The Ramblings Of A Pessimistic Arsenal Fan

Santa Claus Is Coming – Koh Tao

So it’s nearly Christmas and, bizarrely (for I have never spent Christmas abroad) the weather is hot, there are beaches and coconuts and my biggest decision of the day is whether to sit in the sun or the shade to read my book. Tough.

Just to bring you up to speed on our travels, our train from Trang to Chumphon was almost lovely. I say almost because, 5km outside of our destination, the train broke down and we sat, anticipating movement any moment, for 2 hours without having a clue what was going on. Eat your heart out, South West Trains!

We rumbled agonisingly into the hole that is Chumphon around 10pm with just enough time to check into our extremely basic hotel, buy a ferry ticket for the next morning and get a (Parma ham?!) sandwich in the dead and biblically wet town before retiring for the night.

Precious little sleep was had though, due to the constant pounding of the rain outside which continued all night, making it sound like we were under attack. When we rose at 5am for our ferry it was still coming down in a similar fashion and the journey to Koh Tao (3 hours) was quite rough and very, very boring. From a land of just Thais, we are now in Gringoland, the boat passengers being almost completely Westerners.

Koh Tao is touted as the diving capital of the world as it certifies more new divers than anywhere but I don’t think we shall be diving here. The whole island is geared up for it which means all the sites are over-dived and crowded – plus the visibility is not great due to monsoon. No problem, we did some snorkelling today and we actually saw more doing that than we did during our dives in Koh Lipe.

Our hotel is, thankfully, way out of town on the South coast in an isolated bay, virtually on it’s own, which is how we like it. Our wooden hut is perched on a hillside, amongst the palm trees with a sea view – not bad for £56 a night! It is a really beautiful resort and the staff are all really friendly but they’re obviously quite a new business and they haven’t quite got it right yet.

No Internet (hence the lack of posts), the TV doesn’t actually pick up any channels (not a big deal), no hammocks on the veranda (a cardinal sin, I believe) and some monumental taxi cock ups which have resulted in some mild annoyances. None of these things are terrible in themselves but it all contributes to us feeling that this place WILL be a luxury resort one day but not quite yet. Still, it’s not bad and as I sit here typing this whilst laying near the bar looking out to sea (with a Christmas album playing – “Let It Snow” is the current track – seems unlikely somehow) I can’t say I’m all that gutted to be missing out on an English Christmas for the first time in my life – apart from Mum’s cooking of course.

I’ve no idea when I’ll be able to actually post this but whenever it is, have a great Christmas everyone and I will be back to document the next leg (Koh Tao – Chumphon – Krabi for 2 nights – Koh Yao for New Year) as soon as I can.

4 Comments
  1. Want to know what you missed here this week – After a day of being audited, it took me 2.5 hours to do the 30 minute journey home after getting ( standing up on ) the
    X68 ( yes thats X for express, 1.5 hr trip to Brixton – 4 miles) after which the driver gracefully let me off to walk the final few miles. – reason – 1 inch of snow. And when I got home we didn’t have the hamock up on the veranda either !
    So a bit of cloudy water does not even get onto my sympathy radar mate
    BTW – if you want to buy extra holiday for next year now you have a taste for it, the window is in Jan and you can get up to additional 20 days

  2. Hi, just to keep you updated on what you are missing. We have had some of the worst weather for a long time.
    I am quite relieved I am not going to have to drive in it for a while. But today driving along beautiful picture postcard views(on the way to pick up the turkey). I had a good belly laugh. The news anouncer said someone in New Zealand had been fined for riding his bicycle without any clothes. BUT his fine was not for riding with his willy waving in the wind, but for riding without a cycle helmet.On that note good bye and Merry Christmas> MUM

  3. simon, annika, greetings!

    i can’t believe you’re staying on the island of Tao! T’ao was the name of my much loved first chow chow, T’ao the chow as we called him!
    Er anyway, am enjoying both your posts immensely, and am also extremely impressed at your skill in creating this magnificent website (simon).oh to be a geek like you.

    i’m sitting at home in deepest hampshire where it has been raining intermittently all day. how you must envy me! i have eaten far too much and drunk too little, which is most unlike me .. experienced the first major family row of the festive season and am fantasising about a trip to the sales tomorrow, in what seems to be my eternal quest for a curtain pole.

    keep chillaxing you crazy kidz and i shall keep my eyes peeled for the next instalment..

    ciao for now
    lol and xxxx

  4. Dec 28th – Whitley Bay .v. West Allotment Celtic. (Northern League Real FA Cup Xmas Special).

    Match postponed – Frozen pitch.

    FAIL.

    Next Up – January 3rd – Notts County (On form) .v. Forest Green Rovers (Off form and shorn of all their best players through injury and suspension). Thrashing predicted.

    NON-LEAGUE FAIL.

    Message Ends.

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