Mike visited:

» Thailand
» Myanmar (Burma)
» Laos
» Cambodia
» Vietnam
» India
» Nepal
» Egypt
» Jordan
» Uganda
» Tanzania
» Malawi
» Mozambique
» Swaziland
» South Africa

View a map of his route.

 press/awards earned a few nice mentions in the press, including's vote as best travel blog on the Web. Read about it on the Press/Awards page.

Time Out in Koh Tao, Thailand

Although the waves had calmed considerably as the ferry neared Koh Tao, the Italian beside me continued to barf into a clear plastic bag. It had been a rough journey from mainland Thailand to this island, but, from the looks of things, it was worth it.

Turtle Island

Green, mountainous, and lush with palm trees and pineapples, Koh Tao (literally "Turtle Island") is a small island in the Gulf of Thailand. Only recently inhabited, the island now sees around 100,000 visitors each year because of its popularity with divers. The island still feels small and natural, though, with dirt roads, deserted beaches, and handsome wooden bungalows with unreliable generator-supplied power.

Mad for Nitrogen Narcosis

Like most people, I came to Koh Tao for the diving. Dive shops seem to outnumber people here. During the days the island feels empty; everyone is out on dive boats.

Long Tails

The best way to get around the island is on a traditional long tail boat. These slender ships are powered by what look like motorcycle engines. The engines are attached to one end of a 10 foot steel shaft, the propeller's at the other end. Drivers manipulate the whole engine rig to navigate out of the shallows and through narrow inlets.

Topless on Nangyuan

Neigboring Koh Tao is a little island called Nangyuan that has a unique triple-connecting beach. It's the only place in the world where three sandbars meet. Or something. There are a handful of posh bunglalows on the beach that, from the looks of things when I was there, cater exclusively to topless Europeans.

Such Sweet Sorrow

I leave Koh Tao this evening on a nine-hour overnight ferry. I'm sitting in a hammock as I write this and, from here, the sea looks calm. But you never know. I've packed a few plastic bags for the journey, just in case.

Posted on October 15, 2002 05:58 AM


Comments (post your own below)

No muff too tough, we dive at five.

Posted by: Craig Lycke on October 15, 2002 08:00 AM

Oh to be in a hammock right now.
I am so very envious.
Sounds amazing Mike.
my advice - sleep in your life jacket on that ferry. know where all the exits are and don't take any sleeping pills. Stay alert and ready for action. he he he...i'm totally serious.
:) loads of hugs - sara

Posted by: Sara Matheu on October 15, 2002 10:19 AM

Hey Cuz-
The adventure sounds wonderful so far! How was the diving there? I'd love to hear more about the underwater sightings. Great work here on the website! It's such fun to follow your travels even if I'm just a tad jealous...Take care, Whitney

Posted by: Whitney Waara on October 15, 2002 11:24 AM

Hey Mike,
That looks incredible. Wish I was there with you. Did a similar trip myself a couple of years ago. Started by going to Europe for five weeks with a backpack. When I returned stateside, I left from my home state of New Jersey and continued north to Novia
Scotia. I pretty much did a figure 8 of the country for a year. Reaching as far as Novia Scotia, to Hawaii, to Oregon, to Key West. I'm currently working on a book about that year. Kept lots of journals and took about 53 rolls of film. I'm about 105 pages into my book, comprised on laptop, single space. Amazing story about the flight to Bankok. If you're near Amsterdam next month I'll be there from 11/21-11/25.

Posted by: Paul Goodman on October 15, 2002 04:07 PM

I've just now realized how pathetic my life is!!!

Posted by: Scott Ahrens on October 15, 2002 09:37 PM

What a beautiful photo of the boats! I am still amazed that I actually know someone who has the guts and the spirit to to this -- I'm so proud of you! And I can't wait to see a photo of you in one of your vagabonding t-shirts ... hint, hint : )

Posted by: Jen Mayer on October 15, 2002 10:19 PM

Mike! Good to hear your having fun. Did you have to bring your own water and sleeping bag on the overnight ferry? Ireland is rainy (surprise, surprise) -- we'd much rather be there!

Posted by: Cheong Kim on October 16, 2002 02:08 PM

Hey MP -

The adventure sounds fantastic so far! Can't wait to hear what happens next! The site looks great. divine just isn't the same without ya! Be safe!

Posted by: Stephanie Gilbert on October 16, 2002 02:21 PM

brother mike-great to hear you are having the time of your life. it's fantastic that you made this happen mate, and i wish you smooth sailing(both literally and figuratively) for the rest of your trip. hope you have the eggers novel with you, cuz it's quite appropriate to your journey. going to see him read next week, can't wait. take care mike, look forward to hearing more about the elephants, less about the monkeys:)
hasta, erik
ps. website looks fantastic, good job.

Posted by: erik thompson on October 17, 2002 12:44 PM

yeeeehaaaawww! he's doing it!
BIGG UP's to Mike for getting the behemoth off the ground, into the air and outta site! This is great! This whole thing is so exciting, Mike's words, Mike's pictures, Mike's veedeeohs, your words, your smiles. The website really rocks! So does Thailand!

Posted by: ben rainbow on October 17, 2002 05:43 PM

I am so excited to see and hear about your great adventure. I was especially excited to see that you are now a fellow diver. What an incredible rush, isn't it? I am so jealous!! Enjoy every second...safely :)
take care, Karla

Posted by: Karla Hernandez on October 18, 2002 09:28 AM

well, you'll be glad to know we haven't seen the sun in about 2 weeks here in chicago. rain and gray. hey, maybe scott ahrens and i will go scuba diving in the chicago river?!!! yeah that sounds like fun.

have fun mike. try not to get too much sand between your toes.

Posted by: ted billups on October 18, 2002 10:04 AM

Mike - Congrats to you buddy. Sounds like a blast, and it's only just begun. Take care of yourself over there, and keep posting the sweet pics! Travel on...

Posted by: Chris Mayland on October 18, 2002 03:10 PM

a little sunscreen does a brother good!!!!

Posted by: dan on October 20, 2002 12:52 AM

After a Korean employer did a mind #%$& on me, I went to Koh Tao (Big Blue) for a month and then Haad Yao (Bay View Bungalows) for a month. Most of the Thai people there and many of the Farangs were the kindest human beings that I have ever met. That atmosphere allowed me to heal. They were models to try and grow like. If I ever had the chance to move there and teach Biology, Chemistry, Poli. Sci. or even simply diving, I would do it in a heartbeat.

Posted by: David on July 12, 2003 01:14 PM

Comments closed.


home | travelogue | gallery | about


 favorite videos

 favorite photos

 latest travelogue entries

» travelogue archive