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Chapter 5: The Voyage to Koh Tao (part 2)

Chapter 4 (6)

Welcome back! If it’s your first time visiting, thanks for clicking on this post. I’ve been sharing my experience with packing up my life and moving to a small island in Thailand. I hope you keep reading!

The last post ended with my one night in Bangkok. I stayed in Mad Monkey Hostel which is about a ten minute walk to the famous Khao San Road. Although I slept like crap the night before, I had to be up in time to check out by noon. Luckily I didn’t have much to pack as I only had less than twelve hours in my dorm. I carried my heavy bags back down two flights of stairs and left them in the luggage room. The reception helped me book my transportation from Bangkok to Koh Tao which included a six hours bus ride to Chumphon and then a two-hour ferry to Mae Haad pier in Koh Tao all for a total of 900 Baht ($36 CAD). A taxi would pick me up in the hostel lobby at 6:00pm.

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I now had six hours to kill before I continued on to the last leg of my journey. I got some breakfast at the hostel restaurant and then decided to relax by the pool. Next thing I knew, it was 2:00pm and I had fallen asleep for almost two hours.

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When I finally felt a bit less groggy, I walked over to Khao San road to buy a SIM card from 7eleven. For those of you that have never visited Thailand, you can find a 7eleven on almost every street corner. They are literally everywhere. Of course because I decided to get a SIM card on one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bangkok, prices were spiked and it cost me ฿500 for only 1.5G of data for 30 days. Usually you can find unlimited data for around the same price. But whatever, it would have to do. I wouldn’t have wifi on the 12 hour trek to the island so I knew I needed some form of entertainment available.

When I got back to the hostel there were a few people sitting in the common area so I figured I’d hang out there and continue to work on a blog. Everyone began ordering beers so I figured I’d join in and next thing I knew we were a group of around six people, all from different parts of the world sharing travel stories and plans along with tips and tricks. One girl was also working on a blog and we shared some of the things we learned by building our own websites.

In the blink of an eye, the taxi was parked outside and I was ready to go. As this wasn’t my first rodeo, I knew to prepare for the extreme air conditioning in both the bus and the ferry. I sported my favourite pair of yoga pants, a hoodie, and a sarong (to use as a wind shield). I managed to find a comfy position relatively quickly and I was out. I only woke up a few times and when I did, I used the time to message people from home and keep them in the loop. I was looking forward to the one stop the bus makes on the way to Chumphon for soup. Street food is the way to go in Thailand. While it certainly wouldn’t pass any health standards in Montreal, it’s cheap, and it’s delicious.

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A few hours later and the bus dropped us off at the ferry dock. It was 2:00am and the ferry only left at 7:00am. All of us that got off the bus were confused but we made the best of it. Stranded in the middle of nowhere with nothing but some benches and stray dogs, we each found a corner and made ourselves comfortable. At around 5:30am, a guy sitting near me made a loud noise that woke me up. After he apologized, we got to talking and found out that he was also from Montreal! “Which part” I asked, and at the same time we both go “West Island??”. It was crazy. His parents actually live a few streets behind me. He and his friend were two years younger than me but I opened up my Facebook and found we had a few mutual friends. What are the chances? Here we are, in the middle of Thailand at 5:30am with just a handful of other people, and I find a neighbour. The world really is so small.

Once we finally boarded the ferry, I felt nothing but excitement. I was so close. Just another 2 hours, and I would be home. I sat at the front of the boat, feeling the wind run through my hair and I closed my eyes. I wanted to remember this moment. I made it a goal last year to get to this place, but part of me never thought it would happen. And here I was.

Back at home, my friends from Thailand referred me to a few Facebook pages that were essential for expats on Koh Tao. I had been in contact with a few different people for a motorbike and wanted to lock one down as soon as possible. It was great having data on my phone because within ten minutes of being on land, I had the key to my very own bike in my hands. Only one problem… I had never driven one before. The couple I bought the bike off of were very sweet and gave me a quick five-minute lesson. I felt confident but you bet your ass I was driving slow. Everyone was passing me but I was in no rush. The only think I was desperate for was a shower.

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My first stop was Summer Guesthouse and Hostel. I had been in contact with them back home for potential work. Although they didn’t end up needing me, I decided to stay there anyway. I had already been speaking with some people and I figured I would make some potential long-term island friends. Sure enough, as I pulled up to the hostel, a girl sitting with a group of people in bean bags shouted “Kris!!”. I felt so much relief. My little plan worked. I checked in, took the most amazing shower, and spent the rest of the day hanging out with my new friends Allie and Steve around Summer. I had finally made it.

 

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Next update coming soon! I’m sorry it took so long for me to post this. I have actually been crazy busy. Going to make an effort to post more frequently and take the time to give y’all updates.