We ended up staying at Big Blue in Koh Tao for a couple more days as I was feeling a little sick, so Andrew did a couple more dives while I hung out on the beach. The next day we took another “day off” and rented a kayak to go to another small set of islands which are right by Koh Tao, called Nang Yuan. These are actually 3 small islands which are connected by a sand bar. We rented the Kayak and set off around 12 noon. The rental guy told us it would take approx half an hour to kayak over. No problem! Right? After 10 minutes I wanted to die. My arms were killing me and the sun was blazing down on us. It also didn’t help that there was a lot of boat traffic and they were creating waves for us to paddle across. I honestly thought about giving up and turning around. But we persevered and made it, and it did only take 30 minutes.
Once there, we parked the kayak on one of the sand bars, and we had to pay a $3 park entry fee, as Nang Yuan is considered a national park. We took our gear and went snorkeling. Any diver will tell you the underwater world is amazing. Unfortunately some people believe in order to see these beautiful things you must be a diver, but that’s not the case. We saw a HUGE school of sardines, and we got to swim with them. It was so large the water from shore looked black. This is not something we had experienced while diving. In addition to the school of sardines, we saw a lot of various fish which were not shy and kept swimming up to us. We had an amazing time snorkeling.
After about an hour of snorkeling and then hanging out on the beach, it was time to head back. I was not looking forward to that at all. Another 30 grueling minutes of paddling; my arms wanted to fall off.
The next day we moved to AC Resort as they are associated with Phoenix divers, and we got upgraded to a bungalow. That day we completed two dives, and the second dive of the day was the best one we had to date. We saw lot of marine life such as groupers, clown fish, stingrays, but the highlight was definitely the turtle. It was awesome just swimming along with it and I came out of the water extatic. The weather was not doing too well however. We knew this was monsoon season for this part of Thailand but we were hoping to get lucky. Unfortunately we were not so lucky. The following day we woke up to rain and thunder storms. Since it was 6am I was hoping the diving would be called off, but no such luck, it was still on. We were going to a farther dive site than most and the water was pretty choppy. I'm not a big fan of boats and this one particularly felt like it would tip over at any minute. We arrived at the dive site and realized the current was pretty strong, but luckily the further we went down (we went down to 30 meters) the weaker the current became. It was still an exhausting dive however. Very frequently we were fighting the current, and we also weren't too impressed with our dive master. Instead of taking it nice and easy, we constantly had to catch up to him. Another reason I wasn't too impressed was because he let Andrew get so low on air that for our safety stop Andrew needed to share air with him. Andrew had been very clear with him how much air he had left so I was surprised we continued to dive. Anyway, ultimately the dive ended fine. On the way back it was pouring rain, hard. And it got windy and cold. It didn't help I wasn't impressed with the boat. The ride back was approx 30min and I was freezing. When we reached the next dive site however, the rain had stopped and I couldn't wait to get in the water. Once in, the water was sooo warm. After the diving we had fun jumping in the water from the roof of the boat.
Overall the diving has been great on Koh Tao. We saw HUGE groupers, a lot of stingrays, a turtle (that was definitely a highlight), angel fish, clown fish, nemos, large groups of fish, and a whole bunch of other things that I can’t remember.