sairee beach in koh tao is everything you could imagine a beach to be. the water is blue, the sand is white, there are palm trees, the entire thing is lined with kitschy little restaurants and bars with low tables with cushions to lean up against. banana smoothies are 50 batt (less than $2), you can get a massage on the beach, you can do yoga, you can take a water taxi. there are resident beach dogs that will just walk up to you and lie down at your feet.
our hotel is right across from emil's dive shop and we're staying in a 'luxury room' with AC, a shower, TV, fridge and wireless for ~35US a night. the walls are deep gray and sea blue stained concrete. it's lovely.
anyway i'm getting ahead of myself. yesterday we spent the day exploring some of the sights of bangkok. we ended up in this open-aired (meaning a cart attached to a motorbike) taxi service that would take you to a few tourist spots and the deal was that you had to go to all of these handmade suit shops and just listen to the pitch. one guy actually talked keith into ordering a custom made dress shirt.
we saw the grand palace which was beautiful and dripping in gold leaf/paint. to be very honest, we didn't read much about it, so i'll let wikipedia tell you if you want to know. we spent a few hours there.. prayed to the jade buddha. no email from the white house yet.
the most exciting part of yesterday was showering in the train station for 10 batt, awesome, and then taking the overnight sleeper train south. we bought top bunk sleeper seats with AC for $30ish each and it was so worth it. i pulled the curtain closed, put in my ipod and slept from 9 until around 3. they gave you a heavy, white towel for a blanket and it had real white sheets and a real pillow. it was amazing.
then todayy we took a boat to the island, ate the best veggie platter of indian food right on the beach with a dog at our feet, and met up with emil, leila, dawn and derek this evening for dinner at an italian place. the spinach ravioli had real spinach leaves inside. it was deeelicious. i just got back from hanging out with leila on the front porch of her bungalow. seriously, is the awesomeness coming across? can you even imagine?
open water certification course part 1 with emil starts tomorrow morning. we're going to do it in our hotel room since it's freezing in here. life is good in thailand.