Koh Tao - Testimonials From An LBW Traveller
Dark and slightly wet we set out on a bus for the long haul. 10 hours of what was supposed to be watching movies and sleeping turned into bonding time. About half of us ventured downstairs on the bus for some drinking games. In the last 48 hours I had only slept for 6 hours so I chose to sleep. 2 hours into the road trip I woke up to the laughter and loud noises from below. I figured I had slept enough and wanted in on the fun too. Even though we somewhat remembered everyone’s name by this point we really didn’t know much about each other. We were at a gas station and figured it was our last stop to stick on all the alcohol we were going to need. It’s illegal to be drinking in the bus so we had the curtains up and knew to put the bottles on the ground whenever we passed a checkpoint. As we neared a checkpoint they would flicker our lights and we knew what to do.
I learned all sorts of new Canadian and Thai drinking games. We started to get to know each other with games like Never Have I Ever. I’m not sure if it’s because we are all just open but we were quick to be open with sharing. Whenever we got food and drinks that we never tried we basically passed them around. We were playing What Are The Odds and Maryanne had to put my remaining goldfish in her whiskey and coke. As she chugged her drink someone made a joke. She tried her best not to laugh and ended up shooting a goldfish out of her nose. Priceless moment right there.
Transferring from the bus to the boat we were greeted by about 6 cute little puppies. They were a little dirty but that’s what soap and water are for. It was a quick ferry ride and we were finally in Koh Tao. Our entire group took majority of the rooms at the hotel. It was kind of cool because we ended up making friends and getting to know more about our neighbors. In the morning I would message a couple people to see who was up. Luc and I would usually head to the New Heaven Cafe for breakfast. They have amazing bread for their sandwiches and incredible smoothies. I don’t think we had anything that we didn’t enjoy.
As we settled in our rooms we were all starving and went to the AC Bar. One of the best group meals I have had so far. Their signature AC fried rice is hands down my favorite along with the pork larb. They fry their rice with curry spices that take the dish to new levels of flavor. I highly recommend those two dishes. After we ate there was an opportunity to go diving or even get certified (3rd cheapest places in the world for that!).
A couple of us went to hang out in the ocean to relax. The sand in Thailand is so fine that it melts out of your hand. We started to take clumps and try to see who could catch it. You’re probably reading this thinking there were better things to do in Thailand but you just had to be there. One of the guys found a big floating piece of celery stalk. We widened our circle in the water and started to pass it around. Our streak was 5 until a couple dogs showed up on shore. The little black one stood his ground and growled at the other 2. He proceeded to start swimming in the water. Brenden was laying in the water on his back as the little dog game up and hugged him. The dog didn’t let go. Brenden was petting him for a bit before he moved on to Luc, and then finally cuddled with Luukas. I wish I had a video because that was priceless.
It was finally time for the infamous Koh Tao Pub Crawl. The entire group gathered outside the top floor and drank a bit before the kickoff. Everyone was rocking their pub crawl shirts and ready for the party. We started at a really nice bar Choppers. We were only a street over so we beat the crowd and got a couple tables. With entry we also got a free bucket as well as 2 shots if you followed them on Instagram. I’m not one to slowly sip a drink. Within 5 minutes of being at choppers I slammed my entire bucket. It was now time for some shots. Not everyone was a fan of tequila so I ordered the paddle that holds 6 shots.
Lotus Bar was the second stop on the pub crawl. The entire bar made their way and started to jump on the pool. There was also a slide that went into the pool. Once we got to the pool we got free shots and started another game. We were given a paper and had to find our mate. I got Romeo and the search for Juliet began. I was kind of drunk so I don’t remember what we prize for the first couple was. I walked back and forth around the pool about 7 times. One guys said one of the girls in his group was Juliet and helped lead me to her. We were both awarded with more shots and jumped into the pool. The water felt so great with the warm humid heat. I’m finally somewhat dry and Kit decided to push me in again. He was drunk and fell in himself afterwards.
Time for the ladyboy show. I’ve never been to one so this was my first time. Their performances were full of energy. You could tell that they were not messing around and put in their all. From stage presents to wardrobe they rocked it all. There was a bit in the beginning where they asked for volunteers. I was one and got up on stage. I had no idea it was a dance competition. We all had about 10 seconds each and I was last. I’m a competitive person and with the added liquid courage I was ready. One by one I watched each person go. Luukas from the group was third to dance and killed it. He even took off his shirt and did the helicopter. One girl was twerking her ass off and that’s when I knew I had to go all out to win. I was finally up and could already tell that if I dropped it down low all the way I was going to fall. My balance wasn’t fully 100%. With the crowd to my back I pulled my Magic Mike moves out and twerked my ass off. I knew I needed more so I walked to the right side of the stage. The first person I walked to was a guy and pulled the stops to give the best 10 second lap dance. I didn’t know how long we had and they had to lower the music and cue me that my turn was over.
