Now that we’re back home safe and sound at least we can tell you stories without scaring the parents too much 😉
We decided to cross over to Thailand on the east side, taking the train from Sungai Kolok up north even though this is not always recommended due to insurgency in the south-east provinces of Thailand. At first we doubted and wondered if maybe it would be a better idea to go back to the west coast of Malaysia and take the train from there, but after talking to people who had already used the east coast crossing we decided it should be ok as long as we made sure to cross during the day and didn’t miss the train. We did leave a bit late to the border but as we would experience quite a lot in Thailand the train was about 3 hours late and there were no problems. What did strike us as a bit peculiar was the amount of soldiers present, the station was filled with them and when we boarded the train so did they. We weren’t sure if this was normal on all Thai trains or it was due to the conflict in the region. At all the stations where the train stopped at the soldiers stood up, looked out the windows, showed their nice big guns, and as the train continued they sat down. This continued all the way to Hat Yai which is considered as the end of the conflict zone.
Everything went fine and after taking the most air-conditioned night train ever (we had to cover our faces in order to not freeze our noses off), and a ferry, we arrived in Koh Tao ready for breakfast. As soon as we stepped off the boat we wondered where the hell we had arrived. We had been in some touristic places before but mostly we tried to avoid them, and this felt as though we were in Disneyland, or Lloret de Mar. But we had mostly come here to dive, so we practiced a bit of breathing and found a dive shop that seemed really great for the Advanced course. We had a great time during the course, learning perfect buoyancy, navigation, wreck dive, deep dive and night dive. The night dive was a bit scary at first with rough weather and guiding ourselves only by flash lights but in the end it was fun.
We didn’t really hit it off with Koh Tao so when we finished the course we decided it was time to leave. But not before having a reality check, buying our return ticket home to Barcelona in December…