René was French. “Farang”, as any Thai would call it – they generally speak like that about all whites, but initially this word referred specifically to the French colonialists, to the f (a) ranks. We met Rene in Bangkokand we liked it right away. After talking a little, we already understood each other just enough to give each other advice and listen to them. And then he advised: go to Koh Tao. “Ko” in ThaiIsland”, this prefix is added to the name of any Thai island. And about what “Tao” means, we will still go ahead. In the meantime, I’ll try to reproduce what the Frenchman told us: “Ko Tao is very close to Koh Samui, but – not so hackneyed! This is a mecca for divers from all over the world, there is simply mind-blowing diving. But even if you are not very into diving, you will like it, there is one such place, I stayed last year, the Shark Bay area (Shark Bay), it is very nice there! Charmant! His eyes lit up at that moment – obviously from the memory of Ko Tao. Those eyes wanted to believe. And we believed.
Early morning, a warm breeze caresses tired heads, we are met by a driver from a booked hotel. The hotel is called Jamahkiri Spa Resort. He is in the same Shark Baythat the Frenchman was talking about. The hotel is the most expensive and richest on the island. And there are reasons for that! First: the view from the balcony of the villa where we settled. Serene. One that can only be seen in a dream, instantly plunging into dreams: the surrounding rocks, the ocean receding into the distance and a miniature stone island that has grown from the ocean depths.
A basket of exotic fruits that we emptied, half an hour in the jacuzzi, and now, having rented fashionable scooters, we are rushing to explore Koh Tao. It turned out that this is such a small island that it can be completely bypassed in a couple of hours. Moreover, Shark Bay is really the most pleasant and picturesque place here. For example, at the other end of Tao, on the Sairee Beach, beloved by divers, there are too many hotels, and, accordingly, tourists, and there are no special beauties either – just a large sandy beach, and nothing more. But Shark Bay is Power.
Koh Tao is a slow island. It is completely dominated by the spirit of the Turtle. “Tao” in translation from the Thai language will be so – “turtle”. And I think that this is the reason why this island is in the first place among all Thai islands in such a parameter as the number of traffic accidents. Turtle does not tolerate fast driving, be as slow as possible on this island. (This, in fact, is the main and only warning that can be useful to anyone who goes to Koh Tao.) There is even a monument to a turtle: it stands not far from the pier, in the water – large, washed by the waves, and therefore supposedly alive, but actually carved out of stone. On it is written: “Crystal diving on Koh Tao.
We never went diving, but snorkeling has become our favorite thing. In the morning, after breakfast, we took snorkels and masks and explored the underwater worlds not far from a small island, which was visible from our balcony. Colorful coral fish scurried around us in flocks (there are especially a lot of them where an old convertible car rests under water, that is, just opposite the Jamahkiri hotel – the place is marked with a buoy).
Amazing dream world. And as soon as the fish scatter, look around! Their abrupt disappearance means only one thing: somewhere nearby is a shark. And here she is: in a businesslike way, slowly and importantly, looking askance at you with her cat eyes, she swims under you. And it even looks like he’s smiling. The heart involuntarily starts beating from some kind of instinctive fear, but in the next moment you understand: this shark is completely safe for humans – after looking at you with an evaluating look, it understands that you are a person (and whale sharks do not eat people) and quickly retreats to side of their small island (that’s where they live). And soon you again find yourself surrounded by small fish scurrying around, whose curiosity knows no bounds.
Well, in the evenings we lay in sun loungers on our balcony and watched the full moon play with its cold unearthly light with a small island a few meters from us. Shark Bay is a very beautiful place.
Thailand. Ko Tao. Summary.
Where to stay: Jamahkiri Spa Resort http://www.jamahkiri.com/ – rating 4.
Where there is: there.