Koh Tao: Villa with infinity pool and fun scooter rides

January 24, 2018

After I finished my yoga retreat on Koh Samui, I joined Daniel on Koh Tao, where he was doing his advanced open-water diver certificate.

The Island

Koh Tao is much smaller than Koh Samui, so it doesn’t have Samui’s horrible traffic and crazy numbers of tourists. Diving is by far the biggest activity on the island: there are dozens of dive shops, you find people here who are learning the basics of diving, people who are doing advanced dive courses (such as Daniel), people who are doing just-for-fun dives, people who are doing the dive master training, and people who are studying to become dive instructors – pretty much the whole range of diving-related activities is covered.

A close second most popular activity seems to be getting a tattoo – there are tattoo shops every few meters on the main tourist streets. Which begs the question: Just how many people are getting tattoos here, so that all these shops stay in business?!? Just by looking around, it seems like a lot: people without tattoos such as us are in the minority.

Koh Tao is quite small, so there is not much you can do in terms of sightseeing on land. There are, of course, a few nice beaches, but some of them are private and you have to pay a small entrance fee. Nevertheless, in general I liked Koh Tao a lot more than Koh Samui – it seems more authentic and feels more like a tropical island to me.

Villa with infinity pool

Our stay in Koh Samui in a small villa with its own pool was rather indulgent, so when we left that hotel, I said good-bye to such luxury accommodation for the rest of our trip. Which was ok – in the end, we don’t need a villa with pool everywhere we go. We plan to travel rather modestly for most of this long trip.

At least those were our intentions. The reality turned out to be different. On Koh Tao, we’re again staying in our own villa, with its own infinity pool. Although it contradicts everything I just said about our travel style, we decided to stay here because, after some bargaining with the owner, Daniel managed to get the villa for half the price. Which doesn’t mean it’s really cheap, but it is, nevertheless, a very good deal. Plus, we’re here for Daniel’s birthday, so we’ll celebrate in style – who knows if we’ll ever again spend one of his birthdays on a tropical island, drinking champagne by our private infinity pool?

Anyway, although that was not the original plan, here we are again, in a villa with pool… Never say never, I guess.

Highs and Lows


  • Daniel’s birthday, or at least the half of it that we spent together. Daniel went diving in the morning, and I took myself to a 2-hour yoga session (which was nowhere close to the difficulty of the sessions in the yoga retreat), then did some blogging in a cafe. After he got back (and he came back super happy because he had seen a huge stingray), we bought a champagne bottle and drank it by our little pool in the villa. Then we went down to the beach again, where we met Daniel’s friend, who is a dive instructor here, and his fiancé for drinks at the beach, which we had while watching a beautiful sunset. Then Daniel and I went for dinner together in a restaurant on the beach (literally on the sand, so our chairs kept sinking in a bit, which was quite fun). I’m not sure what it was on that day, but I had the feeling the stars aligned and conspired for Daniel to have an amazing birthday. How else could you explain how everything was just perfect on that day?
  • Spending time on the beach every evening. Most evenings we had dinner at the beach, followed by drinks at the beach. There are so many restaurants and terraces directly at (or on) the beach, you’re really spoilt for choice. Fresh coconut juice, drunk with a straw directly out of the coconut, costs almost nothing. What more can you want?
  • Spending time with new friends here. Lionel, an old friend of Daniel’s from Switzerland, is now a dive instructor here, as is Emma, his fiancé. We spent some time with them on Koh Tao and it was great to go out with another couple again. One of the things I miss most since we left Switzerland is spending time with my friends, and going for drinks and dinner with Lionel and Emma made up for that a bit.
  • Riding our scooter to the villa. Since we’re staying up on a hill and the road there is very steep, we rented a scooter for getting around. While at first I was a bit terrified at the steepness of the road, it quickly became quite fun. Here’s a short video of it – at 2x speed though ;)


  • Everyone is diving here, and that’s a constant reminder of my previous failure to learn how to dive in Australia. Daniel has done 25 dives by now and every time he comes back, he tells me about the amazing marine life that he saw. Lionel and Emma also tried to convince me to give diving another shot. But honestly, I would need to push myself a lot to try again – trying diving again is about the same distance from my comfort zone as New Zealand is from Switzerland: on the other side of the planet and in the other hemisphere. For now, I don’t know if I want to do it.
  • The mosquitoes here! Seriously, what is wrong with these beasts?!? I impregnate my clothes with anti-mosquito spray and I cover my skin in anti-mosquito spray. And still, they bite me through long pants, and they bite me on any bit of skin that is still showing. It can’t be that humanity has not yet invented a way to keep the beasts away…

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