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Sunday, June 14, 2015

A Taste of Paradise

6th-9th of June, 2015

Mo Ko Ang Thong National Marine Park
Live aboard boat tour

  • Seeing the Southern Cross (Check that one off the bucketlist!)
  • Home cooked Thai food for every meal
  • Kayaking through sea caves with black tip sharks
  • Sleeping under the stars and being rocked to sleep by the boat
  • Swimming to a nearby beach and hiking up to a spectacular view
  • Being away from the hustle and bustle 

There's a national park about 4 hours off the coast of Koh Tao that is a must see if you're ever in the vicinity. We heard about this from our dive instructor but didn't want to just zip around on a speed boat with hoards of other tourists. The best way to explore this 42 island national park is to live on a boat for a few days. This will allow you to see things at a much slower pace and avoid tourist areas during the peak times. We went on a trip with Unseen Tours that lasted for 3 days and two nights. It was an experience we'll never forget; taking kayaks around secluded islands, hiking through jungles, reading and relaxing in a hammock. We made new friends from all over the world, and it seemed effortless to connect with everyone as we all had one thing in common- the passion for adventure.

Entering paradise

As I sit here trying to recount the days on the boat, it seems nearly impossible for me to explain. On the surface our days were very much the same. We spent our free time kayaking around and exploring. We would get up early and watch the sunrise on the roof of the boat with a cup of coffee in hand, play in the water until meals were ready, talk all day or just sit together and enjoy the beauty around us, until the day came to a close and we would watch the sun drop back into the ocean. It doesn't seem like much but there is something special about being around such beauty with the person you care about most.

Thankfully Brandon has become extremely talented with a lense these past few months. I've decided to let his pictures do the talking for this post.

Kayaks in tow

Swim and hike to viewpoint. Our boat towing kayaks in the distance

Saltwater lagoon, in the center of the island

One experience, however was unable to be captured on camera but should be noted. There is a natural phenomenon that occurs in certain parts of the world when conditions are just right called bioluminescent phytoplankton, or glowing plankton. I had heard of this before but never really thought twice about it.

As night fell on our last day we had enjoyed our final sunset on the boat and maybe two or three rum and pineapple drinks. I headed to the bathroom, (I know but it's an important part of the story) went #1 and flushed. Now, a boat toilet is a bit different than your state of the art Western toilet. Once you're done there is a bucket of sea water next to you that you scoop up and pour down to expel the waste (I assume this goes straight into the ocean, but that's not important). This is when the "magic" happened. As I poured the water, the toilet lit up as if pixie dust was swirling around cleaning it. I poured more down, I'm not that drunk am I..? It happened again! Green pixies furiously cleaning away. I was so confused and excited, I ran to Brandon to show him this magical toilet. Who knew "flushing" a toilet could be so great! Once we finally realized what was going on (or asked the captain), we jumped in a kayak and paddled around for nearly an hour watching the microscopic plankton sparkle like stars dancing in the water with every move of the oars. Completely silent, we embraced the moment together. A perfect way to end our excursion. If you're ever in the right place at the right time to see this natural phenomenon consider yourself lucky.  

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