A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about christmas

Green Christmas in Koh Tao

sunny 29 °C

In the morning, we did our little scavenger hunt. My clues were bit less cryptic than Ryan's so he had to help out with a few and grab the one that really got wedged in the light/keycard socket where I had been looking but couldn't find it. His gift was a set of drawing pencils and a sour candy and mine was a pack of coconut banana rolls, mango candy and popcorn.

Sarah_141224_243255.jpgSarah_141224_243257.jpg

Since it was Christmas, we went to our favourite breakfast spot to treat ourselves to the big breakfast sets. The vegetarian one had beans, hash browns, toast, egg and a very oniony grilled veggie along with tea and orange juice. No room for cinnamon rolls. Ryan had a similar set but with meat in place of beans and veggies.

Sarah_141224_243259.jpgSarah_141224_243260.jpg270_Sarah_141224_243263.jpgSarah_141224_243264.jpg

On our way back, we stopped at the front desk. I was sure they were gearing up to reset the wifi since we were constantly asking about it, but instead we asked them to take our picture by their Christmas tree.

Sarah_141224_243266.jpg

We figured out a beach to visit up near Saiwee beach on the east coast this time. I brought sport sandals just in case we ran into island hills, which we did. The signage was poor for the roads. We passed a Thai boxing arena and Saiwee beach until we did find a sign indicating that we were at the farther beach we hadn't intended to visit, again. This was getting familiar, but we thought ah well, we'd check out Laem Thian beach anyway, known to be quiet.

Sarah_141224_243294.jpg

The hike soon turned challenging as we passed construction on a new resort and more signs to tell us that this road was also dangerous for inexperienced motorcyclists. The uphill trek began and we checked our not so full water bottle. If the resort area was anything like the last one, we could get some overpriced water there. Along the way we passed a man's home, a jogger, flowered trees, and old homes. But most of the trail down followed a waterline, reassuring us that there'd be some kind of development at the end, be it a shop or a hotel.

270_Sarah_141224_243267.jpg270_Sarah_141224_243268.jpgSarah_141224_243271.jpg

The crashing of the ocean's waves grew stronger and the blue water would peek through the trees, leading us onto another hilly path. We came across a tall concrete building with loiterer's debris and smashed windows. Ryan joked we should climb it for a view but I was cautious of squatters.
The other stairs led down to the other section of the shabby resort that we later found out had been abandoned in 2011. Mainly English graffiti and the liquor bottles confirmed this was a party site, not somebody's temporary home. We avoided broken glass from windows and bottles as we walked.

Sarah_141224_243273.jpg270_Sarah_141224_243275.jpgSarah_141224_243280.jpg

We sat on the tiny tip of beach and the cement ledge. The waves crashed in, too strong to swim or stand leisurely up to our knees. We welcomed the break, though we had trouble seeing why this would be ideal resort territory.

Sarah_141224_243282.jpgSarah_141224_243284.jpgSarah_141224_243285.jpg270_Sarah_141224_243287.jpg

Next, we went exploring a bit, up the two flights of stairs to the roof with a nice view. We were at the tip of the island with ocean to our left and right. The wind tunneled through and we couldn't help but think what a nightmare the place would be during a storm. Perhaps an accident or big storm closed down their business. It was always eerie to see things frozen in time, the signs still up and a few beds still around in the busted rooms.

Sarah_141224_243296.jpgSarah_141224_243297.jpg270_Sarah_141224_243300.jpg

We walked back using our limited energy and water. There were some birds and small animals, lots of butterflies too. Parched at the bottom of the hill, we sought out shakes at a nearby restaurant. The ladyboy working took our order: a coconut shake for Ryan and mango for me. They weren't the greatest ones we'd had, but boy did we need them and the fan they turned on for us, operating at top speed. We topped up our water supply nearby and explored Saiwee beach area a bit. Most of the same shops were here like in our area, including Zest, but here was bigger and had far more tourists.

