Thailand is famed for its clean beaches, crystal clear waters and exotic fish. Booking a snorkelling tour here was pretty much a no brainer.
We set the alarms – note plural Patrick is a great believer in sleep all year round and once I’ve slipped into holiday mode, I am also known to ignore an alarm or three. Once we awoke bleary eyed we padded down to breakfast and scoffed down fresh fruit, eggs and pancakes and awaited the coach to the pier. A good tip is keep the piece of paper with your name and booking number, chances are people will be going on lots of different trips, this will save the awkward moment you realize you’re on the wrong tour!
We arrived at a pier ready, got briefed on safety and splashed through the water to reach our mode of transportation, speed boat!!!
Zooming through the waves, the rocking and smell of salt air just give you the feel of pure adventure. I could slip into pirate life quite easily, or mermaid. I’d settle for mermaid!
We began to slow down as we neared Koh Tao and the bay came into view. The very edges of the bay were the snorkelling spots, we clambered out and went for the south as the crowds went to the North end.
Both sides were filled with a huge variety of fish swimming beside you as though you weren’t even there.
The picture doesn’t do this school of fish any justice, they looked like liquid silver pouring through the water!
This handsome chap even gave me a close up!
Give or take a few ‘AhhMaaGahhd’ moments and drinking in gallons of sea water and spluttering ’til we could breath again, I’d say we got this underwater thing down!
I know I need to work on my mermaid pose, it’s getting there!
On the North side it was a tad shallower and the fishies a tad friendlier, taking any opportunity to nibble your toes.
Once we waved our new underwater friends goodbye, we hopped in the boat and were off again for a quick lunch at the harbour (great deal all you can eat buffet for 50 baht – equivalent of £1, but it comes included in the tour).
Back in the boat after lunch and we took a short trip across to Koh Nang yuan, a privately owned island for more snorkelling, sunbathing or hiking up to the view point. With a taste for the sea, both metaphorically and literally, we opted for another round of snorkelling.
However, it wasn’t as impressive here as on Koh Tao. A lot of people had obviously destroyed the coral by walking on it and so the colours were duller and fewer fish in quite a vast space.
Saying that, we swam into deeper waters and round by the rocks, where the fish were hiding. If you allow yourself to float and listen carefully you could hear the fish nibbling any scraps they could find.
Something I always want to know is how/what people take underwater pictures with. We dove straight in with my little Sony waterproof camera I’ve had for years. I noticed lots of people had plastic wallets for their cameras/phones which you can get for under a tenner if you don’t want to fork out for a new camera for one trip.
It’s truly an extraordinary experience and I’d highly recommend going through AsiaWorld to book it, they are so efficient and friendly. Your rep will meet you at your hotel, go through your itinerary and give you a booklet of further adventures that you can call at any time to set up. That’s how we went to the national marine park, but I’ll tell you about that one next time!