Why I've been so MIA + Diving in Koh Tao
These past few weeks in the South of Thailand, living the island life, has not been good for my motivation to blog. Even though I haven't done a whole lot, mostly just drinking and recovering from drinking, the vibes and people I was with put me in an "I don't want to do much" mentality, which is definitely needed while traveling. Now that I've left the south and on my own again, I'll slowly get back into it but I have so much catching up to do, I'm not sure if it will be do-able or if it will have to be a "I'll get to it when I'm back home" type-of-thing. The 3 weeks I spent in the south completely wrecked me. I'm now broken. I'm hoping these few days in Chiang Mai, doing actual touristy things, will help bring me back to life. Anyhow, about that to come...
Diving in Koh Tao
The #1 place to get certified is Koh Tao because it's the cheapest with some of the best dive spots in the world. There are about 70 or so dive shops and it was a pain trying to pick the one I wanted to go with. So the way I picked was getting a recommendation from a guy who was at my hostel in Krabi - Scuba Shack. They were also willing to pick me up from the pier for free and gave me a discount on my Advanced Course. I paid 7,500baht, which was much cheaper than everywhere else that ranged from 7,800 - 8,500baht. I really enjoyed my course! It was 1 instructor to 2 people so I had a pretty personal experience. I did the (1) deep dive, (2) buoyancy, (3) wreck dive, (4) navigation, (5) night dive. I enjoyed them all soooo much! I'm really glad I decided to get my Advanced certification because now I can dive in 90% of all dive sites around the world.
I mentioned in my previous post that one of the reasons I cut my time in Phi Phi short was to head to Koh Tao ASAP in hopes of seeing a whale shark. Guess what... I SAW ONE, TWICE!!! I saw it during my second day in Koh Tao, or my first day diving. If I had stayed in Phi Phi the 4-5 nights I had originally planned, I would've missed it! I've asked people who went a few days after me and no one saw one. You don't understand how ecstatic I am. I can now die happy and content with life. Unfortunately, I didn't bring my gopro that day so I couldn't capture any pictures on my own. However, there was a Polish couple who were there doing fun dives and had an underwater camera. I asked them to send me pictures but I haven't gotten anything yet. I'm worried they lost my contact... I really really really want those photos! It will be forever engrained in my brain but having photos to show everyone would be the cherry on top.
I absolutely loved this! I will probably do my deep dive as a specialty sometime in the future. Just going down that deep, seeing a new set of creatures, and knowing that you are much further removed from the known on land water gives you a whole different feeling and perspective of the whole around you. Also, how cool is it that you can go 30/40 meters underwater?? That's absolutely insane! During our course, we had to do some brain tests at 30m because of narcosis your brain isn't getting as much oxygen as you do on land so it reacts to things slower and differently. We all passed the test but some parts did take us longer than it would've on land, specifically writing our email backwards.
I was really nervous for the night dive because you can't see anything besides where your flashlight is pointed at. Plus it's dark everywhere, you can't tell how close you are to the surface, or if there's a boat there or not. The weather at night also tends to be a lot worse so currents are stronger, making it harder to swim on surface. You are also not as comfortable at night and you have to be extra careful about your air if you are a bit nervous. Anyway, all of these factors and more turned into a bit of nervousness. However, it wasn't as bad as I had thought. Maybe I just set this low expectation for it so anything would have been better. I actually enjoyed it a lot. We saw different animals and creatures at night versus during the day. We saw a giant green turtle come out to play! It was the only time I saw a turtle during my entire time in Koh Tao.
I won't talk about the other dives I did to get my certification because they weren't all that exciting. The night and deep dives were definitely my favorite! The next post will be about Koh Tao as an island!