First day in Koh Tao

Hey there!

I am writing from Koh Tao island, safe and sound, behind a very long and tiring day. So my plan was to take the flight on 9th August with 08:50 am departure, it was not so full so I thought I would be able to get on easily with cheap standby ticket. When I woke up and checked the load, I got terrified because it got so full and suddenly five more staff got on standby (the previous day it was only two included me) and I was totally unsure I would make it with the cheap ticket. So I cancelled my listing and booked a new ticket with wait-list, more than double price than the previous one but at least it gives you priority over the other standby tickets. I hope you can follow my explanation :D.

So I got to the airport almost 2 hours before the departure and from the crew check in counter they directed me to the the wait-list check in kiosk. They upgraded some customers to first and business class so eventually they managed to get seats for standby staff. I think I could have made it even with the first cheap ticket I booked, but I didn’t want to risk, because I had to catch the bus to the ferry station. I was lucky, I got aisle seat in the very first row of economy, so I was the first one who got served and also I could disembark very quickly. The immigration process took forever, when I fly as a crew I never realize, because we always have a separated, quick line and we only need to show the company ID or sometimes they have a quick look to our passports.

During the flight the boy who was sitting next to me was also a staff (I remember him from the wait list check in counter) and he was sleeping a lot but eventually I managed to ask him if he was from Bangkok and what traffic I could expect. He said it would take like an hour to get to Khao San Road due to the early night traffic. That’s the reason why I got a bit inpatient during the immigration process and baggage claim. When I finished with everything I followed the taxi sign but unfortunately I didn’t get any receipt about the location that I could have handed to the driver. Eventually we ended up without knowing where the bus company office was! I mean I told him where I wanna go and I showed him the address and a screen shot of the location. To be honest as he was a taxi driver from the airport I expected him to know where the big bus station was, I am pretty sure many people going there from the airport. He seemed a little bit confused when I showed him the location but then he said “okay”. It was not okay at all. The boy on the flight was wrong, there was no big traffic, we made to Khao San Road in approximately 30 minutes when this driver got lost. He just wanted to take me out at the begging of this busy party road without taking me to the exact location. After a while, I got nervous. I was supposed to be at the station half an hour before the departure and that time came closer and closer and my driver still didn’t find the right way. He asked several people, tuk tuk drivers and street food vendors, he even made phone call when eventually we made it. It was raining outside, the area was very busy and alive, I could have enjoyed in companionship with my friends, but as I was alone I wanted to stay away of this notorious street of Bangkok. I got my ticket then they directed me to the end of the street where the buses would depart from. It was a kind of square and a lot of people were waiting under the huge open tents. I hardly saw any solo travelers, more couple instead… -_-. I smelly guy even noticed; “It seems you are the only one who is not backpacking” – As I only had one small backpack and my suitcase. Sounded like it was a terminal thing, something which makes me less cool. Well, I was definitely not like most of the bag-packing girls; I didn’t wear baggy trousers and dirty hiking shoes, I didn’t have oily hair and hipster glasses. Okay, I might be unfair a bit, but sometimes it feels like being bag-packer is a new hype, close to being hipster or hippy. At least I had this feeling while I was standing in the rain in the middle of Bangkok, waiting for a bus and an 8 hours long drive. I felt myself so miserable.
We were supposed to depart at 09:00 pm but that was the time when the buses actually arrived. We all got a seat number, mine was 8 and I had my seat next to Julian, a 26 years old freshly graduated music teacher from Austria. We were talking quite lot, he was so curious about being a cabin crew and also about living Dubai. Thanks God the bus was not full, but unfortunately the leg room was not so big and my seat didn’t recline so I couldn’t have a good sleep. The A/C made the temperature quite chilly, but I was wearing jeans and jumper so it was okay. I used the toilet only once, it was an interesting experience, afterwards I didn’t drink a single sip of water as I didn’t want to use it again. To be hones I was very emotional during the drive. I felt myself so lonely and so lost, I couldn’t get my boyfriend out of my mind, I wished I didn’t came to Thailand by myself even if it is only 4 days and no longer. After 4,5 hours we finally had 30-40 break with supermarket, street food and English toilet, it was good to stretch my legs. During the second part of the drive I managed to sleep which is a miracle. We arrived to the seashore at 06:00 am, the sun was not even up. The nature was still beautiful, I loved the palm trees and the long pier, we could also use free wifi which I was craving for a long time ago.

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I had a pineapple pancake (prepared and looked like an omelette) for breakfast, it was pretty good and fresh. The ferry ride took longer than I expected it was almost 2 hours. It took forever to disembark and when I spot my name on a board holding by a Thai boy I said goodbye to Julian. We exchanged contact details but I don’t think we would meet again. I wouldn’t mind but I don’t want to push anything or anyone.

My driver was from the diving school and he took me there only in 5 minutes. I do really like the streets of Koh Tao, full of small restaurants, shops, guest houses and diving schools. Very special environment. I had to take off my shoes before I entered the office (or let me say building) of the diving school where I filled some papers and paid the rest of the tuition fee. I requested a room in the guest house which is exactly next to the school but when I went there with one of the staff, the receptionist girl told us there is no booking under my name. I didn’t start panicking or something, I knew they would easier find me a place somewhere else. The girl disappeared for few minutes then she came back and escorted me to the other side of the road, only few meters away where was a small convince shop with a middle age, smiling lady who gave me a room key. I said goodbye to the girl before I stated I would go back at 4 pm to  start the course. At the side of the building there was a narrow stairs which led me up to the rooms. There was an open balcony and corridor, everything seemed lovely and new. I only pay 700 THB for a night, I have a double bed, flat screen TV, fridge, A/C and bathroom as well. Everything is new and even the wifi is working in the room so it is a total bargain.

