We took a sleeper train out of Bangkok after deciding to head down to the islands in the Gulf of Thailand. Everyone we have talked to so far had spoken very highly of them and we were both excited to explore as much as we could before leaving for Laos.
Adam took off north for a while, intending to meet up again in a week or so, and Eiji -whom we bumped into again in Bangkok, expressed interest in meeting us further south at some point. This left Nicole and I travelling alone again for the first time since India, and we arrived at the station expecting a quiet ride. Instead we joined a carriage of fellow travellers all headed to the same island of Ko Tao.
The journey was smooth and in some places raucous, as the beer sold aboard began to take hold amongst the younger contingent. Still, the atmosphere was good, people’s excitement to be headed to the islands palpable in the air.
We made friends with a couple next to us; Erik and Surika, who had been to Ko Tao before, and gained a few good tips from them. Apparently good value BSAC and PADI dive qualifications can be gained on the island, so I may dig deep if it looks promising.
We arrived at Chumphon at 5am and took a connecting bus to the pier where a passenger ferry waited for us all to board. On the back deck was a massive pile of backpacks all stacked in a huge bundle. There must have been about 150 of them and the owners were all crammed below deck where high windows overlooked a placid sea.
We arrive at the island in a couple of hours so will update when I have more to show. We are expecting to stay for four days before moving on. The full moon is due around the 15th, so we will probably go to Ko Pha-ngan for the famous beach parties held there.