65 Million years ago meteor came and hit the earth, fabled to have wiped out all dinosaurs in the world, creating the crecent shape of the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico
This meteor created fissures in the crust of the earth which over time became “Cenotes” or “Blue Holes”. These are basically holes in the middle of the forest or land that go down to a particular depth and then split into a wide multi-kilometer cave system that ends up into the ocean. These huge pits of water contain the geological history of earth almost 65 Million years old by way of Stalactities and fossil remains!!
In 2014, we took a unique group of certified SCUBA Divers from all age group (12-60) to dive these amazing cenotes and one of the most memorable parts was the airdome in Cenote Chacmool. Once you enter the Cenote from the surface, after a short swim of 20 minutes, you come up into an underwater fresh-air dome where you could see the roots of the forest above! It truly was a magical sight
Ko Tao attracts people from all over the world, and needless to say, it also serves food from all over. Be it curries, pizzas or stakes, Ko Tao will not disappoint! However, as a traveller, I always prefer to eat the local food of a place. In Thailand, this means experiencing with a wide range of curries and Phad Thai noodles. I started off with a veggie green curry with rice. Green curry is an evergreen favourite dish, and therefore it had to be the food I tried in Ko Tao! This was followed by a Jungle Curry for dinner and a Massaman the next day.
Thailand has curries to suite every palate and every pocket; you just have to find the one that for you!
During my week long stay in Ko Tao, I experimented with food at a lot of places. One of the most incredible experiences I had was at Lung Pae Restaurant. This restaurant is on the hill and at a bit of a distance from Sairee beach. To make up for this, they provide you a
complimentary pickup and drop off! But wait up, they didn’t randomly choose a location on the hill and so far away from the tourists. Each dining table in this restaurant has an incredible view of Ko Tao, its harbour and the ocean. Breathtaking is an understatement for the view from this restaurant. The restaurant serves some very fine meat dishes and seafood, and is very accommodating of the dietary requirements of vegetarians! This experience is not one to be missed!
Raiding the streets of Ko Tao for some local street food is an absolute must! If you’re a fresh fruit fan, the streets of Thailand are your Disneyland…and Ko Tao is not different! Fruit, noodles, curried and crepes…they sell it all! A far cry from their American counterpart, Thai crepes are very different. Prepared on almost all street corners, Banana and nutella crepes or ones with mango and cream make the perfect after party snack! Not so light on the stomach, but very light on the pocket. If you’re travelling in Thailand, you will most certainly encounter these ever so famous crepes at some point.
After a couple of DSDs in Turkey and Bali, I did my Open Water certification in Havelock in the Andaman Islands. For my Advanced Open Water Certification, I choose to go to Ko Tao..from the sleepy shores of Havelock to the all night parties of Ko Tao…my love for Diving has only grown deeper…quite literally!
Bustling with divers, old and new, Ko tao is full of dive schools. I picked one located by the beach and choose to live in one of the huts they provide. We were a group of six students and my instructor was a very interesting Swiss Lady who has been teaching diving for 2 years. She liked to make the dives exciting and we ended up doing things like drinking coke cola at 30m depth and playing a sort of catch with egg yolks! (Don’t worry if you’re veggie…it was an optional activity!).
`One of the highlights of my course was the underwater photography dive. Suddenly I felt like I was so much better at Diving. This was the first time I was not only experiencing the magic of a dive but also documenting it in the form of photographs! While I have many many skills yet to learn, I can say that the journey has surely begun!
If diving in the Andamans is about the dungis and the peaceful, Ko Tao gave me the experience of diving off big 60 seater boats and after-dive beach parties that last all night long! Most travellers diving in Ko Tao are learners and thus the environment is very friendly and condusive to learning, you meet people from all over the world and can bond over something as unifying as diving!