Island life in Koh Tao

I’m writing this post on my way back to Bangkok at 8:40p at night on 04/8/13 on an overnight bus from Koh Tao.

3 days ago, Jasmine and I headed to Koh Tao from a 8 hour bus ride, 4 hour wait, and 3 hour boat ride.

There is not much organization from these boat or bus companies. Once we had landed, every one was crowding around the luggage area trying to get their pack and make way towards the island. 45 minutes later, we finally got our bag.

Chaotic Boat

Jasmine and I didn’t book any lodging beforehand and was not sure where we wanted to stay. The main tourist area was Sairee Beach. We were planning on staying around Freedom Beach away from it all so we can be alone; however, taxi rides were too expensive and we figured that it might cost us more being away from the main pier.

Pier of Koh Tao

Over breakfast overlooking the ocean, we researched where we can stay for a bungalow with an ocean view. We started to trek with our packs towards Sairee Beach. I’ve never sweated so much in my life! I just wanted to hurry up and get into the ocean but we were trying to find the best bungalow deal.

Paprika Restaurant

After walking in the hot sun for an 1hr, sweating like crazy, and bargaining with the hotels, we decided to go with AC Resort. We had our own wooden 1bdr bungalow with a rainforest view and a 1 min walk to the white sandy beaches. I was worried that it would be too hot for us since we got one with only a fan. If we wanted an A/C, the price would’ve doubled. We figured that we wouldn’t be in the room much and was okay with it.

AC Resort Our Bungalow

The only thing I didn’t like was the fact that our shower was in the bathroom. It was just one small room with everything in it and mosquitos/spiders sharing it with us.

Dropped our bags off and went straight to lunch. We read great reviews at Whitening Restaurant for their amazing Massaman curry. Surely enough, it was the best. The place was near the pier south of Sairee Beach overlooking the ocean. You can choose to sit at a table where you can be barefoot in the sand or shoes off in their lounge area with christmas lights over your head.

First island I’ve been to where they all require that you don’t bring your shoes in. Pretty much go barefoot every where in some areas like the bathroom.

Afterwards, we got a bottle of white wine and sat at the beach and watched the sunset. I seriously don’t know how to walk in the ocean with a bunch of rocks and coral but I ate shit and have 3 huge gashes at the bottom of my foot. We had to go to the pharmacy to get some water proof bandages because I was bleeding pretty bad and I didn’t want it to get infected. It probably looked worst than it really was due to the wine.

Whitening Restaurant Massaman Curry Massaman Curry

Since it was a Sat night, we still wanted to see what the night life on this island had to offer. It’s not as crazy as Bangkok but you can find guys playing with fires, backpackers doing the limbo under fire, or every one just chilling with a beer in the sand. All I know is that how do all of these young back packers travel after high school…

AC Resort Mayra Resort IMG_1619 Pancake with Banana and Nutella and Condense Milk

I realized I should’ve done this 1 year travel in my early 20s. I felt so old compares to the backpackers in South America. I’m not sure why that is but I have come to the conclusion that there are super young backpackers in Asia and people my age (late 20s+) goes to South America.

The next morning, we decided that we wanted to have a chill day at the beach and splurge on dinner. The majority of the boats were already out to the Island of Nang Yuan and we had to settled for a tail boat with the natives. Honestly, even though it was a bit pricier, it was pretty fun going fast along the currents and holding on to dear life.

The journey is suppose to take roughly 20 minutes and since we were not with a “tourist” company, the boat was going as fast as it can. Pretty intense since I thought so many times we were going to flip but we were there safe and sound within 10 minutes. The driver told us he will be back by 5p.

There is not much to do in the island but it was the most beautiful one I’ve ever seen. We had done a small hike to the top and was amazed by the view that was in front of us.

Koh Nang Yuan Koh Nang Yuan

I seriously thought the guy we paid tricked us because we waited for about 30 minutes and finally our driver shows up..but hey, we got a free beer out of it 🙂

Once we were back on the mainland of Koh Tao, we had asked a local what was the best restaurant around town. He had recommended Lung Pae. We had called in advanced to see if we needed reservation and the entire place was booked out. Since it was our last night, we decided to just head there and wait and see if any one cancels.

Lung Pae
We were in luck because the Owner/Chef Pae had greeted us to sit in the lounge and after having a nice conversation with Chef Pae, I asked him if he would do a cooking class for Jasmine and I. To my surprise, he agreed and we had a table over looking the views of Mae Head within a few minutes. He said that this restaurant had opened up 4 years ago and he is finally getting to buy his own bungalow over looking the village 🙂

In his kitchen, he taught us how to make a Garlic and Pepper Prawn Dish. Hopefully, I can test this out once we are back. The local that had recommended us this restaurant had given us 3 dishes that we must try: Fried Snapper, Filet Mignon, and Garlic Bread.

Chef Pae E3 Dish Fliet Mignon Garlic Bread Fried Snapper Jasmin's first tail

I told Jasmine she had to suck the meat out of the fish’s tail because that’s what my mom does. Check out her first time! Ha!

The dishes were not your typical meal you would see in other Thai restaurants that we had been to, but it was good.  I would have to say the Fried Snapper was my favorite because it reminded me of my mom’s cooking back at home. As for the filet mignon and garlic bread, it was decent but not amazing. However, I can see why this place lives up to the many great reviews that this place has. The atmosphere, the view, and the staff are really nice; a place where you can have a nice dinner with a group of friends chatting up on what you did on the island.


I had called to make reservations at Taste of Home the night before but Chef Margo said she doesn’t open on Sundays or during lunch times. After speaking to her for a while, she had asked if I can make it for a private lunch time with her at her home/restaurant.

Chef Margo has been living in her bungalow for 6 years and had her ups and downs within the restaurant business. Before calling it quits and moving back to the states, she had asked her landlord if she would build her a restaurant. To her amazement, she said sure.

Chef Margo Chicken Salad Chocolate Mousse

2 years later, as of today, she has the most positive reviews on Trip Advisor. Jasmine and I love the homey vibe that you get once you arrive. The furniture and Margo’s bungalow behind you, it makes you think you are eating at her home. We didn’t want to eat much before our boat/bus ride back to Bangkok and opted for a chicken salad with her most amazing spicy hot mustard. I rarely eat hot mustard but it was to die for. Chef Margo even gave me the recipe so that I can try for y’all when I get back. In addition, her chocolate mousse topped with homemade Bailey’s was pretty delicious.


I can’t wait to replicate these meals when I get back to the states. I wasn’t able to post this blog until now and I am currently in Chiang Mai. Until next time, eat, explore, and do something for me 🙂


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