I sit down to right this almost a full month after the day in Koh Tao. The smell of deep heat is filling my nostrils and there is a dull ache in my right thigh – meralgia paresthetica (a trapped nerve) – as a result of the long haul flight back to the UK. It would have been a different story that Monday back in October if I had a sore leg. We were off exploring the island. The south west stretch of the island has a nice trail that leads to some quiet beaches and stunning views. We headed off with plenty of water and some snacks. We had been told about Jansom Bay from a tattoo artists’ wife trying to small talk us in to a tatt the other evening. Waking through several resorts (very odd) we made our way to the infamous bay. With huts nestled behind giant boulders and shrouded in trees, the entire ‘U’-shaped bay was dotted with tiny platforms for a secretive abode experience. The area was beautiful, with a few metres up or down the trail giving unique glimpses of crystal clear water, gently rolling waves, lush green trees and palms and a selection of boulders in various sizes.
We didn’t stay at Jansom Bay. There were signs everywhere saying how we would have to pay to stay at the resort and more again if we wanted to use the beach. Why would you go there and not sit at the beach??? So we continued on, following an assortment of ill-informed signs directing us to the next beach. Not relying on the information, we nevertheless kept plodding up and down, ever onwards, again catching views of the Gulf of Thailand to the south of us and arrived at a small bay – Sai Nuan.
A handful of people, mostly couples, peppered the white sand with various shades of burnt skin. The snorkelling must have been nice as 50% were in and out regularly to explore the shallows. The abundance of jellyfish on other beaches, plus the arming signs of what type of jellies they were, meant I was too scared to venture in. So, I chilled out on the swing, did some puzzles, read some magazines and generally chilled out.
With the heat becoming intense and lunch time approaching we thought we’d continue along the coastline in hope of finding a restaurant not attached to a resort. We struck it rich with the Banana Rock Bar. A little bamboo hut, built on top of the lively granite boulders of the area and a sea breeze and view to boot. Still experimenting with some of the new curries on offer on the island, I think we both got a massaman curry or something similar. I think we said very little, both focusing on the heron fishing and the waves breaking over a single rock only to emerge victorious a few seconds later.
The heat was still a little too much to bear after our late lunch and we headed home. We were lucky, as by the time we got back, the heavens opened and a downpour flooded streets, clouded out the sun and created a heavy sticky feeling with the humidity. We chilled out for the afternoon, packed some bags, had dinner and enjoyed the last evening before leaving the island.
Monday 24th October 2016