Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Thailand Travels: Day 18, Snorkelling with Nemo

Today 7 of us in the group had signed up for a snorkelling expidition to some nearby islands. It was an early start which none of us were keen on after our partying the night before, but in the end, as always, the effort to get up and out was so worth it!

The first challenge was getting onto the boat. Unlike back home where health and safety rules pound any adventure or fun out of most activities, Thailand is very different. At the pier there were rows and rows of boats taking tourists out snorkelling for the day, and the only way to reach your boat was to jump between boats until you reached the one you'd be sailing on. This wasn't the easiest task as sometimes there were pretty big gaps between the boats, or low ceilings to duck, whilst climbing across with you belongings. Anyway we all made it and the boat set sail.

The first snorkelling stop was to see the baby sharks. I'd never snorkelled before so I was actually a little bit nervous at first. But one thing I've learnt on this trip is if you overthink something you're worried about, you either chicken out, or make yourself too nervous to properly enjoy it. So without hesitatation I jumped off the back of the boat and into the sea to explore the underwater world.

It took a little while to get used to breathing underwater, and because I was wearing a buoyancy aid I couldn't swim right down to the sea bed. Although I didn't see any baby sharks, the snorkelling was successful as I spotted a beautiful yellow and blue tropical fish, like Dori from Finding Nemo!! It was even more exciting because this fish was all alone amongst a swarm of other smaller black fish so it stood out like a diamond amongst gravel.

The next stop was to a much more impressive coral reef, where the water was filled with tropical fish of all shapes, sizes and colours. One moment I was swimming around wondering where the hell all the fish were and the next minute I was jumping out of the water in shock because my whole body was surrounded by beautiful electric blue and yellow fish.

It was good to hear our tour guide reiterate that we should be careful not to touch the coral reef, as like the stalagmites in the cave, they take years to form and once touched they stop growing. Unfortunately I noticed a big group of Asian tourists not abiding by this and actually standing on the coral, which made me fume!!! I tried to explain that you shouldn't stand on the coral but it was hopeless as we didn't understand each other. I just hope their tour guide had a word with them when they returned to their boat! Aside from that I had such an amazing day and it was one the big highlights of the whole trip. I only wish I had flippers on and that I was confident enough swimmer to give up the buoyancy aid. Next time I need a waterproof camera too so I can get underwater snaps or the coral and fishies.

There was chance to do one more snorkle after that and the Aussies, Aldo and Sam, climbed to the top of the boat and did a big jump into the sea, which was pretty impressive! I was happy sunbathing on the top of the boat and eating the fried rice and chicken for lunch which came as part of the expedition package, so that's where I stayed.

The last stop was Naguyan Resort, which is a very small strip of private resort beach, with stunning white sand and turquoise waters. This place costs 100 baht to visit but we didn't need to pay this fee as it was included in the price of the day (850 baht).

As we were docking I thought this is the sort of place you see on postcards and adverts for sandals resorts! We had two hours to explore or sunbath Nangyuan Resort and I started with a very tasty, but expensive (by Thailand prices), fruit shake. I then snapped a few photos and chilled out with Jen and Lydia on the beach. As a comparison somewhere like Bangkok or Chiang Mai will charge you 40 baht for a mixed shake but here it was 120! So you see how see how the luxury resorts cream you a bit more.

It was all over far to quickly and at 4pm it was time to sail back to Ko Tao. The boat ride only took half an hour and from there Diamond Tours picked us up from the pier and took us back to our hotel.

The girls in the group had planned to meet on the beach and 6:15pm to watch sunset, before meeting for dinner. I was a little late as I was making sure I had my tripod and camera kit, but luckily I arrived just at the right time to snap some beautiful sunset shots! I also tried out some of the manual settings on my new Nikon DSRL for the first time and was impressed to see how they improved the shots I took when I followed the guide mode. I still need a bit of practice but it was great not to rely on auto mode!

All in all, a perfect day in paradise!

1 comment:

  1. This place looks lovely. I went snorkeling in Egypt with Fee, Robbie and Rossi. It was the best thing ever as Robbie and I went out every chance that we had that day and it was nice to spend time alone with him and the fish were out of this world.
    It was one of the highlights of my holiday also.