Travelling Thailand: December video

Hi guys,

I’ll be posting about our past few days in Pai tonight; great places to eat, a few photos of our trips and also about our massive change of plans due to me having food poisoning the past few days!

In the meantime I thought I’d share a video that I’ve made of my December in Thailand. 

Please take the time to click on the pic below and watch if you can, I’d appreciate any feedback as I’m going to make one each month i’m travelling. 

  
Places I travelled in December (in order) were:

Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta, Krabi/Railay, Koh Samui, Koh Panghan, Koh Tao. 

I hope you like it!

LwL x 

Scubadiving in Koh Tao

After 4 days of dives, mask clears, emergency ascents, decompression tables , homework and the risk of being attacked by triggerfish; myself and Liam are finally Open Water qualified!

Minus New Year’s Day off, its been pretty intense. 

On our first full day we crammed in 6 hours of scuba diving skills in a swimming pool, with an intense afternoon session of theory ending with an exam.

en route to the Pier

On the 2nd and 3rd January we completed two amazing yet exhausting dives each day. Our final day was a 6am start. I cannot even remember the last time I got up that early. Ever. In my life. On the plus side we got to see the sunrise over the mountains. 

  
  
  

It was well worth it to see the beauty of the underwater world. Unfortunately you are not allowed underwater cameras while you train which makes sense as learning is your priority, so most of our pictures are preparing on  the boat. 

    
  
 
 

  


 
 

Scuba Selfie
 

We were also given dive logs to record all of our info and all of the fish that we see.
  
If you are ever planning on diving in Koh Tao I would highly recommend Roctopus. It was a smooth course from start to finish. Our instructor Matt had years of experience which made me feel safe. He had so much patience! (I don’t think I could ever be a teacher). Our group also had a Dive Master Trainer on hand called Max, and upbeat, funny character from the Netherlands who was there to help us too. 

Liam & Max

The whole team are cool, fun, a good laugh and great people to develop and learn with. 

We are now qualified up to 18 metres and would definitely recommend an Open Water course to anyone! 

  
I can’t wait to dive in Koh Rong, Bali and wherever else we can on this travelling trip! 

LwL x 

Happy New Year!

Happy new year to all my fellow bloggers. I hope you had a great NYE and partied through until the early hours like us, spending today recovering. 

As you are aware, I welcomed 2016 in 7 hours before the UK with my lovely boyfriend on this paradise island.

We did a bar crawl across Sairee Beach. It was filled with music, fireworks, lanterns and fire shows. Definitely one to remember!

  
  
  
  
  
 
Lighting a lantern for a special friend lost in 2015..
  

  

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy 2016!

How did you spend your new year?

LwL X 

Day Trip: Nang Yuan Island 

A couple of days ago we decided to take a taxi boat over to Nang Yuan Island as its a mere 10 minute ride away from Koh Tao. I would definitely recommend a day trip here! 

  
Koh Nang Yuan is actually made up of three little areas of land connected by sandbanks. Its absolutely stunning; a picture perfect paradise where post-card dreams are made. I have the photos to prove it!

  
  
Have you ever seen clearer waters?!

  
We headed straight to the viewpoint from the pier.. Lots of steps and lots of giant mosquitos were awaiting us, but we made it! (Well almost to the top, the rocks to get to the top were too dangerous and had all blood over them,no thanks!)

We made it high enough to see all 3 islands connecting: 

  
  
  
Then we went to relax and swim..

 
  
  
To preserve the island you aren’t allowed to bring in plastic bottles and you have to pay 100 baht on entry but it’s definitely worth it, even if just to get a photo like this..

  
LwL x 
 

Koh Tao: Chillin’ on Sairee Beach 

(I’ve added some more photos from my xp camera)

So we’ve just had our introduction to our open water course.It turns out that our course is SSI and not PADI. The only difference is the agency but it’s the same qualification so it’s ok. 

This evening consisted of lots of video watching on risk awareness, important but not the most exciting information, a bit scary actually but hey, safety first! 

Early start tomorrow – training starts at 7am!

In the meantime I thought I would post some pics of our last couple of chilled days in Koh Tao: Sairee Beach 

 
    

 
  
 There are lots of swings along the beach, this makes me very happy!  
   

