5.45am and the alarm goes off as we have to be waiting in reception from 6am for the tour bus to pick us up. I’m not an early riser at the best of times but on holiday, this is just madness. We also miss breakfast and a sleepy, hungry Jane is not a good combination but I’ve heard great things about Koh Tao and we get breakfast once we get to the port. The time is now 6.45am and the hotel phone the tour guide, obviously I’m super unimpressed as I could have had an extra hour in bed and we could have had some breakfast too. 7am and the bus arrives, it then turns right out of our complex which is odd as there is nothing but the sea that way and a pier. 2 minutes later and the bus stops, we are here! Well, not only could we have slept in for at least 1hr 30 longer but it turns out the boat picks us up about 200m from our hotel. We obviously didn’t know this but the tour company I booked through should. They had given us an generic pick up time based on the fact we could have been across the other side of the island. What’s worse is that I can’t even complain to the staff here as we booked through a third party so its not the fault of the ferry company. Our ‘breakfast’ is shown to us, tea or coffee , crackers and a banana. At this point I’m seriously tempted to walk back along the beach and get breakfast at the hotel.
When the catamaran arrives we have about an hour ride over to Koh Tao, its a beautiful day and our first stop is off the coast for a spot of snorkelling. I’ve definitely seen a lot better in Australia and Egypt but its pleasant enough and we do get to see a number of different fish (although not nemo) none of which I could name though except perhaps a parrot fish.
Back on the boat we get taken to a second island Koh Nang Yuan, here we have a very substandard buffet lunch with 100s of other tourists and given free time to either do more snorkeling or hike up to the view point.
Given we weren’t that impressed with the earlier snorkeling we decided to hike up to the view point as well.
It was a ridiculously slow pace, the heat and humidity are killing me. Its not the easiest of climbs either and once at the top you do have to negotiate some fairly large rocks to get to the highest point.
Now I would say the view was worth it, it was just a shame there were so many people around as I prefer these days to go off the beaten track only bumping into a few other people at best.
We climbed back down, had a drink and waited for the return ferry. Once back at the villa we have a quick rest then its time to go exploring and find somewhere to eat.
As it turns out we are rather in the middle of no where and unlike Chiang Mai where there were taxis everywhere we hadn’t really seen that many. There are a few dodgy looking places to go eat as we walk along the main road but seems we have also come out of the main season as lots of places are closed or really empty. Just as we are about to give up and go to the hotel restaurant again we walk in the opposite direction and come across a sign for the Farmer restaurant with a high star trip advisor review so we decide to give it a go.
We walk for ages down a long dark track really not sure what to expect at this point and when we arrive the staff seem delighted to have a paying customer turn up but also shocked that we came on foot.
(photo from the Farmer restaurant website)
Turns out there is one of the couple in the restaurant and we are sat right next to them. Personally I would have preferred to have been spread out a little more given it was unlikely anyone else was going to arrive but as it turned out ‘Steve’ provided our evenings entertainment.
Now I’ve not been doing so well with the mojitos and I’d started having a craving for Caipirinhas and finally they had them on the menu. Fantastic too, definitely the best cocktail of the holiday so far. Al ordered a massaman curry (again) and I tried to order something different but it turned out they didn’t have it so I went for the pad thai with a shared selection of starters. Great food and a lovely setting overlooking a small lake.
Now on to Steve, so this ‘couple’ next to us consisted of an English guy in his 40s with a Thai lady probably around the same age. Nothing too strange to start with but from what we could hear it soon emerged that they had only just met and the Thai lady didn’t seem that interested and Steve did most of the talking. I’m not sure if they had genuinely just met or he was paying for her services but either way his chat up lines were classic. Some of the best from the night had to be ‘ I feel like I could be your Papa’ and ‘Come away with me to Africa and lets build a school’.
He then had a whole conversation (without much in the way of interaction) around how women have children so they can feel unconditional love, followed by him telling her she should spend more time with her own children which didn’t seem to go down too well, then how he really wanted to be a vegetarian (as he tucked into a whole fish). ‘This fishy wanted to be happy happy, swim swim, no one wants to die’.
Hopefully we managed to contain our outbursts of laughter to a minimum and it all got a bit cringy when he found out she spoke German and he asked her what ‘Ich liebe dich’ (I love you) means.
Finally we were alone to enjoy our desserts and another cocktail, Al went for the mojito so we could add another one to the review list which was ok, didn’t make it to the top of the scale but certainly not the bottom.
They insisted they give us a free ride home even though it was probably no more than a 10 minute walk but it felt rude to decline.