While I did not get PADI certified in Koh Tao, I did snorkel and was able to get my fill of underwater fun with the fishies. I don’t remember the name of the company that I went with, but there are different ones located all over the island. Just shop around until you find one that meets your budget and excursion needs. I paid $19 USD and that included pick up and drop off, snorkel equipment, lunch on the boat, and time at five snorkeling sites. At one of the sites we swam with sharks! Okay, okay, they were only three feet long, but still pretty awesome. And I can now check that off of the bucket list.
At the last site, I lost one of my earrings. The pair that I was wearing holds a lot of sentimental value to me as they were a college graduation gift from my best college friend’s parents. Upon hearing this, a (really handsome) German guy that I met earlier put on his snorkel and was able to find it!!! I couldn’t believe it. I was so, so happy. While searching for my earring, I met a group of people from Colorado and made plans to meet up with them at the beach bars later that night.
We pregamed with a $3 bottle of vodka called “Black Cock”. Yeah. The price and the name should clue you in to how it tasted. We partied at Lotus Bar on Sairee Beach and danced in the Gulf.
When I attempted to go home, I realized that my flip flops had been stolen. And also realized that I didn’t have enough baht to take a cab back. I walked more inland where I decided to try my luck at finding a ride home at a bar. I figured I had enough cash to ask a local to drive me back on their motorcycle. Apparently the locals were just getting their party started because they informed me that no one would be able to take me for a few more hours. Luckily, a kind older British man took pity on the broke, barefoot American girl wandering aimlessly and offered to pay for my taxi home. Phew. I definitely experienced the kindness of strangers in Koh Tao.
Where to stay in Koh Tao:
Any hostel close to Sairee Beach. I met several people who were staying at Spicy Tao and recommended it. If you are getting PADI certified, the company you are getting your certification through will usually provide accommodation.
Where is the best place you have snorkeled/dived?