 
   

  

  

  I’ll be posting about today’s trip to Nang Yuan Island soon 😊

LwL X 

Diving in Koh Tao: which school to choose? 

Koh Tao, the Divers paradise. As many like minded backpackers before me I have came to this island as a traveller to do one specific thing, my Open Water PADI course.
Did you know that this place, famously known as ‘Turtle Island’ is second in the world when it comes to the number of annual certifications per year? For an island that spans over only 8 square miles that’s pretty impressive! 

  
There are over 50 dive schools here which means choosing the right place for you can be quite daunting, so I’ve decided to break it down a bit. 
After days of researching, asking around and weighing up pros and cons we finally came to a decision. Please note that I have only booked our course today, and we start tomorrow afternoon so feedback on the course itself will follow. 
Sairee beach is where it’s at in Koh Tao for nightlife and restaurants. It’s quieter in most parts of the island with some bays in the south west being non existent to nightlife. So if you’re coming to Koh Tao just to do your OW or SSI course, or just want to stay somewhere that’s a bit lively, I’d highly recommend finding a place along Sairee beach, most of the best dive schools are at the North end.   

After trip advisor, nomadic Matt and lonely planet, I decided on a top three that we wanted to go and have a chat with: 

Scuba Junction (great reviews on lots of blogs)

Simple Life – professional and organised looking school

Roctopus (no. 2 trip advisor)
Frequently mentioned also includes DJL, blue ban, crystal dive and Impian Divers But o believe these are all big dive groups. This means that the schools take up to 16 people to teach at a time. As a completely inexperienced diver who is not 100% confident, I feel much safer learning in a small group where more attention is focused on each individual, hence why I chose to look at three that do the courses in groups of 4.
So here’s my personal low down:

  

Simple life

A friendly woman welcomed us in and showed us a clear itinerary of the 3.5 day course. She explained it well. Unfortunately there was a bit of pressure to book because of the new year and she couldnt promise any accommodation for us because of how busy it is this week being new year and all.

–  8,600 baht includes all material and online manual instead of the dive book (saves backpack space and more Eco friendly)

  Scuba junction

Liam and I were greeted by a friendly young lady who gave us a very fast and brief low down of what the 3 and a half days entails. (yes I’m aware you’ve told 1000 people before me but hey it’s the first time I’m hearing it from you please slow down)

They dive in small groups, your initial training is in the sea and not a swimming pool for practice dives. It was the most expensive at 10,800 baht. Though because ‘it’s Christmas’ it is discounted to 9800. 
Apparently the reason this is more expensive than other schools is because Scuba Junctions OW course includes diving insurance, and a computer watch while your diving to show how deep you’re going. 

There is also accommodation options that SJ can put discounts on for divers. 
I read on Nomadic Matt that Scuba Junction requires a medical check up letter if you have a medical condition. I was pretty sure I wanted to go with this school after reading some good things but was worried about the doctor sign off requirement. This is true but please note; all the diving schools here require a medical note if you have a medical condition not just Scuba Junction. 

Fear not my iller friends, all you have to do is go the a diving consultation clinic and get your blood pressure taken. 

  It cost me 200 baht and I had a note 4 minutes later. Romeo Done. 

Last stop on the map..

  Roctopus

We were greeted by two lovely guys as we walked in, Nick and Dante, one American, one English, both of which shook our hand and introduced themselves, and started chatting away asking about our holiday etc (this had not happened in our previous encounters at the other two schools..I couldn’t even tell you their names.)

Everyone seemed really nice and friendly, it was explained to us why schools dive in different places dependant on weather etc. and there was a clear explanation of the itinerary. Roctopus even have their own hotel as accommodation 5 minutes up the road. It’s only 600 baht for a double room. 

We’ll be staying there as of the 1st Jan, but as we start our course tomorrow, there going to pick us up from our hotel for free until then. How lovely?! 
Better still, the 3 and a half day course was the cheapest at 8,500 baht. 

To be honest after all this, the choice was easy. It’s true what they say, it’s not the school you go with, it’s the instructors you connect with. 
So let’s hope that Roctopus lives up to our expectations! 
Did you do your open water course on Koh Tao? 

Would you recommend it? 
LwL x