I was looking forward to Koh Tao as I had heard and seen much about it since I was last in Thailand so I was pretty excited as we pulled in to the island’s harbour. My first impressions of Koh Tao however were not what I had been expecting, the main town where the harbour is, Mae Haad, was full of cramped narrow streets filled with dingy restaurants and shops, not quite paradise. We had thought that we could walk to our hotel, located on the next beach North, but with the heat of the day and the empty stretch of highway (with no walking path) I quickly changed my mind and so we hoped in the next taxi. Our hotel in Sariee Beach was the Sariee Sariee Guesthouse which was right on the main strip of the tiny beach town. Our room was quite lovely with a/c. a powerful fan and a tv with a decent movie channel (the downside we later learned would be the quite uncomfortable bed). We rested and relaxed for most of the afternoon finally surfacing just in time to catch a beautiful sunset down on the beach. Sariee Beach is definitely not the nicest of beaches and is mainly muddy with coarse sand and is mainly used as a parking cove for longtail boats. After the sun set we picked a restaurant at the beach to have a few drinks and some dinner at before heading off to bed nice and early.
The next morning after a bit of a sleep in we headed out in search of breakfast, ending up at a funky looking little cafe down the main strip. I tried to order a brie sandwich but when it arrived the cheese on it was clearly not brie but most definitely blue cheese. We tried explaining to the staff what was wrong but the language barrier just could not be breached. After our interesting breakfast we headed back to the room to hide from the heat. We spent the rest of the afternoon reading and watching movies on tv. That evening we emerged to check out the infamous Koh Tao pub crawl. The first stop on the crawl was an Aussie bar for free buckets (our first ones in SEA). The next stop was at a pool bar where they offered free shots to anyone who got in the pool but the pool’s water was so hot that almost no one got in (except for a naked guy of course). Our favourite stop of the night was to a ladyboy cabaret show where a bunch of dressed to the nines ladyboys lip-synced to amazing song choices. Next it was back to the Aussie bar for some live music. The final stop of the night was to a beach bar for some fire dancing.
We spent most of the next day after the pub crawl nursing our hangovers in bed watching even more movies. The only productive thing that we managed to do was go out for a super delicious pizza dinner, such amazing food and service!
For our last day in Koh Tao we finally decided to actually get out and do something so we hopped into a longtail boat and headed over to Koh Nang Yuan, a small island just out from Sairee Beach. Once on the island we hiked up to the view point to take a few very sweaty pictures. Afterwards we headed down to the beach to do a bit of snorkelling over a strange looking coral forest called the Japanese Gardens. We headed back to the mainland just in time to catch the sun sink into the ocean.
We were up early the next day to catch our taxi to the ferry that would take us over to Koh Phangan.