Santa Claus Is Coming – Koh Tao

So it’s nearly Christmas and, bizarrely (for I have never spent Christmas abroad) the weather is hot, there are beaches and coconuts and my biggest decision of the day is whether to sit in the sun or the shade to read my book. Tough.

Just to bring you up to speed on our travels, our train from Trang to Chumphon was almost lovely. I say almost because, 5km outside of our destination, the train broke down and we sat, anticipating movement any moment, for 2 hours without having a clue what was going on. Eat your heart out, South West Trains!

We rumbled agonisingly into the hole that is Chumphon around 10pm with just enough time to check into our extremely basic hotel, buy a ferry ticket for the next morning and get a (Parma ham?!) sandwich in the dead and biblically wet town before retiring for the night.

Precious little sleep was had though, due to the constant pounding of the rain outside which continued all night, making it sound like we were under attack. When we rose at 5am for our ferry it was still coming down in a similar fashion and the journey to Koh Tao (3 hours) was quite rough and very, very boring. From a land of just Thais, we are now in Gringoland, the boat passengers being almost completely Westerners.

Koh Tao is touted as the diving capital of the world as it certifies more new divers than anywhere but I don’t think we shall be diving here. The whole island is geared up for it which means all the sites are over-dived and crowded – plus the visibility is not great due to monsoon. No problem, we did some snorkelling today and we actually saw more doing that than we did during our dives in Koh Lipe.

Our hotel is, thankfully, way out of town on the South coast in an isolated bay, virtually on it’s own, which is how we like it. Our wooden hut is perched on a hillside, amongst the palm trees with a sea view – not bad for £56 a night! It is a really beautiful resort and the staff are all really friendly but they’re obviously quite a new business and they haven’t quite got it right yet.

No Internet (hence the lack of posts), the TV doesn’t actually pick up any channels (not a big deal), no hammocks on the veranda (a cardinal sin, I believe) and some monumental taxi cock ups which have resulted in some mild annoyances. None of these things are terrible in themselves but it all contributes to us feeling that this place WILL be a luxury resort one day but not quite yet. Still, it’s not bad and as I sit here typing this whilst laying near the bar looking out to sea (with a Christmas album playing – “Let It Snow” is the current track – seems unlikely somehow) I can’t say I’m all that gutted to be missing out on an English Christmas for the first time in my life – apart from Mum’s cooking of course.

I’ve no idea when I’ll be able to actually post this but whenever it is, have a great Christmas everyone and I will be back to document the next leg (Koh Tao – Chumphon – Krabi for 2 nights – Koh Yao for New Year) as soon as I can.