Thailand Roundup

Standing in front of the Namuang waterfall on Koh Samui

Standing in front of the Namuang waterfall on Koh Samui

I spent 74 days in Thailand, which beats my previous record from Bolivia! My budget was all over the place, as food, accommodation, and transport were extremely cheap up north and only ¬†moderately cheap down south, but then I added on loads of scuba diving, some Thai language lessons, a cooking class, and renewing nearly my entire wardrobe. Ultimately I panned out at an average of $35 per day including everything, which still isn’t too bad!

I visited 8 places: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pai, Sukothai, Koh Tao, Koh Samui, Khao Sok, and Ao Nang. I absolutely fell in love with Chiang Mai and would consider going back to live there semi-permanently in the future. It’s a bit of a cliched expat center, but for good reason!

I also enjoyed checking out some cool street art and seeing the beautiful coral reefs of Koh Phi Phi. All in all, it was a wonderful 10 weeks!

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Diving at Shark Point and Anemone Reef

The beautiful blue soft corals at Anemone Reef

The beautiful blue soft corals at Anemone Reef

My final day of diving out of Ao Nang I did the “Superday”, which is 3 dive sites in one day: King Cruiser Wreck, Shark Point, and Anemone Reef. Unfortunately I couldn’t bring my camera to the wreck because we went past my camera’s limit of 18 meters, but I did get some good shots at Shark Point and Anemone Reef. The current at the latter site was pretty intense and it was the most challenging dive I’ve done so far!

There were loads of lionfish at the sites as well as more moray eels than I could count. I saw a few barracudas and some pretty big triggerfish. I fell in love with a couple of cube boxfish, which are probably the cutest fish ever (followed closely by the ever-popular clown anemonefish). Most impressive for me though was the sheer amount of bright corals and the variety of color, especially at Anemone Reef. I didn’t think I’d be able to find such a rich reef in such a heavily touristed area. Now I am determined to get off the beaten scuba track to find more pristine dive sites!

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Diving in Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi Leh

A seal faced pufferfish in Mango Bay

A seal faced pufferfish in Maya Bay

I spent a week in Ao Nang and went on several dive trips with Local Diving. The diving here was much better than in Koh Tao, but a bit pricier.

My camera, which broke when I used it in Koh Tao, suddenly starting working again about two weeks later. Needless to say, I was pretty hesitant to bring it out diving again, but gave it a shot since it’s still under warranty. Luckily, this time it held out! I didn’t, unfortunately, bring my camera on the dives where I saw turtles and sharks, nor could I bring it on the very impressive wreck dive because we went too deep.

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