Our last place in big trip us island Koh Tao.
We have a long way.
Night bus from Chiang Rai to Bangkok. Taxi to Kao San. Here we tried to find company which provide transfer to Koh Tao. We found office in lobby of big hotel. Office was opened, but no one inside. So, we left our luggage and went for breakfast.
At 12-45 we again had been near the office. No one…. We asked hotel to make a local call. At first they refused. But after in 13-40, and transfer must start at 13-30, they said, that someone will pick up us…..
At 2pm minivan arrived. It was our transfer. And we were alone.
By the way driver starts to sleep. He was tired and I’ll. We stopped the car and Ivan became the driver. We didn’t know on what time we have night ferry and what to do. We just follow by GPS to Chumphon.
At 9pm. We had been in Chumphon. Driver at this time fill himself much better…..
Night ferry was old iron box. It has some space for cars and big room with double beds. Clean. Just 10-15 people on board. Not more. Shoes must be remove before bedroom. And toilet and shower are outside. Without shoes…..
The night was awful. It was storm. Real storm. This old iron box moved slow. It’s seems to me, that it must over roll in any minute. It was not possible lay on the second floor bed. I rolled from left to right. And I didn’t see any safety jackets…. Nothing , if something happens. To go to the toilet I must enter to open deck. With one part without fence. Iron box moved in all directions….
At 5-30 we had been on Koh Tao. Exhausted. Completely.
We ate delicious pancakes with banana and pineapples .
And then we did big mistake.
I don’t know even now, if it was possibility to avoid what happens after.
Only one rent near the pier worked. 300 USD per scooter or passport as deposit. Before it was 100 USD per scooter. We refused.
Walking in the small street near the sea at right, we passed numerous five enters, ferry boat offices ext. All was still closed. Only market received fresh fruits and vegetables. There is nothing on the island. All come from Big Land.
One rent was opened. After communication we agreed on 500 USD as deposit. She gave us 2 papers with pictures of bikes. We were tired. And in another places, even after detailed photos of any scratch, nobody look attentively on scooters after returning.
We somehow put the marks on two papers and rented 3 scooters. Price seems to be fixed all over the island – 200 Batt per day.
Load all our stuff on scooters we moved to explore the bays.
First – to the South. Hilly, up, dawn, women ask to pay for passing. 100 Batt pp. After, it was everywhere. Any road aside – you must pay…. Good view- you must pay…
We turned to another road. Where are you going? Want to take a look on beach. Ok. Welcome. But it’s steeply dawn and dozens of bungalows! No!
Now we are going to Eastern beaches.
First turn. Big beach. No people. Small bungalow , very small, only for 2 of us, 1500 Batt. And we are three. Asking for three people in one bungalow. No. And no more tourists! Beach is empty! Bungalows as well! But owner do not agree.
Next hotel. Big room, steeply up, half view on the sea. 2500 batts. For three. No.
We are going to another bay. Women proposed for us bungalow on the slope, without any view, between dozens of another bungalows. Only 2000 batts. No.
It’s in Tanote Bay. Just near , on the beach , tiny bungalows. Tiny, tiny. No wardrobe. Clean. Two for ( it’s a present for us ) 1400 Batt. No.
And we going to the beautiful Tanote Family Bay Hotel. It’s bungalows spread all over the holders in the north part of the bay. Calypso dive center, German quality, near.
After, when we explore island, every time we understand, that we had the best lodging. Not the cheapest. But the best.
It’s possible to find room on just 6000 Batt per month. In main city. Inside. Between.
Possible to stay on Sairee beach on 500 Batt per room per night. Overcrowded. Noisy. May be for those who find a place like this, perfect. But we like quiet morning and beautiful sunset.
The road to Tanote has very hilly curves.
I mentioned that may be 90% of all foreigners with scooters are moved only on the main road. It’s wide and more or less flat.
