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Koh Tao: Turtle Island Musings

There is an infestation in Koh Tao. I don’t know how it can best be treated, or if it is really a problem at all. Koh Tao is crawling with Canadians.

G and I loved Koh Tao for many reasons. First, it’s a darling little island with a really low key attitude. There’s propaganda everywhere urging tourists and residents alike to ‘Save Koh Tao!’ (I.e. conserve water and use organic shampoo). Dive students wash up onto shore three times a day after an exciting day of diving White Rock or an enthralling night dive. A walking street connects the two main beaches and is adorned with beach bars, dive shops and travel agents. There is a man with a pancake stand who I have fallen in love with. I want to put him in my pocket and bring him back to Canada with me so he can share his $1 banana and Nutella pancakes with everyone. We went to a lady boy cabaret and saw a lot of nipples. Like I said, it’s not really nudity if the set belongs to a lady boy, right? But what really made our time in Koh Tao really special was the solid crew we rolled with. G had been diving while I recovered, and during this time he really chummed up to some great guys. After I was feeling a bit more myself, some amazing times and epic shuffling were had. Shout out to Jason for arranging a birthday bun and candle for Greg’s birthday! We were really bummed to be leaving but of course plans had been made and people needed to go their respective ways. Besides, we had to get back to Bangkok for Lady Gaga. So, on our last night we gave it our all and hit the Koh Tao pub crawl. What could have been a hellish travel day (including catamaran morning ferry and 7 hour bus ride to Bangkok) commencing at 8:30 am was actually less painful than anticipated. Winning.

Random Thai observation -I am a non-smoker, well a second-hand smoker I suppose, and I have obviously seen my fair share of cigarette packaging. In Canada the government encourages citizens not to smoke. They insist on placing health related warnings and pictures on the cartons, and they even go so far as to locate cigarettes out of the view of the impressionable in stores. I mean, public health care means tax payers foot the bills for lung cancer related illness. So it shocked me to discover that in a nation that is basically economically stunted, that Thai authorities would have such concern for regulating the tobacco industry. Simply put, cigarette packages sold here are obscene. There are pictures of body parts that I am in no way convinced could have been so ravaged by cigarette related illnesses. These body parts have been taken from colonies of people suffering from gangrene, flesh eating disease, Ebola and nuclear fallout. It is so extreme that it borders on ridiculousness, which (for me) ultimately discredits the warning. However, if there weren’t such grisly pictures on cigarette packaging then the vendors selling cigarette cases would be out of business.

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