For lunch, we stopped at The Hippo as Ryan had been quoting Along Came Polly since we'd started diving. He had even wanted to get the French instructor so he could get him to say 'Rueben, are you for scuba?', but sadly it never happened. He could be 'happy as the hippo' with his generous portion of pad thai. I had a veggie burger that had my mouth watering since I read about it and enjoyed every bite. We rolled ourselves out of there and back to the familiar Mae Haad area. Our plans to visit a real beach got scrapped by our desire to rest out of the sun.

Sarah_141225_253305.jpgSarah_141225_253303.jpgSarah_141225_253304.jpg

Come supper hour, we still had minimal appetites. We wandered the streets indecisively for a bit before going to see a Thai acoustic band Fah Mai. We could only see half the musicians from our position at the back couch. At the same venue we'd ate at yesterday, they'd expanded the temporary steel walls and were cutting up vinyl table clothes during the show. The group's sound was good, like folk fest meets folklorama vibe. All the lyrics were in Thai. Overall, it had been a Christmas that would be hard to forget.

Sarah_141225_253306.jpg

Posted by Sarah.M 22:21 Archived in Thailand Tagged beach waves music christmas band resort hike thai koh_tao abandoned Comments (0)

Christmas Eve, Koh Tao

During a relaxing morning, we treated ourselves to a full breakfast at our quick favourite cafe Zest. We had cinnamon buns, a spinach omelette and Ryan had another pepper ham sandwich. We've become regulars around there. They even gave us a Christmas gift from the friendly Thai owner, a cute bag of cookies.

PC233147.jpg

Our next mission was to find a beach on the South side of the island with calmer waters. The roads weren't the greatest for walking with steady traffic and no sidewalk. There were hills too, not too bad until we reached closer. A map would have been handy as the signage was pretty minimal. Finally we saw a sign that said Haad Sai Daeng beach. It was further than we intended but there was no use backtracking. We climbed past the palm trees in our poor footwear. Not a good day for flip flops. At the summit, there was a tower with a view of Shark Island. The slope down was quite steep and not recommended for vehicles.

PC243240.jpg PC233154.jpgPC233155.jpg

The beach was a decent trek down and fairly small, overtaken by two resorts. Given the crazy road, the beaches weren't too hopping. Our stomachs begged to be taken care of first so we went to the resort and got pricey Cokes, a fried rice dish and a burger that actually filled Ryan up for once as it came with fries. Looking back it seemed cheap, but when your head is working in local currency it's two to three times the price of a regular meal.

PC243159.jpgPC243162.jpg

Next, we set our sights on finding a place on the beach where the brazen waters wouldn't soak our stuff. I had some fun photographing the waves before the sunscreen set it. We stood in the warm waters as the waves crashed in, watching the small cove, the island, the few brave swimmers and our bags until my legs started to get funny jolts in my nerves, not bites mind you, but we left all the same. Maybe muscle exhaustion from scuba and the hike, hopefully not jellyfish. We had no problem lazing on the beach after that. It clouded over a bit to offer us some relief.

PC243167.jpgPC243169.jpgPC243208.jpg

Before we left, we wandered to the opposite side of the small beach to find the other resort. The hike up wasn't as bad as we thought it would be and we got to enjoy the coconut trees.

PC243233.jpgPC243235.jpgPC243238.jpg 270_Sarah_141224_243250.jpg

For supper, after our hour plus walk, we tried to go to the kebab place which was closed and instead went to Bro and Sis to watch some live music by a foreign man named Simon. He covered Johnny Cash, Passenger, Kings of Leon and had a pretty good voice. The atmosphere was neat too with a balcony and pillow seats overlooking the dark ocean and an open warehouse concept complete with cement floors and metal walls inside, though that could have been because they were doing renovations nearby to expand. From nearby Sairee beach, we could see all the party lights.

To celebrate Christmas, Ryan and I did a 50 baht ($1.60) gift exchange based on items we could find in 7-11. We'd turn it into a scavenger hunt by writing up clues and hiding the gifts around the hotel room.

Posted by Sarah.M 17:14 Archived in Thailand Tagged beach waves christmas hike koh_tao Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 2 of 2) Page [1]