Any turn aside and we are on the slopes 20-25%! Sometimes it’s really scared. You are move up, up, up, then, like finish the road, bum! You need to move strait dawn! And keep the breaks very strong! But all time remember, that breaks are weak….. And road aside can be gravel also.
Every day we explore some bays.
But morning we had sport exercises. The biggest mountain just in 2 km from our bay. Up. Really up! First it will be panoramic café, which never work.
Then, in 1 km more, panoramic restaurant, which work from early morning. We drunk here coffee. And here also women ask for payment . Standard price 100 Batt pp to go on the top. Private land….
From this café possible go through jungle to another bay. Trail is visible very bad. But we found it. And descent to a small bay with not finished hotel. Actually, this place is visible from our hotel. It’s only 900 m strut. But this strait not exist. Swim or go through the mountains 4,5 km. Up and dawn. Hot and humid. Plenty of water needed.
And in this bay, when Ivan saw how close is our hotel he refused return to the top of mountain. Lets go through the boulders. I think, we were first persons who did this. If we were without backpacks, it can be easily swim. But jumping between this awful huge rocks was exhausting…
In one hour we made 500 m and arrived to the Secret Rock Cave. Sign about this place I saw near the hotel. Now we had been here. This place was completely prepared for meditation coffee or tea or romantic dinner. Person, who water plants (!) Said he has nothing….. Only water….
Actually, next morning, with our own coffee, cups, electric cattle, yogurt and cheese, we arrived to this place for sunrise. It’s only 20 min from bungalow!
So, day by day, sea became calmer after storm. We made home reef diving. Saw beautiful soft corals.
Then made two dives from the sheep. Depth was 12-15 m. Water 25 C. For it was cold. And suits, provided by Calypso, only short sleeves. Not a lot of fish. Visibility not more then 10m. Course director Michael may be was too tired with all divers. He was all time in hurry. Hurry, hurry, hurry….
We were surprised by the much more high prices then we saw before. It was not cheap. Food, fruits, juices. Each juice with ice. Full glass off ice , small piece of fruit and cane sugar. 60-80batt. Only few places proposed No Ice juice for extra payment.
From the port, little bit to south it’s an interesting trail, which connect numerous bays, luxury villas and hotels. All luxury are abandoned. Beaches are charming and empty. We found some opened restaurants with good food. Cheaper then in another places.
And then last day.
We returned three hours before our speedy boat.
We returned our scooters. And she began cry on all street, that we crash everything! Of course, on two scooters…. She has two papers. She cried we need to pay 200 USD, no, 300 USD, no, 500 USD! She cried and put her finger UNDER the scooter on plastic! She fount scratch on plastic on mirror…. That all. I said no. Calculate normally. She answered – go away! You receive nothing! Ok. I will call police. Ok. You are welcome!. Ok. Let’s speak normally. Do you want 200 USD back? Or nothing?
Street was silent. People did not turn their heads. It was usual circus here….
I took 200 USD and went to police. I show them paper about 500 USD and explain the situation. Ooooo….. You need to go to another place. Are you in Harry to ferry? Yes. Go….. To city hall.
Ok. It’s only 1,3 km. We went here. No police station…
It was in 200m with those we had been.
I entered. I still had 25 min.
Oooo…. You need to wait. Ok. What happened?
All very slow. They need little bit more time and my time will gone away. I will go to ferry and problem escape automatically.
Policeman called to women. She cry into the tube.
Ok. If you took 200 USD, you agreed that you did something with scooters. You must not took any money. Just come to police.
Hahaha! It was predicted! Fraud!!!
If all island do the same, and police have a part , you can do really nothing. Photos, videos do not help. They don’t want to sea or listen
Just cry loudly!
If you left passport as deposit , you will pay as much as it will be proposed to you. Everyone know, that you are going to the ferry.
If you tell where you will stay, one morning you can not find your scooter. It will be stolen by rent company and you will pay. You will pay in any case. On Koh Tao. Because this beautiful island is expensive and ready to take all money you bring with you.
But island is beautiful!