Well we are ploughing thru money wayyyy faster than expected. Thailand is not as cheap as you’d expect… well not in the touristy expensive parts, which I guess is not that surprising after all. So while this is our honeymoon and some minimum level of comfort is required, we might need to curb some expenses and choose things a little more carefully.
For example, walking down the deserted street this morning, you get called a “taxi taxi” repeatedly. I guess it’s a little better than being called a “farang”… But they wanted to charge us 250B each from Haad Rin to the port at Thongsala, whereas the taxi driver friend of the hostel was happy with 150B. That’s a £2.35 saving each. Out here, that’s lunch! You can usually find Pad Thai for between 50-100B. Those little differences seem to be adding up.
There was nowhere open this early. I mean, who gets up at 09:30 anyway! So we grabbed that cheap taxi and sought breakfast near the pier. Finding a cafe with AC only took a little walk. This breakfast was 500B but I think we were happy to pay to have somewhere cool and comfy for 2 hours till it was time to go to the ferry.
We are heading over to Koh Tao today and even tho we arrived 45 mins early (per ticket instructions) there was an absolutely huge queue to check in for the boat. I thought the QR code on the confirmation email meant we had our ticket, but apparently we still need to wait in the queue, it needed to be scanned and a paper ticket issued. This was then ripped in half not 50m down the pier. On the boat we thought the air conditioning would be good inside but it was too stuffy so we spent the 2 hour voyage on deck. It was choppy so I was glad I had the sea sickness tablets. Even Aimi took one.
Getting on the boat was a boring wait in the sun followed by a pointless ticket, followed by leaving our big bag in a pile on deck. Now, because we were some of the first onto the boat, our bag was buried right in the center of a 6-7 bag storey deep pile. I knew roughly where it was and after a couple bags had been removed from the top, I could just see the corner. I dove into the pile and, standing on a metal bollard submerged amongst the bags, started yanking and shifting and handing people their bags (well, the bags they were asking for anyway). Aimi had abandoned ship so I met her onshore.
We had chosen a hotel right by the pier, strategically based on price vs comfort. But am added bonus was that we didn’t have to walk very far lugging the bags in this heat. However, once checked in, we went for a walk. This took 30 mins to get to the other end of the beach, where I wanted to find the Mojo Divers shop. We stopped for some late lunch (160B for Pad Thai and Massaman curry) and then signed up for diving the next day. I strategically wore my Mojo Divers Tshirt I was given last time I was here. It didn’t get me a better price, but at least we didn’t get hounded walking down the street for diving lessons from anyone else!
Speaking of noticeable clothing, Aimi spotted Landy, an American kid who we met in the Bangkok hostel. He told us quite confidently that he was going to hitchhike all the way to the full moon festival! Unluckily he didn’t complete the mission without paying for transport, just to make sure he was there in time. He’s also going diving tomorrow with Mojo, so we will get to hang out with him some more. Maybe he can bring his condom hat!
One of the things we wanted to pay for at this hotel was a pool. Yes the sea is right there and free, but it’s just not the same. Especially if Aimi’s ears don’t work right when diving and she can’t do it. She’s going to want somewhere to lounge and cool off. This is exactly what we did upon return from our mission. It has been a long hot sweaty day so this felt great.
After a small bite to eat, the last job was to shave off most of my beard. Aimi banned me from going full baby-chin, but at least the top lip is as short as possible. This is to give a better seal to the dive goggles. Feeling fully refreshed, we played Uno and shared a beer. We also found a Gecko in our room, but later in the night we could hear his mate chirping for him.