Koh Tao was the final stretch of my 3-week Thailand adventure. Being a bit disappointed with the fact that I couldn’t go diving, I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to spend an entire week in diving paradise. But I soon met some very cool people (including my first Belgian) that weren’t diving either so I was able to chill with them. In the end I ended up having so much fun that I didn’t even have the time to go to the nearby island Nang Yuan (also because it was raining for my last two days) and ended up not taking a single cooking or yoga class. A shame I know, but hey, there’s always a chance I can do it on my next trip to or through Thailand. After all, I still have a lot of diving to catch up on.
– Sairee Beach-
Koh Tao is a great island. Thailand often seems like tourist central and not that Koh Tao doesn’t have one tourist shop after another, it just feels a little bit more authentic than the other Thai islands (frequent powershortages included). Being low season, there were often no more than 10 other people on the beach with us. Quite a difference to Koh Samui and Koh Pagnang from what I’ve heard and definitely less than what I figure from high season Koh Phi Phi madness.
The place to stay when in Koh Tao is Sairee Beach, far to your left of the Lomprayah pier, a long stretch of sand with bars, restaurants, diving schools and shops on the shoreline. This is where you’ll find most of the tourists and this is where I spent most of my time. If you’re looking for a quieter spot, look for a place on the far right side of the pier. If you’re not diving like me, Sairee Beach is great for reading, hanging out and eating. If you want to go partying, the best place to go is Lotus Bar right at the end of Sairee Beach. The best food I had on Koh Tao is hands down in Whitening at Mae Haad Bay. I had the most amazing fish in green curry with a mojito and as it was actually my last dinner in Thailand, I’m happy it was there.
– Nuchi Shop-
Those that have been to Thailand are well aware of the hunderds of tourist shops that you can find that all sell the same products at more or less the same dirt cheap prices. As I upheld the rule “Will I wear this back home?”, these shops didn’t earn much from my stay. I almost didn’t think I would find a shop to my liking until I bumped into this little shop called Nuchi, which sells only small Thai brands. Authenticity? Check. Great silk screen prints? Check. Original jewelry? Check. I ended spending over an hour is this small shop and spent about 2000 bath which is a significant amount to spend in Thai shops. I just couldn’t choose and went home with 2 necklaces, a bracelet, a top and a bag. I was told that it is quite difficult to keep a shop like hers open because all the tourist expect cheap clothes of low quality. She is one of the few shops selling geniune clothing for which one can only get excited. Clench your graphic thirst with Hey Pilgrim!, enjoy the minimilist vintage jewelry by A Little Dot or indulge in the cute Melon Vodka tops. (Update, I’ve been looking for this shop but cannot find it anymore.)
– Sairee Beach-
I’m back at the office today, but oh please I so want to go back to the beach (and finally swim!).
– Maya Beach at Koh Phi Phi-
17/ 2 Moo 2, Mae Haad Bay
Mae Haad Bay, across Bann Yai Thai Food