From Bangkok, Koh Tao is a 15 hour journey away. Harmony and I were travelling with a company called Lomprayah, who's office was right next to where we stayed (Green House on Rambuttri Road). We got our tickets at 8pm for the 9pm bus and were told to go to the departure point. Then, there was a long wait as the bus was half an hour late. When it finally turned up, we found our seat, sat down and soon realised how uncomfortable the journey was going to be. After travelling on a VIP bus to Chiang Mai, nothing was going to compare to it or even come close. There were no usb charging ports, entertainment systems or large, leather chairs on this bus. On the other hand, we were just happy that there was a toilet on board.
It was an eight hour journey to Chumphon, with freezing air conditioning and a thin blanket. Surprisingly, I would've slept right through the night if it weren't for the rest stop along the way. It actually flew by! At 5am, the bus pulled up at the pier and thus begun our two hour wait for the ferry. Luckily, there was a restaurant that did good coffee and a delicious breakfast. Those couple of hours flew by to, and then it was time to get in the long queue and make our way down the long pier. The three floored, high speed catamaran was very impressive. Most people slept through the boat ride to Koh Tao, but Harmony and I got talking to a South African couple about scuba diving - there was going to be a lot of that to come!
When we arrived on the island, it surprised us by how big it is. Most of it is covered in a flourishing jungle, whilst a built up community functions at the water's edge. The island honestly looked fake - a collection of big boulders topped with trees, and surrounded by beautiful, blue water. Sure there was a bit of rubbish by the roadsides, but that's Asia for you. It was still a divers paradise, with the many boats and beaches. It was also hard to believe that we were staying somewhere so nice - Ban's Diving Resort. My parents put us up there and treated us to a bit of luxury, as they were staying there to for Christmas, my birthday and New Year's Eve!
The weather was perfect almost all of the time, so we were mostly in and around the swimming pool. However, we also made sure to explore the area a little. On our first evening, after watching the most amazing sunset from our balcony, we followe