Koh Tao. I’d been waiting for this very day for so long. Even though I had only decided to go there a couple of days ago. The place somehow resonated with me already. I imagined white beaches and coral reefs when I was sleeping on a simple mattress on the floor in a taxi driver’s apartment whom I’d just met. It’s true that you learn how to read people quickly whilst on the road and it makes you trust without remorse.
I was knackered after a long journey from Cambodia to Thailand first by train and then by bus. It was late at night when I arrived at a bus station just outside of Bangkok from where I was supposed to get on my connecting bus to Surat Thani but because of delays and what not I’d missed the bus and had to wait to the next day. I was tired and hungry. There were no hotels or tourists around, only locals. I tried to ask for a place to stay but they just shook their heads and looked at me with sad eyes. Obviously there were no hotels around for miles. I was in luck though as food was still served and I decided to eat first and then try to figure out what I had to do.
I ordered a padthai. It was delicious. When I suddenly looked up from the plate I noticed a guy sitting opposite to me at the table and when my eyes met his he asked me if I needed a place to stay. I finished chewing and swallowed my food before I answered him that I was indeed looking for a place to stay for the night. He looked at me with his kind reindeer eyes and said that if I wanted to he could take me to his flat where I could stay overnight. He told me that he was working night shift and that he could pick me up in the morning in time for the next bus to Sura Thani. So I did, I’d decided to take him up on his offer in a split second… He locked the door when he’d left me at his place and I was alone in a strangers flat, in a suburb, that I didn’t know the name of, outside of Bangkok… but I trusted him and I fell asleep like a baby.
I was sitting outside on the top deck letting the wind play with my hair. The speedboat to Koh Tao was an adventure in itself. My smile spread wide across my face and my eyes filled with tears from the joy that I felt. I was humbled and grateful to be doing what I could only have dreamt of as a child. I couldn’t believe my luck. The sea was calm and the sun was bright. I loved every moment and especially the fresh air filling my lungs.
A lot happened on Koh Tao, and it’s a place that will forever be in my heart. I got my padi certificate, met my soul mate, attended a bird singing contest, got dengue fever, danced in the ocean lit by bioluminescent plankton, enjoyed a night under the starts on a swing, ate amazing food and fruits, partied til sunrise, and much more.
Koh Tao – may the triple gem bless you!