Whale Shark Photos from Ko Tao

A couple of days ago I got an email I had been looking forward too. Remember on Ko Tao we got to see a Whale Shark on my last day of Open Water Certification? Well Stephanie on the boat had an underwater camera and was kind enough to email the photos!!!

P5060122This was the first thing I saw as I approached. This massive tail in the water. I couldn’t stop thinking “Jaws, Jaws, your swimming towards Jaws himself!”. (note: Whale Sharks are harmless, toothless fish that will not even try to taste you)

P5060124 Then I see it’s back! Wow! Look at those markings!

P5060125 And finally I get a good look at the front!

P5060128 The photos don’t show the shear number of snorkelers present

P5060131

P5060135 It’s more likely he will eat it than the other way around

P5060143 Anyone who could dive did!

P5060147 This is probably the best shot of them all! Look at it’s back!

Just to be clear and fair, these were not my photos.

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Getting out of Thailand!

The fun and hangovers of Thailand were done. It was time to start heading out of Thailand… the first job was to get to Phuket.

So, 9am I jump onto the back of a pickup truck and make my way to the pier. There I reluctantly buy a through ticket all the way to Phuket (I’m always a bit sceptical of them as sometimes its better to set the journey up yourself, and that way you know you won’t be left on your arse in the back end of nowhere out of pocket).

After trying to eat my favorite breakfast of Fruit, Muesli and Yoghurt, but having to reject it as the yoghurt was probably cream cheese or had gone off… I jumped on the ferry and promptly fell asleep. When I woke up I remembered that I had lent a drybag to Jay and Rachel and forgotten to get it back.

Anyway, loaded onto a coach and got to Surat Thani. Once there I had 15 minutes to catch the connecting coach. In those 15 minutes the weather turned from quiet nice to the heaviest rain I have seen in South East Asia!!! When it came time to run to the bus, even just a dash to the door resulted in squidgy sandals and a much darker t-shirt.

Once aboard, I promptly realised the driver was a full on nutter and was driving as if he was in Speed. Swinging round the corners and slamming the brakes on if it pleased him. In addition, this bus has the tyres inflated to one million bar and clearly had just a row of them at the back simply to explode occasionally. We could be driving down a straight flat road and it would still be bumpy!

8pm and I finally get into Phuket Town (The normal place to go is Patong if your a farang, but I wanted to steer clear of the sex tourism and the seedy stuff, so I went to the city). I got off the bus, dodged the taxi touts and checked into the first hotel I recognised from the LP, The Thouron Hotel (or something like that). For 550THB/£11 I got a full on proper hotel room with Aircon and Sat TV! I needed it!

Just went and found some good Red Beef Curry for tea then parked in a bar where I got talking to what might have been the 60 year old version of myself travelling back in time 😛

The next day it was airport bus, a wait in the airport and a mayday text to Shane to get me a guesthouse address that I could put on the landing card for Hong Kong… then it was on Dragon Air (a great airline by the way) and civilisation once again!!!

Thailand was awesome! I will be back, especially to Ko Tao!

Plus there is still Ko Phi Phi to do!

Ko Pha Ngan and the Full Moon Party

I got to the ferry terminal pretty early so I chilled out in Saftey Stop Pub for a bit (much as I did when I arrived). Then me, Jay and Rachel jumped on a fairly shit quick catamaran for Ko Pha Ngan!

The first sight of the Island, the weather was turning though!

The first sight of the Island, the weather was turning though!

I found the bit of the boat where you get spray in your face! It was great!

I found the bit of the boat where you get spray in your face! It was great!

When we go there we headed straigth for Haad Rin, where the party would be! The original plan was I would just leave my bag in the girl’s room and not actually sleep that night, however, we decided that wasn’t the best approach as there may be a situation in which I might want to sleep or need to get to my bag. So I went down the road about 20 yards and asked at a guesthouse… I got a fan room for 200THB a night! Ok, shared bath and the place was a bit like a stable, but so what! I would bearly be using it! Hahah!

Now, there is a bit of a problem with theft on Full Moon Party nights so I locked my room with both the guesthouse’s padlock and my own combination one I normally use for my bag (admittedly this was more of a deterent and would be easily beaten with bolt cutters). I also put valuables in the safe with my credit card and hid my debit card… I went out with only cash and room key!

Firstly it was dinner where I got talking again to a couple of German girls I met on the bus, then I went to Outback bar for some warmup drinks. I also decided, after quite a few of those drinks and talking to randoms, that I needed to accessorize with some fetching Green Body Paint Tiger Stripes down my left arm! To match my tshirt! Wish I had the camera for that!

Anyway, at about 11 I headed for the beach. It was massive! 1/2 mile I would say of mental beach party! I think there were 7 sound systems going, all but one playing trance.

Furthermore, the bucket stands are quite cheap there really… 180THB/£1.75 gets you a Sangsom bucket… that’s 400ml of Sangsom rum, 1 can of coke, one red bull and some ice… it’s filthy and great!

Anyway, quite a lot of partying about and watching Poi!

I ended up heading back at about 5am and getting dodgyish takeaway on the way back, just like home!

The next day I was up earlier than most of Ko Pha Ngan! About 10am for me… the after party was still going on if I wanted to go 😛

I had some breakfast in a place where you could watch people take the walk of shame home, and made a few Skype calls to the family. Then I got the camera out and headed for the beach to see the damage…

The morning after... those stages were just things to fall off really!

The morning after... those stages were just things to fall off really!

One of the sound systems

One of the sound systems

The bucket stands!

The bucket stands!

Mountain bar! Which was pretty cool by the way!

Mountain bar! Which was pretty cool by the way!

The beach in full!

The beach in full!

“No insurance” put in vynal letters on the jet ski... isn't that reassuring??

“No insurance” put in vynal letters on the jet ski... isn't that reassuring??

Well I suppose it works as a sign...

Well I suppose it works as a sign...

Most of the day was spent basically relaxing and looking at the shops. Not a lot to say about it… I was a little hungover and out of energy. That evening I spent watching Star Trek (the new movie) in a bar over dinner. A lot of bars do that around here, show movies to keep you entertained and are basically more relaxed cinemas that serve food and drinks. Good food and drinks! I really liked it and I highly recomend the new Star Trek film!

The next day it was the start of the journey to Phuket and then Hong Kong…