Sparkling islands of Thailand and underwater wonderlands

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This is a quick account of our first trip to Southeast Asia – and to Thailand specifically, where we had quite an adventure. A lot of it was underwater, but some of it was above water, too. There were amazingly pretty waters, beaches, bamboo huts and breathtaking sunsets.

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But let’s start at the beginning. Our initial reason to spend 15 days on the famous Diving Mecca of Koh Tao, was to get our passports to the underwater world, also known as an Open Water license. We booked the course with Master Divers as they have been recommended to us by many online sources and were a lovely bunch of people, with a smelly old dog and two cats.  

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We had two days to settle in, in our little beach hut at Bow Thong on the Turtle Island, before our diving course started.

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So we spent one of those days on a traditional long boat with a massive outboard motor going around the entire island and testing the best snorkelling sites.

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This was memorable for two reasons: We can now officially say we swam with sharks, and not in a business sense – more precisely with black reef sharks. And the second reason involved my foot and some sharp coral. 

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After the diving course, we moved a kilometre to the north, to a tiny island called Koh Nang Yuan. It’s known as one of the loveliest island getaways in the whole world…

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And this is its biggest problem. Do not go to the beach between the hours of 11 and 2 pm as you will find every tourist, who ever lived, and half the population of Japan, plus their tablet cameras. However, if you actually stay on the island and wait for them all to leave, you will find a paradise where the world stops and takes a deep breath. And we enjoyed these moments for three blissful days.

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You can see some of the ant-like tourists arrive here: 

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Also real ants! And the whole of the adventure in handy video form with a cool soundtrack that sings about the sunshine: (My second favourite thing)

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After the half-day paradise island of Koh Nang Yuan, we decided to get a new place to stay, where the paradise lasted 24/7. We found a local boat captain who took us to just the spot.

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We got a bamboo hut on the rocks by the beach.

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There was only electricity for 8 hours a day, an open bathroom with a tree growing in it, and no real windows. But there was a hammock and this view:

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 What more could you want? Our neighbours had a python in the shower, but we can’t all be so lucky! The best we got was some big spiders, bats and multi-colored geckos. They were especially welcome as they feasted on those horrible mosquitos.

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Remember earlier when I said the coral attacked me? Well, literary that is what happened and by this point, in the adventure, I needed medical treatment. Warning! If you ever cut yourself on coral, go to the chemist or doctor immediately. Don’t wait for your foot to get an infection and grow twice as large. This is a lesson I learned the hard way and it prevented me from going into the water for 3 entire days! Not easy when you’re staying on a beach in 35-degree heat. So we went hiking instead and found some amazing remote corners of the island…

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All in all our trip had all the recipes for a really good holiday: turquoise waters with sharks, Japanese tourists, island getaways, hammocks, hundreds of fruit shakes, and some amazing Thai food. 

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So if you decide to have your own adventure there, please remember this paradise has some rules to keep it special for the next adventurer:

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