Koh Tao

By Colton Powell
 
When you find yourself in Thailand, a large majority of your trip seems to take you island-hopping. After Koh Phi Phi we headed to Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand for a couple days of rest and relaxation. We quickly learned that it is very hard to relax while battling food poisoning. Note to all travellers: Don’t eat a sandwich from a bus station.
 
From there it was on to the famed Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan which, needless to say, was quite the adventure. We decided it was time to adopt a slower pace, so we jumped aboard a boat and set sail for the island of Koh Tao.
 

Koh Tao is known to be one of Thailand's best dive sites and is home to clear waters and an abundance of marine life.

 
We spent the first couple days diving, but recent monsoon rains had spoiled the water’s visibility leaving us searching for any life in the murky green depths. After two days of getting up at 5:30 a.m. and battling torrential rains on the dive boat we decided that this was a vacation after all, and some much needed beach time was in order.
 
Colton Powell Koh Tao 3
Koh Tao as seen from the dive boat
 
We grabbed a map and decided to make our way to Sai Nuan Beach, located along the coast about an hour's trek from where we were staying in the main town along Sairee Beach. We found the path and began by heading into thick woods. The path was perched along the edge of the ocean, twisting and turning through a variety of beach bungalow resorts that were only accessible by longtail boat from the main harbour. We walked through groves of palm trees and thick bushes in the hot afternoon sun until we finally reached the beach. 
 
Colton Powell Koh Tao 1
Hiking along the path to get to Sai Nuan Beach
 

To our surprise it was completely empty except for a few stray dogs that greeted us as we made our way onto the sand. Somehow we had managed to find a secluded beach, a place we could truly relax. Hot from the hike we immediately jumped in the water and lounged as the warm ocean surrounded us and the waves lapped at our toes. 

Colton Powell Koh Tao 2
The view from Sai Nuan Beach
 

Reinvigorared we ventured out onto the rocky outcrop at the edge of the small bay and lazed until the sun baked our skin. As the sun began to set we found a swing hanging from one of the tall palm trees. We relived our childhoods and took turns swaying over the beach below as the sun sunk below the horizon. 

Colton Powell Koh Tao 5
Swinging as the sun sets on another beautiful day in Koh Tao
 

A few visitors arrived by boat and disappeared into the bungalows nested in the woods behind the beach. Refreshed, relaxed and definitely sunburned, we made the journey back to our hostel, amazed that we managed to find our own private beach.

Colton Powell Koh Tao 4
A longtail boat arrives with passengers for bungalows hidden in the forest behind the beach

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