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black-tipped reef sharks

20

Jul
2014

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In Activities
Thailand
Travel

By kanannie

Swimming Outside of My Comfort Zone

On 20, Jul 2014 | No Comments | In Activities, Thailand, Travel | By kanannie

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A fish getting a nice cleaning from a cleaner wrasse.

One of the biggest challenges I set for myself for this trip was to really step outside of my comfort zone and to venture out a little bit. I think I’ve been doing a lot of that — especially in SEA — but I never thought it would involve sharks.

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Morning on Sairee.

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Our bungalow, which looks better than it actually is.

A day after we moved into our beachside bungalow, we met Kamille and Angela, a Danish couple next door to us. I was feeling antisocial as usual but in friendly neighbor fashion, N chatted them up and invited them to have dinner with us. My reservations faded away as we clicked immediately, and we spent the next few days commiserating about the shitty management of the bungalows we were staying in, and who was still able to talk the family running the place to please give us a roll of toilet paper or to please swap out our pillows because their mildewy smell was overwhelming. We told them about magical Tanote Bay, which our friends Ina and Daniel had introduced us to. When the girls finally got fed up with the insufferable owners and moved to friendlier lodging in Tanote Bay, we were surprised to miss these near strangers and decided to head over to hang out with them for the day.

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Tanote Bay as seen from Angela and Kamille’s cliffside bungalow.

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Beautiful flowers lining the pathways in the Family Tanote Resort.

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A parrotfish flapping his fins.

That afternoon of reacquainting ourselves with the beauty of Tanote sealed the deal. We moved the next day and spent the next week hanging out with them in the quieter side of Koh Tao which was more our style anyway. The staff at Tanote Family Resort were still apathetic Burmese (I don’t think there was one Thai person on the island) who didn’t know how to smile, which is weird to me because you’d think that getting out of a poor, highly corrupt country like Burma to end up on a beautiful Thai island would bring them joy but maybe they show their happiness differently.

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A shy butterflyfish hanging out in the deeper waters.

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Tanote Bay during the day. Quiet, just how I like it.

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The rock where people jump off.

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An iridescent clam.

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A pink anemonefish.

Snorkeling was amazing even on the drizzly days, and we stuffed ourselves with mangosteens and longsats (affectionately called “potatoes” by the girls) on the beach. Tanote was perfect for us because the snorkeling was great in both the shallow and deeper parts of the bay. We climbed onto the rock jutting out from the middle of the bay and watched people courageously jumping from it into the water below.

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