March 25, 2014

Koh Tao and Koh NangYuan Hopping



God is great! Just when I felt so bored of my routine, a good friend asked me to join the private trip to Koh Tao and Koh Nangyuan she had arranged for her Chinese guests. I was hesitant to go, knowing that we were going on a  speedboat. I was on a smaller motorboat to Koh Phi Phi four years back and it wasn't a good experience. Don't get me wrong. The captain of the boat did a good job but driving it in big waves scared the life out of me. (Truth is  I   have a dislike for anything that goes or runs so fast. Period.)

Fast forward to that day, I had finally agreed to go. The  tour operator picked  us all up. It was half past nine. Kind of late but it's a private charter tour so we were in no rush. I chose the back seat, facing the vast ocean. I wouldn't want to feel the strong jolt just in case we had a bumpy ride.


The boat has toilet and shower. It also has an ice chest full of bottled water, iced tea, soda and beer. Drinks are complimentary. The boat can sit about 15 to 20 people. Price is Thai Baht 37,000/day  (approx. $1250)


On the way to our destination, we spotted dolphins swimming along with our boat. We stopped to wait for more sightings. Pictured here are the  Chinese guests inside the boat.


There are many tour operators in Samui where you can book your trip to  Koh Tao and NangYuan. If you are traveling on a budget, a tour on a boat like the one below won't hurt your pocket. But note that tours like this require you to be at the pier as early as 7 in the morning.


In an hour and a half time, we arrived on Koh Tao. The captain took us to a snorkeling spot. I didn't plan on getting into the water. I was surrounded with beauty so I decided to stay in the boat and enjoy the view from there.



With one of the Chinese guests

I think we all had little to eat for breakfast so after an hour of snorkeling and taking photos, our tummies began gurgling. We didn't have strict schedule. When the guests asked if they could have lunch before continuing, the captain obliged. He took us  to a restaurant on the island. Here's a picture taken while I was going up the hundred-step stairs to the top where the restaurant is located.
The white boat on the left was the one we were on




The Chinese couldn't wait to see NangYuan so we  headed to our next destination right after lunch. Low season is approaching but there were quite a number of tourists visiting. Come Christmas season the number would triple.  We drove past  boats taking foreign travelers to the islands like the one below.
On the way to Nangyuan

I was surprised to see a busy pier at Nangyuan. There is entrance fee of Thai Baht 100 for foreigners ($ around 3) and Thai Baht 30 for locals ($1).



I learned that Nangyuan is a popular destination for  tourists who are into diving and snorkeling. If you like more adventure, Angthong National Marine Park is a better option, I was told. I have not been there but it's next on my list.


Tourists...


and more tourists....




We spent the rest of the day chilling. Two Chinese guests went snorkeling, the other two remained on the beach. My friend and I went to the bar to get some refreshments. It was hot and we needed something to cool us down. By the time we left Nangyuan before 4 in the afternoon, I was able to overcome my fear. It was a good trip all in all. Thank God!

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