Summary of That Time We Swam To Koh Nang Yuan:

Just incase you're not keeping up, in the first part of this story (before I even realized there would be more than one part to this story), we snorkeled all the way over to the neighboring island, Koh Nang Yuan. After a couple hours' swim, we stumbled up onto a gorgeous pristine beach, only to realize that there was a restaurant there, and dinner would be really awesome, only we didn't have any money with us, because all we had was snorkel gear. We tried to hire a boat back to get our money but they wanted to rip us off so we ended up making a hasty departure and swimming all the way back to Koh Tao and that was the end of our Koh Nang Yuan experience. 

Until we decided to return...

(Suspenseful music)

It was yet another beautiful day of perfection on Koh Tao with nothing to spoil the fun but a little ear trouble preventing me from diving. So what do you do on an island that has one primary source of fun (which is diving incase you were unaware)? How about finally making that trip back to Koh Nang Yuan! It's a famous picturesque chain of three islands connected by a strip of sand. The two larger of the islands are mostly just hiking and bungalows, while the third and smallest island has a restaurant and a dive resort. It is a little piece of paradise. 

So Fletch and Kyle and Shawna and I hired a guy with a longtail boat to sail us over there for the day and then to bring us back to civilization at 5:00. Upon stepping off of the boat onto the rotting dock that gave slightly with each step, we were greeted by a long line of your typical Asian tourists, wearing long sleeves and large brimmed hats to avoid the sun and expensive cameras around their necks. Not to sound racist or stereotypical or anything, because I'm not, but Asians are a very special group of tourists. For them every step forward is a priceless photo op. No worries that the dock is about to give way under all our weight and it is not wide enough to step around you, go ahead and stop right there to have a photoshoot. That picture you took right as you fell through the dock is going to look great in the photo album.

We finally made our way to the entrance gate. Apparently when we swam in from the ocean we skipped the 100 baht entrance fee. That, and we bypassed the horror of having our fins confiscated. I mean we handed over the amusement park fee, only to have them tell us we were't allowed to have fins on the island and we'd have to leave our hundreds of dollars worth of equipment there at the gate.  That was cause for reconsideration. We stepped aside and had a long debate on weather we were going to stay or not. After much deliberation, we finally handed over our fins as a very hefty security deposit, and went to reposition a couple of water bottles, only to have those promptly confiscated as well. No fins. No plastic.

Defeated and annoyed, we followed the tourist crowd to the restaurant, stating as we were herded like cattle that we needed shots, stat. Some angry park attendant with an abhorrence for fun or humor got right up in Fletch's face and started yelling in a furious rage that there was no alcohol here. Where did we land ourselves? And our longtail taxi wouldn't be back to rescue us until 5:00. We were stranded in Asian tourist hell with no fins and no alcohol.

Luckily we found beer. We sat down in the cafeteria - yeah, the glamorous restaurant we though we'd seen our previous visit was actually just a cafeteria with attendants scraping leftovers into giant buckets everywhere. We sat down at the only empty table in the cafeteria and drank our beers in a confused daze. The people watching was terrifying. All the women were wearing way more clothing then should ever be seen on a beach, and the men not nearly enough. I don't know what was up with their bathing suit choice, but they were all wearing these speedo-fitting spandex shorts that had high cut waists and not nearly enough coverage were there should have been a lot more coverage. I honestly didn't know where to look. These terrible shorts were everywhere. So many people. So disturbingly little clothing.

We decided to kill some time by hiking to the scenic outlook, and so followed the throngs of Korean tourists on another rotted wooden pathway leading around and around the mountain making up one of the three island. It was worse than a line at Disney world. At the top of the path was the scenic outlook where everyone was shooting their pictures before turning around and going back down, and a few more large boulders leading to higher ground. We bouldered our way up to the highest point, finally free of the crowd and sat down to watch the most impressive assortment of photoshoots I've ever seen. These people, actually brought clothing changes with them. And there were numerous couples wearing matching outfits. One couple in particular had their matching white hoodies, matching stylish sneakers (although in different colors) and an assortment of matching hats which they swapped out for different pictures. Another couple decided to hike the mountain in their matching life jackets. I guess they were afraid of tumbling down the mountain all the way into the ocean and drowning (because the fall itself wouldn't do the trick). There's more life jackets in this story. I'll get to them in a second. It was all such a spectacle; the costume changes, the makeup, it felt like being backstage of a musical production, only on top of a mountain. In fact I'm surprised  they didn't all break out in a musical number in perfect English.

We found a shortcut down the mountain. Instead of taking the rotted wooden pathway leading around and around in a gradual incline, there was a stairway leading straight down. Next stop, the beach. I've never seen so many floatation devices in my life, in combination with no one actually in the water. Props to the one lady who was floating on her back in a foot of water wearing a life jacket, because no one else had the guts to do that.

It all worked well to our advantage though that they were like cats around the water, because we realized that that would be our escape. Despite our lack of fins we ran for the water and went for a very long snorkel. We did find some really sweet swim throughs, and a cave that you had to swim underwater to get to, but once you were inside there was air to breathe. It was like one of those sweet scenes out of a movie.

After our snorkel we realized that we still had way to much time to kill before our rescue taxi boat arrived. We sat down for one more beer before finally just going to the pier to beg any boat that was there to take us back. Our boat guy from the morning was there and managed to get us onto another longtail rescuing all the other non-Korean tourists. We made it out alive.