was filled with restaurants that had bean bags and tables on the sand. We picked one with a good happy hour and had a well deserved relaxing few hours on the beach. In Thailand, cocktails are served in buckets, they usually ad the alcohol of choice, a red bull and a chaser for about $6. We confirmed that we suck at drinking because we bought the happy hour bucket and struggled to finish half while couples around us were drinking multiple buckets! Where we were somehow included free bbq and a fire show so we hit the jackpot with our prime bean bag front row seats for the show and free food! The fire show was good but basically never ended so eventually we had to leave because we were exhausted.