One by one the MC went down the line of all of us and the crowd was going to veer their favorite. They got to me and the crowd went wild. I received a paper that I had won 3 nights in Koh Tao. That made my night. They picked 2 girls for second place but Luukas should have been one. After the last couple of acts they were asking for volunteers again. I was talking to one girl standing next to me before I was pushed onto the stage. We went to the back and it was a mad dash of ladyboys putting matching colored wigs and grass skirts on us. One of the guys looked like a deer in headlights. He said he didn’t know what to do and I just said to put on a show. We got out there and I worked from left to right give 4 or 5 lap dances. Whatever girl or guy that was near in the first row was targeted. We ended the show with a huge group photo of everyone in the pub crawl. Bright and earlyish (9am) was the perfect time to do a hike after a pub crawl. Only half of us made it out, some still hungover in the blazing sun. After bottles of water and buckets of sweat the view was worth the trek.
The following morning a handful of us went to join a local yoga class. I’ve never been in a class but always a first for everything. I sat next to Natalie who was a pro and obviously did yoga back home. The instructor was explaining that people today are starting to lose the true purpose of yoga. Aside from adjusting and loosening your body, the mental aspect is drifting away. Yoga is a perfect time to center yourself both physically and mentally. Towards the end of the class there was more meditating that overall felt refreshing. We all get caught up in our crazy fast-paced lives, forgetting to pause. Perspective on life has changed as I mentally prepare myself for the road ahead. Tomorrow is never guaranteed for cops. You have to learn to take a step back to be grateful for what you have. Make the best of any situation that you may be in and live day by day. Don’t live life with regrets. I’m not sure if it’s a Canadian thing but the main motto our group goes by is “full send”. Go big or go home.
Yoga helped prepare us for our next activity. We all met up at the Leo Bar and quickly bought buckets yet again. It was time for the beer olympics. We were split into 2 teams and there was a chalkboard to keep score of all the games. From beer pong to stack cup it was a blast. There was a relay race where we had to pop a balloon by basically jumping them until it broke. From there it was a down and back in the water. Your partner had to grab the balloon on the second down and back. First person to pop the scone balloon one. It was a close race but me and abbey nailed it. Pun intended. The final game was the “mystery Thai game”. This game required one person from both teams to be blindfolded. After being spun around 5 times they had to get on the ground to find the first plate with a banana. Little did they know, the bananas were replaced with much bigger ones after the blindfolds were on. After eating the banana they had to make it to the second plate and down a Smirnoff Ice. Third and final plate had a balloon covered in some type of powder. You could only use your face to find the balloon for this one. The first person to get through all that and pop the balloon won. It was definitely the funniest game we played.
By the end of the day we were all exhausted from drinking and being in the sun all day. No matter how tired we all were some of us still managed to get in a couple drinks. 7-Eleven is legit a lifesaver. They have everything you need and for decently cheap prices. We had to stock up for our boat tour around the islands the following day. We boarded on a small narrow boat that transferred us to our actual boat. I joined half of the group and went up on the top deck. Towels were spread throughout the top deck. Some worked on their tans, some took naps, and others did both. It was a nice peaceful boat trip that was much needed. We arrived at a small island Koh Nang Yuan. They have an amazing white sand and clear waters. There was an option to either swim or snorkel. Being that we were going to make a couple stops and snorkel later I chose to stay back with the rest and just take in all the sights. Up a 15 minute hike was the top of the island. The views were breathtaking and definitely going to be my next cover photo.
As we reached our first stopping point it was time for lunch. We had pre packed Tupperware meals with rice, stir fried meat with basil, and a boiled egg. It was a bit spicy but tasted like my grandmas cooking growing up. Some of the girls couldn’t handle the spice. From there we started jumping off of top deck into the ocean. The water was cool and refreshing. If you looked below you there were schools of fish swimming by. The second point had the better scenery for snorkeling. I strapped my GoPro to see what pictures and videos I could snag. They say when you are in green water it is best to use a red filter. The red helps get more clear and vibrant colors. Once I get home I’ll mess around with it when I make my mini movie from this trip. The rain began to come down and waters became rough. We had to skip out on the other 2 stops and head back. We started playing music and everyone sang along. The waves were crashing over the front on the boat and flowing in. At one point we were parallel to the wave. From my position I was facing toward the waves and all I saw was a big wave before it rocked the entire boat.
We reached the end of the boat and it was the tricky part. We had to board the long small boat with the chippy waters. The driver of the boat had a metal helmet on. We all looked at each other like are we going to make it back to shore? It seemed sketchy at first but we were finally to shore. Just as we were about to hit shore there was a massive wave that almost tipped us over sideways.
For a final meal together we went to Hippo Burger Bistro. By far the best burgers in Koh Tao. I got their Miss Piggy burger. It’s basically a cheeseburger with an egg and really thick bacon. It was was so big it was served open faced. You have the option of getting regular or Cajun fries. Either option is good but I recommend Cajun style. Best way to end our stay in Koh Tao.
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