Turtle Island - where everyone comes to scuba dive, but we came to relax before our week on Koh Phangan (aka party island).

We escaped Bangkok on an overnight train, a transfer bus and a 3 hour boat, before finally arriving in Koh Tao. Here's my 10 reasons as to why the island is my favourite place in the world - so far. 

1. The overnight train.
I'm not quite sure if Koh Tao can take credit for this one, but they say the journey's just as important as the destination. And a train with bunkbeds? I can't be the only person that's amazed by this.
 The beds covered by curtains

2. It's the most beautiful place I have ever seen.
Stepping off the boat was like stepping into an edited Instagram photo. No filter could give justice to the colour of the sea, a turquoisey type of blue that allowed you to see straight to the bottom. White sands, coconut trees, mountains of jungle in the distance...jealous yet? 

You should be

The excitement I had for seeing beds on a train? That's how I felt about drinking out of a coconut. 

4.  Sairee Beach.
The beach was a two minute walk from our hostel and we had an entire area to ourselves. Cue lots of playing of The Beach soundtrack 'All Saints - Pure Shores' and 'Mr Probz - Waves.' We're an original pair.

 It had been raining that morning and the sun was coming out

5. Blue Wind.
A restaurant with a deck that comes out onto the beachfront, where you can laze on the cushions they have instead of chairs. This was our first taste of how good Thai food could be, and the start of an obsession with chocolate shakes. If you ever get the chance to go, get the chocolate shake. Thank me later.

6. Chang.
Urban legend has it that each bottle is a different percentage - somewhere between 6% to 15%, so you never know what you're getting. I don't know where the story came from, or even if it's true, but either way I'm wearing a Chang t-shirt as I write this. Need I say anymore?

7. The shops.
There was a good selection of shops here selling the clothes and accessories that we believed we could get anywhere in Thailand. Our next stop was Haad Rin. All you could buy was neon. Rows and rows of t-shirts saying full moon party. And all were neon.
Off to the shops. The blue flip flops were as a result of mine breaking.

8. The size.
Koh Tao is so small - it's entire population is less than 1400! We loved that this island was less developed than all the others.

THE HOLY GRAIL. Thai Green Curry
10. Good Dreams Hostel.
This was our first experience of how good a hostel can be when you have the right group of people. Our first hostel in Bangkok wasn't very social so it was a relief to find Good Dreams. There were 8 of us in the room from England, New Zealand, America and Denmark, where we made such good friends with one guy that we ended up staying together again in Koh Phangan and Chiang Mai. Meeting strangers and finding out why they were travelling, where they had been (and also playing Chang drinking games with them) turned out to be my favourite thing about backpacking.

 The beds
Fire show at a beach party
I'm not sure if I'm blinding everyone with the flash or my massive head
Backpackers everywhere

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