The night ferry from Chumphon to Ko Tao was really comfortable but too short, arriving on Ko Tao at 4:30 in the morning. I was still tired and slept for a while on a bench outside the hostel waiting for them to open for the day. It felt great to be on the island and also that I reunited with Brett who I met in Bangkok and travelled up north with. After settling in we explored some of Ko Tao’s nice beaches. I arrived on the 13:th and on the neighboring island Ko Phangnan there was the famous Full Moon Party the next day. We hadn’t planned on going there but after we saw a sign with boat ticket to Ko Phangan for 300 bath we just said, why not.
Luckily we could leave our stuff at the hostel and just get over there for the night. So the next day we got on the boat and arrived to the busy Haad Rin beach. The beach party was a lot of fun full of happy dancing people all night until the next morning. Brett and I made it back to the boat and headed back to Ko Tao again.
Ko Tao is a lot smaller but really nice with many smaller quieter beaches with some great snorkeling spots. The way to get around is definitely with motorbikes so you can find the beaches with less people. The main thing about Ko Tao is diving and the island is filled with dive schools, and now in the low season it was possible to find a good deal on a course. I found one I liked and paid 7500 bath (170EUR) for the course. It was an amazing feeling the first time you go down and breathe under water. Diving was a great experienced and I enjoyed every moment of it.
After the dive course was over and Brett left to go down to Malaysia I felt I was time for me to move on as well. I was considering going straight to the mainland and start riding south. I decided instead to go back to Ko Phangnan to see more of the island then just the full moon party. I thought for a while I wouldn’t be able to go there since the two first boat companies I talked to me wouldn’t take the bicycle on the boat. Luckily the last company would and I could place it in the back on the boat.
Being here in the low season and when the full moon in over has its perks and accommodation is really cheap. I found a really nice and social hostel with aircon and swimming pool for just 100 bath. There’s a lot of parties on this island and most stick to the moon theme. The second day I was there was the Half Moon Party. After a fun pre party with a friend I met up in Chiang Mai we hit the party full of body paint and joined the rest of the glowing people dancing to the trance music.
The next couple of days in Ko Phangan I took it very slow and visited some beaches and just relaxed. Then one day we got the news of the military coup and there was a nationwide curfew from 10 pm to 5 am. So places closed much earlier than usually and the hostel I was staying at got shut down by the police one night when they played music and served drinks. And the island died off even more after the half-moon party was over and not much was going on in the hostel.
So I decided to leave the island and will be getting on a night ferry to Surat Thani tonight and then ride down to Krabi next. I have had a great time here on the island and met a lot of great people, but it also feels like I’ve seen it and it’s time to move on again.