Just a short ferry ride away and we were on Ko Pha Ngan, a small island most known for its parties, namely the full moon party. We on the other hand, were not there to party, we were there to relax, to stop waking up at 7am, stop walking for ten or more kilometres a day and stop being overwhelmed with sights and scenery. It only took a couples hours of relaxing to realize that we are way to adventurous to sit still in a new place. As beautiful, serene and relaxing as our villa was, we couldn’t stay there for long.
We rented a scooter, packed our gear and headed out to drive along the shoreline, take pictures, video and bare witness to all the vegan cafes that expats had opened up. There is a neat little food market at night where everyone seems to gather before the big parties and the variety of food is great. There is everything from Middle Eastern to Italian food, great fresh fruit juices and shakes are everywhere, friendly people and the mix of cultures make for a great time. The next day we were drawn once again to going out and seeing what the island had to offer other than parties and drinking, we found beautiful waterfalls, small lagoons and rope swings that kept us busy and cool as the sun bore down on us.
We enjoyed our two day “rest” and were eager to be on our way to Ko Tao.
With fingers crossed that whale sharks were still in the area we made our way to the dive shop of choice and began asking questions. We were thrilled to hear that they had been spotted all week in every dive spot and were advised to come back tomorrow morning to go to the rarely visited Sail Rock dive spot. As bad as we wanted to get into the water we decided we would wait and do a double dive the next day. While we waited, we got in touch with an underwater cameraman and bonded over our love of videography and photography. We ended up working with him the next day, starting from the early morning until the dive was finished. He documented it all and shared his incredible footage and photos with us. We spent the rest of that day riding around on the scooter and even picked up a little friend.
This hilarious dog is apparently infamous for jumping onto peoples scooters and going wherever the driver takes him. It was hard to sleep, our excitement kept us up most of the night, we were going diving again!!! 6:30am came quickly, we jumped out of bed and both got so excited that we were going to dive with whale sharks!!! We raced to the dive shop to collect our gear, meet our dive master, Lee, and head out for the two hour ride to Sail Rock. We were in the water soon after our briefing and swimming hard to get to the dive point, the water was rough and it took some time and a lot of effort but we would soon learn that it was more than worth it. As we descended under the choppy surface the ocean opened up in front of us, calm and quiet yet alive and bustling with life. We made our way down and close to the coral covered rock. We swam, taking in the sights and fish we had never seen before, in the back of our mind waiting to feel the presence of the whale shark. The minutes passed as we kept swimming, playing and enjoying the colours of the coral and then it happened, I looked to our dive master and saw him holding a “W” on his forehead, at first i was confused, I’d never seen this symbol before, but then it struck me, WHALE SHARK! I swung around and of course saw Rachel already staring in awe at the beast as it drifted effortlessly past us. I lost my breath and my eyes bugged out of my head, time seemed to slow down in that moment, but not slow enough as the moment crept by. He disappeared into the deep blue water, we floated there for a few moments, letting what we just saw sink in, we had just been several feet away from a freaking whale shark!
There was no question about it, we were hooked, we needed to dive more, to see more and feel that sense of exhilaration. As we finished our first dive and came up for lunch we were ecstatic, as we stood at the rails of the boat, we could see the huge shadows floating around just under the surface. Our second dive was no less thrilling as we saw another smaller whale shark and even more beautiful schools of fish, we spent 45 minutes swimming around the rock and even venturing up and through some natural chimneys. It was one of the best experiences of our lives so far and it has only spurred us on to look forward to our next dive, possibly in Japan!!!! The next morning we would head to Bangkok and begin a new adventure through one of the most popular cities in Thailand.
Heres our full video from our time in Thailand!
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