Well our epic journey across the entire country of Thailand (north to south) began on the 19th. Our 2.5 day journey was horrible!! First, hopped another local bus from Pai to Chiang Mai. The bus was completely empty and tell me why I had some village lady ask to sit right next to me. Really?! I felt like I was on Canal Street of NYC because her and her friend, who was sitting adjacent to us, were doing dirty deals with purses and other merch that they were planning to sell in the city I guess. I got zero sleep on that ride because my seat partner had no concept of personal space and also was spitting out the door every 5 mins, I had to keep my eye on her! Next was a night train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok which wasn't much better. The accomodation was nice however we got zero sleep just because the tracks were really bumpy. 5:30 in the morning on the 20th we arrived in smelly dirty Bangkok. Unamused by our travels and the taxi and tuk tuk touts, we hopped on the tube and went straight to Lumphini Park. We were definitely backpackers now because we grabbed onto our rucksacks and took about a 3 hour nap in the park. Right up until a HUGE monitor lizard crawled out of the pond right next to us. Def scared the shit out of us! Revamped we set off to catch the train to Chumpon, three and a half hours later we were still sitting on the tracks in Bangkoks Huampolong Station because there were some sort of delays unbeknownst to us. The plan was to be in Chumpon with enough time to catch the night ferry to the Island of Koh Tao. That didn't happen!! Although I'm not too sad about it because a couple of travellers on the train warned us about the cockaroaches they encountered on their night ferry adventure. No thanks, I'll pass!
So like I said 2.5 days later I found myself on the beaches of just one of the many paradises I plan to encounter here. Absolutely gorgeous. Warm waters/palm tree lined/white sand/postcard perfect beaches. So the hype about Koh Tao is the SCUBA diving. It is the leading diving certification center in the world, with supposedly some of the best places to dive. Where do I sign up please?!?! Without wasting anytime at all I was in the class room learning all about the gear and diving techniques and equipment. Our first day we spent about 4 hours in the pool practicing some skills that we would later need in our open water dives. My very first dive all I remember thinking was, "Oh shit what did I get myself into?!" I had no time to actually look at the coral or fish because I was too concerned on trying to stay nuetrally bouyant so I wouldn't land on the coral. With each dive I got better and better, to the point that I'm hooked now! Love every bit of it. Christmas Eve came around and I officially became a certified open water diver to 18 meters (60 feet). While I do some island hopping, I plan to do my advanced certification as well so I can go down to 30 meters. Thats where all the cool stuff is supposedly.
Well I'm off to do some snorkeling. Its so hot out here that you want to spend your time in the water rather than on land.