Writing this post whilst sitting on another ferry, this time leaving Koh Tao for Chumphon and onwards to Bangkok for two nights.
I have mixed feelings about Koh Tao. I’ve absolutely loved doing the open water diver course which now means I’m a certified autonomous diver (although, I’m not sure I’d want to be completely autonomous after just four dives). The dives were awesome with some amazing marine life here – we even saw a stingray yesterday! But the island is essentially a tourist island. Everything I’ve seen here is geared towards catering for tourists. On the one hand it’s good but on the other, it gives it almost like a theme park feel. And on our walk to the pier we saw deforestation to make way for more resorts and holiday homes. It is definitely a place that will change a lot in the next three to five years.
We stayed near Sairee beach and dived with Mojos. That area of town, particularly with the amount of beach bars etc. on a busy night feels a lot like somewhere like Magaluf. I do however recommend the duck places that do amazing roasted duck on noodles and rice.
The diving itself… most signs I’ve seen advertising open water courses sit at around 8,000 thb for the three and a bit day course. A lot of the dive shops will offer four nights accommodation included for 9,000 thb which is pretty good. Not that I have anything to compare it to but I really rated Mojo Divers. The staff were friendly, knowledgeable and they really look after you to make sure you get your certification even if that means switching around dive schedules or going out an extra day. We even got bought a beer when the dive boat arrived back late so we ended up setting off much later than originally planned.
Diving is an amazing experience, the amount of marine wildlife we saw was incredible. I’m looking forward to doing it in the Philippines!