Thursday, 30 May 2013

Parties and PADI in Koh Tao

So we arrived in Koh Tao around 2pm on the 30th. We’d been searching places for diving the night before and had decided on Big Blue as it had awesome reviews and we knew of a few people who had got open water certified there. So we’d met a woman from Big Blue on the boat who directed us and two Danish guys to their free tuk tuk to Sairee Beach where it is located.

Once there we were welcomed by a very lovely Irish lady who told us about the accommodation situation, the prices and about the types of dive courses offered (PADI or SSI) the differences being minor but the main one is PADI is used more as it has so much marketing going for it. We were told we’d find out more in our orientation as to which one we will decide to go with. Orientation was at 5pm the day before we wished to start. So as we were planning on a night out tonight, we decided to do our orientation tomorrow night and start our course on Saturday, as it’s not advisable to stay out late or drink during the course!

So, unfortunately Big Blue were full, but just down the road, the hotel they are affiliated with, Prae Wa, had rooms available and we decided to opt for dorms as it was A. Cheaper B. More sociable for Chandler as she isn’t diving, and C. It’s air-conditioned! The Danish guys ended up getting a room opposite us too so it worked out well as one of them wanted to do the diving and one didn’t so Chandler would have someone to hang out with! The only available dorms were 2 in one room and 1 in another. There’s only 4 beds in each so I decided to take the one on it’s own so Chandler and Devyn could be together. We are paying 400 baht each on non-dive days and 100 baht each on dive days, so it was pretty decent.

Upon a short tuk tuk ride there, we were pleasantly surprised by the accommodation. Although not beach front (but we’d had beach front on KPN so this didn’t bother us), the rooms were clean, spacious, had air-con, private bathroom, TV, comfy bunk beds and a fridge! So we could also start having our own cheap breakfasts, refill water and keep snacks instead of eating out! After we’d checked in we then went out for food at a Mexican place as we were starving, it was quite expensive but we fancied a splurge. Plus we’d made promises that as our cash funds are all getting low, we are only allowed to eat out once a day (so this was our one meal out today), buy our own breakfasts and lunch from either street food joints or 7/11, pre-drink and make the most of bar happy hours to avoid costly nights out and make our own iced teas/coffees etc using sachets so we’re only paying for water. Check us out!

After this we just had some down time, me and Chandler checked out Sairee village; the shops, bars, etc. Got some flyers for free drinks and entry for tonight’s main parties and started drinking/had a happy hour 99 baht cocktail, which was pure ethanol! After getting ready, we then headed to the ‘main’ party which was in a place called The Castle, which we assumed was an actual castle but were greatly disappointed when we realised it was just an outdoor club. However to get there we had to get a 100 baht each taxi, but because we’re tight ninnies now, we refused to pay this much and insisted on walking the 4km to the place...without anticipating how long it would take and that most of the road was pitch dark. All this just to save on £2.50! But around halfway we wimped out and attempted to flag down a taxi, which took us a few attempts before we found a driver that would offer us a fair price, considering we were already halfway! So settling on 250 baht between us (80 baht each) we’d saved exactly 50p and were on our way to The Castle.

Needless to say our disappointment that it wasn’t a real castle dampened our mood, plus the music was heavy trance, so we only stayed here until around midnight, where we then met some others and the guys who were in the room opposite us and all decided to head back to Sairee for the beach party we’d seen advertised. Some of the guys wanted to get tattoos so they agreed to meet us later and me, Devyn and Chandler headed with a few others to the beach party. It was pretty good. By this point it had got onto the good cheese music so we danced for a bit. Devyn wasn’t really feeling it so she went home.

After which point me and Chandler decided it was time we got rid of the creepy guys from our shared ride into town, who wouldn’t stop following us or leave Chandler alone. So I went up to them and basically point blank insulted them by saying, ‘dude, my friend doesn’t like your friend, please back off and stop following us around!’ Luckily, this dude took it ok and was like ‘OK, fair game!’ and proceeded to keep his friend away from Chandler. We then met up with the guys from before, who ended up not getting tattoos as the guy wanted to charge 800 baht for 4 tiny names. Obviously thought he’d try and scam a few drunk lads, but it didn’t work! We then just partied until the beach bar shut down, which was super early on Thai standards – 2am!

We went to get food and then Chandler was suddenly on the back of this guy’s motorcycle who she’d just met, so I grabbed his friend and insisted he follow them so I knew where she was going. Luckily they were both staying at the same place, so I stayed a bit to check everything was cool and then insisted his friend take me back home in the early hours of the morning. 

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