Thai islands: diving and just plain dives.

Ah! It’s been so long! I have an excuse, I promise. The thing is, I was on the island of Koh Tao getting my PADI Open Water diving certification (woo!) for the last week and there was no internet. I had withdrawals. But! Now I’m on the slightly bigger island of Koh Phanghan and I currently have (very slow) internet. Update time!

So, about Koh Tao. I absolutely love love loved it. It’s a very peaceful place and I honestly didn’t get the big deal about sunsets until my first night on the island. My time there involved some early mornings, but it was all worth it because I got 5 dives in (up to  18 metres) and saw some amazing sea life. I also got an amazingly terrible wet suit tan and an official card that says I’m a fancy Scuba diver. On my first dive I had a bit of a panic attack under water when attempting a skill where you take your mask off. Basically, that involved forgetting everything I had learned and desperately fighting to get to the surface. Scary, but I repeated that skill on my last day panic-free. Success!

While my time in Koh Tao was amazing and relaxing, the transportation from Bangkok to Koh Tao was quite the opposite. The overnight 8-hour bus ride, the 4-hour wait at the dock for the ferry, followed by a 2-hour boat ride was, well, a necessary evil I suppose.

So pretty right? Sunsets are my new favourite thing.

It only took about an hour by boat to get from Koh Tao to Koh Phangan, where I am now. This island seems more like a city surrounded by lush jungle. Koh Phangan is famous for the Full Moon Party, which involves thousands of tourists descending on the island to dance all night under the full moon. Since it’s such a popular event, almost every store in the area I’m staying in is dedicated to the party and the various neon shirt/body paint options available. There are also several large white sand beaches, and the water is bright blue and clear. It’s a pretty (though slightly seedy/dirty) place.

The height of fashion on this island.

Last night, my friend Cayley and I decided to try to replicate a Thanksgiving meal. We actually managed to find a restaurant that was selling mashed potatoes with onion gravy, which is the main attraction of a Thanksgiving meal for me so that was awesome.  No pumpkin pie was found unfortunately, although we do plan on eating apple crumble tonight at that same restaurant. Our version of a turkey/Tofurkey was a pie filled with cheese and potato. Surprisingly enough, that volume of potatoes was enough to make us both want to puke at the end of the meal, which is how a Thanksgiving meal should end as far as I’m concerned.

Our meal! No pumpkin pie but better than nothing.

The upcoming week should be very interesting. Tomorrow is my 22nd birthday! My main mission is to find a cake for myself. The day after my birthday is the Full Moon Party, which is a 22-year-old’s version of a logistical nightmare. Today, I’m off to spend some time on one of those white sand beaches, followed by a Muay Thai boxing match. I’ve done the Thai massage, the Thai cooking, and now I need to see the Thai version of fighting. I just hope I won’t end up participating. I mean, I know I played rugby in high school and took boxing lessons, but I also know I was a bench warmer on my rugby team and I never actually sparred a human in my boxing lessons. I have heard of bars where you can participate in a Thai boxing match in order to win a bucket of alcohol, so my fears about participation are warranted.

Right now Cayley and I are going to attempt to scare away the resident cockroach in our bathroom. Bye for now!

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