Seven years ago, we came to Koh Phangan and decided to become certified divers. On our third open water dive at famous sail rock (some say it is the best diving site in the gulf of Thailand) we saw the biggest fish on earth: Some of you might remember my e-mail titled “We saw the whaleshark!”. After this rare sight, our diving instructor only saw three of them in more than 2000 dives, we could have stopped our hobby. Aparently we didn’t, since there is much more to see under the surface than big fish.
Seven years later, a short while ago, we came back to Koh Phangan (Thong Nai Pan Yai) to relax on the beach for a couple of days. Since we were on the island, we could not overcome the temptation to go back to sail rock, where our diving career begun. And now guess what happened: We saw a whaleshark, again! One could think they are swimming around like snappers, but they aren’t. Compared to our first sighting seven years ago, there was a big difference: One of our fellow divers had a (mask) camera with him*:
Apart from big fish, unfortunately Thong Nai Pan Yai beach also hosts some small insects: nasty sandflies (some of you might remember that we encountered them before, althought different species). Their stings are really bad and itch for days. Desperately as we were, we searched the internet and did our own experiments to fight those little beasts. In case you are suffering from them as well, we are now experts in anti sandfly strategies.
Overall, we still had a nice stay on Koh Phangan: Relaxing on the beach, swimming in the small bay and at night in bioluminescent algae or plankton, enjoying good thai food, exploring the jungle hills around here where one meter lizards live and planning our further trip. Next destination: Laos. Last but not least: It was a nice epilogue after Myanmar, since we almost felt that we didn’t leave the country at all. Everywere we saw longhis (skirts worn by men) and thanaka (the traditional burmese make-up). Simple explanation: More and more service personnel on the island is actually from this country.
* Thanks, Chris.