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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Trip to Koh Tao

Last weekend I took a trip to Koh Tao with two good friends. I was looking forward to spending the three day weekend there snorkeling and chillin' on the pristine beaches of Koh Tao that I had much heard about. Koh means island in Thai btw - and it lies in Gulf of Thailand. While most of the tourists go to nearby Koh Phan Ngan and Koh Samui to party this island attracts people for mainly diving and snorkeling and has a laid back vibe. But there I was to terrorize the tranquility of Koh Tao(ism).

Below are some of the shots I took with my Sony full frame DSLR with Carl Zeiss Lenses (f1.8, 135mm & f2.0, 20mm) during the trip. Few on the bottom are with iPhone. Click on any for a larger view.

Left coastal city of Chumphon for Koh Tao on a ferry early morning after all night driving from BKK with Mike and Apidee to get there. It was a very cloudy and misty morning - not ideal for good shots - oh well.  The hills on the distance caught my attention - they seemed to appear in different shades of blue - as you can see. And water was so calm and featureless  - (as you can see from almost a white featurelss foreground on the photo above) -  like a salt flat almost. None-the-lee captures the sleepy landscape of early morning that is slowly waking up.

View of Chalok Baan Kao Cove from across the resort we were staying at. These giant rocks on the edge were quite something. Rock cliff on the end looks like a giant Gorilla facing the ocean. Local see it as a Buddha praying btw. Below Gorilla (or Buddha depending on who you ask) there's a pointy rock that looks like a turtle head. Actually "Tao" means turtle in Thai. But not sure if it is named as such because of this rock or not. Two more turtle tid-bits. There is actually a sculpture of a giant Turtle near Mae Haad Beach on the western side. Also - while snorkeling on the other side of these rocks the next day I saw a giant turtle that is native to this area. I was quite startled at first actually to see this huge lump of mass move underneath me . Sorry no picture of that. Don't do wildlife. 

Beautiful view of the "fortress" looking dining area of the aptly named "View Point" resort. This belonged to Mike and Apidee's friend. I have to say though from this place a major assault was launched to put a big dent on the "beer supply" of the island by a mortal few. It was successive for the most part but rumor has it they will recover from the temp shortage soon.

Another picture from "View Point Resort". 

This is close to the northern point in Koh Tao looking back at the pier of Mae Haad Bay.

Another picture of  rocks, waters and the skies of Koh Tao. Picture taken from NangYuan Terrace.

Looking over NangYuna Isalnd from Dusit Buncha Resort that sits on the northern end of koh Tao. This island is famous for divers apparently - which I had no intention of doing. I was happy snorkeling on the surface.

View looking towards west from the View Point Resort. Sun was about to set but didn't get a clear view of it - happens usually in Thailand because there is so much humidity in the air hugging the ground. The bungalow that is seen on the right (belonging to the resort) goes for $400 per night and has its own swimming pool apparently. I didn't stay there. I would be too busy oohin' and aahin' about the view and would miss all the opportunity to take these photos. 

View on my way back to View Point Resort from a town nearby. Turquoise water against the blue sky backdrop caught my attention. This is at Chalok Baan Kao cove. The wet rock on the middle anchors this picture.

Orchid - the "hippy" among flowers. It took this at some resort while waiting for a cup of coffee.

Captured few more shots of flowers around View Point Resort.

When you start with a good lens -  it makes you look like a genius. This was an effortless point & shoot.

What makes this picture remarkable (for me anyway) is that I took it at 10 PM at night - capturing the view of resorts near Freedom Beach across Chalok Baan Kao Cove, which was about a km away from a restaurant I was chillin' at. It was full moon night btw.

Sippin' Mojito sitting on a restaurant and peering down Sairee beach. It was drizzlin' li'l bit - but who cared. I had put in all the snorkeling to my hearts content day earlier at Thian Og Bay already.  iPhone Shot

Same restaurant with Mojito - different view. Shot with iPhone.

Heading back from this lovely restaurant to catch a ferry at the beach. Will meet Mike and Apidee there to leave for BKK.   It has been an amazing stay. iPhone Shot.

I took this picture with my iPhone on my way back to Chumphon from Koh Tao - sky was black and blue with dark clouds and was about to start with a heavy down pour. This is a not a BW photograph - this is exactly what the color of the moment was.  It was pretty dramatic to be in the shades of grey completely - as if you are in a B&W film.


  1. Hey!
    My favorite picture: The full moon night shot that looked like early morning! Wow the place looks like something out of a top-class travel brochure!
    My favorite quote: "When you start with a good lens - it makes you look like a genius. This was effortless point & shoot." And of course the picture was gorgeous.
    I LOVE all of those pictures and the descriptions!! So interesting!

  2. Unbeleive and absolutely beautiful. Glad my friend that you are able to go to these amazing places. No plans for Thailand as of now, but probably in the next 90 days or so. will keep you posted. Thanks for the link to the blog. Pictures are as alive as the places.

  3. hey mama
    These are absolutely gorgeous!!
    And i love your Blog!

  4. Hey AJ,

    Great blog! I have been to Ko Toa and got certified at Buddha View for scuba diving. I highly recommend it. Keep on writing!


  5. Dude,

    You are on a roll...to morph into a professional photographer and a member of the well-traveled guild.

    Thanks for sharing, I liked them all.


  6. It felt like those pics gonna talk........