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I even got towels, toilet roll, two sealed bottle of water and soap. I didn’t expect these goodies in a Thai guesthouse. I am pretty sure the place where I was originally supposed to stay is not that much equipped. The only bad thing is the company of ants. Not too many, just a few, at least not cockroaches. I took a shower, had some rest and around noon I went out to eat. I previously checked which restaurants they suggest so I checked out one of them, few meters away from my building, called “The Gallery”. It is owned by and expat guy who actually had a photo (mostly underwater) gallery next to the restaurant. The design was nice and traditional, I enjoyed being the only customer. Actually it was more expensive than most of the Thai restaurants, but this is how it usually works with places owned by foreigners. I ordered salad with mango, green bean, pepper and roasted peanuts but the size of the dish made me very disappointed (and left me hungry). I also ordered dessert (cooked banana with sticky coconut souses which was salty as well, very delicious, but again;small portion!)

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I paid and continued my walk but I didn’t go far. I ended up at the beach where I spent some time, taking photos and walking around. I saw a massage salon with reasonable prices so I decided to treat myself with 60 minutes long oil massage. It was so good and relaxing, clean and nice salon, I am pretty sure I will go back for one more massage and probably for a pedicure as well.

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I came back to my room and I started writing this post, then around 3:40 pm I left and went to the diving school. I completed more paperwork then another girl took me to a room where I watched a 1,5 hours long PADI video. I was the only one so it seems I will be the only student in the class. Makes me depressed a bit :’D. The video was a bit too much, obviously I didn’t understand everything and I also have lots of homework to do. They lend me a student book as well, I am gonna study a bit after I finish this post.  I have to be in the diving school 08:00 am tomorrow and I am gonna meet my instructor for the first time. We start with a theory session then I am gonna have some break and from 11:45 am to 15:00 I will do my first diving in shallow water. After watching this video I am not only excited but nervous as well :’D. There are lots of safety instructions a diver needs to follow. I hope I will be able to understand and complete everything.

After I finished the video I took some chicken pad thai street food, which was pretty good, better than I expected. I had to wait like almost 10 minutes until they made it which means it was completely fresh. I’ve got chopsticks, it was so hard to consume my food. I could never learnt how to use them properly, but I swear I tried before. I bought a big bottle of local beer from my landlady, she was kind enough to open the bottle for me. Two things I  have already learned; next time I need cutlery and bottle opener.

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Now I am still in my room, finished my meal and beer and about the finish this post soon. I know I should go out and discover the night life of Koh Tao but I am not a party girl for a very long time. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I really feel depressed and lonely. I still can’t stop missing my boyfriend and thinking about reuniting with him. It is very hard to convince, but I am looking forward to be back in Dubai. This is so ridiculous. I wanted to come here, I paid for this holiday and I still don’t feel much fun (yet). Since I’ve been a cabin crew I am too spoiled if it is about new and exotic destinations. Seems like I can not appreciate what I have, which is very sad and pathetic. Or is it only my disappointment? All I see are couples, couples everywhere, I can’t forget that this is supposed to be a romantic holiday for me as well. I should simply accept that things changed and I should move on but it seems I can’t. I don’t have the urge to go out and try to make friends. Seems like everyone is a part of a group and I am the only solo tourist here. I am so pathetic, I hate it but I can’t change the way I am thinking right now. Maybe travelling alone is not meant for everyone, not meant for me. It could be possible, isn’t it? Or I am just relying on my relationship and I am unable to have fun alone. This is very sad. I really hope tomorrow will bring me more happiness and joy. It ws quite hard so study all the stuff for tomorrow, lots of unfamiliar words and hard to imagine procedures in reality. I hope tomorrow will be a fun day and I will calm down. Unless I am happy to get your advise and supportive comments <3.wp-1470834098741.jpg

Dorottya

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4 thoughts on “First day in Koh Tao

  1. oh I’m sure you just need some time and things will get better!
    It must be very hard to be away without your boyfriend..but try your best to enjoy it. It’ll be worth it!
    Don’t let yourself think that you’re the only one alone, that you’re pathetic and you won’t have fun there..it’s all just in your head. And why not to make friends with a group?! More people more fun 😀
    And the last thing..remember that you’re a cabin crew! You have sooo many things to talk about, you’ve been to many places, I’m sure you have many interesting stories to tell. Almost everyone likes to talk about this lifestyle 😀
    I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you! And good luck with diving school xxx

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  2. I 100% know how you feel. It’s weird being in a new country, especially one where everything is a bit different, from the people to the traffic and the food.
    I promise it will get better! When I did my first solo trip, I spent the first night crying myself to sleep because I missed my boyfriend so much. I kept thinking how much of an idiot I was to travel by myself and do it all on my own. I hadn’t made any friends and I felt incredibly lonely.

    It took a couple of days but it honestly got better. If you’re staying by yourself, you won’t meet anyone.
    It may seem like everyone has come to Thailand together but I promise you that so many people end up meeting each other on their travels and then just kind of stick together. You just need to find these people!

    All I can advise you is to honestly stay in a hostel if you can. (Not in one of those cheap, run down hostels) but a nicer, cleaner one in Thailand. I’m not sure how long you’re in Thailand for, but after your PADI course try and stay at a hostel because that’s how you meet roommates. They have common areas at the Hostel and that’s usually how everyone meets. Or find out where the nearest hostel is, and the popular ‘hang out bar’ that they all go to.

    You’ll find heaps of people travelling by themselves just chilling playing beer pong etc!
    If you’re really against drinking, than don’t drink. But if you’re not, just have a couple of drinks and join in on some drinking activity with people!

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