Chelsea and I left Railay in the afternoon for Krabi, on what would be another memorable journey across Thailand from West to East coasts. In Krabi we met up with some friends I had made in Railay, three lovely Brits who we would end up hanging out with quite a bit when we got to our final destination – Ko Tao!
We wanted to spend another few days beaching it up and relaxing before another round of full moon shenanigans, and Ko Tao seemed like the place to do it. Our friends suggested we skip Ko Lanta (too quiet) and Ko Samui (too touristy) in favour of a tiny island famous for diving and sunny beaches. So that’s where we set our sights!
A big happy hippie bus took us on the three-hour journey from Krabi to the pier in Surat thani, and we arrived during the early evening ready to board the night boat. We had been warned against taking the boat, due to its interesting (sketchy) condition, but decided it would be an adventure and did it anyways. I’m glad we did but I’m not sure I would do it again!
We saw the boat that would take us over and seriously doubted it would be able to make the trip..bad sign! As we killed time on the pier, Chelsea and I hung out and I practiced fire spinning, which brought the curiosity and attention of tourists and locals alike (“whats that?” “what are you doing?” – “Oh, it’s just my fire spinning stick, I’m practicing” – “Ooooh. cool” ) 😀 We met some cute girls from NZ and realized we would be bunking next to them for the night.
On boarding the boat, I soon found that this journey would be unlike any other I had ever taken in my life….the beds were pallets on the floor – about a hundred beds crammed into the deck that was literally a cargo ship underneath. They were laid out in numbered rows and as we all packed on, populated with tons of young tourists, Thai ladies with their large Caucasian boyfriends, and some locals, too.
I plopped down on my bed, looked around and thought – hey, this isn’t too bad! Until a disgruntled Thai lady and her (large, old, Caucasian) boyfriend plopped down beside me and informed me I was on her bed. I looked over – the numbers were spaced out so that every person only gets half a bed!! I apologized and moved down – almost on top of Chelsea! How was this gonna work?? It was a very long, rocky, uncomfortable night – I spent most of it spooned around my backpack at the end of my ‘bed’, afraid of inciting the Thai lady’s wrath by placing my feet pointing at her (a very rude thing to do in T-land) and also of having my things stolen, something I had been warned about.
The night passed eventually, amongst the hundred or so tourists crammed into the boat. People would get up and walk over you as there was nowhere to sleep, the fan relentlessly pounded cold air at me and I had to see out a blanket (there was none) and Chelsea woke up to discover she was spooning with Hannah (our new NZ friend) in a very friendly way!
Our boat rolled into Ko Tao around 6am, and we had to figure out where to stay and find a place that was open…A feat that left us standing around, very tired, at our chosen resort, until the reception opened at 8am. We snapped up a little jungle hut (consisting of a bed, hose for a shower and about a thousand mosquitoes) and started to explore the island – Our Sairee Beach adventure had just begun!!