Ko Tao

Diving off the island in southern Thailand

“Scuba Divers are always happy” claims the PADI training video. Almost everyone comes to dive on this island, which is known for its particularly clear water. On the main beach, diving clubs, bars and restaurants line up under curved palm trees, a tropical cliché holiday resort. It’s a bit sad to see how tourism is eating up the island: I went to a beach that someone who was here 6 years ago described to me as wonderful: The curved arch bordered on both sides by round granite rocks, a rock rising out of the waves in the focal point, coral and fish in the water…. and the only place to spend the night is in a hammock suspended between palm trees. Meanwhile, on the steep slope, one bungalow stands next to another and plastic rubbish lies around on the beach, also floating in the water. Grrr.

But the water is mostly too shallow for swimming anyway, and I came here to learn scuba diving. In 4 days I completed the open water course, and on the first dive I saw a 1.5 m large (but harmless) leopard shark. Apart from all kinds of fish and corals, the best show was when a triggerfish attacked my diving instructor (they want to defend their territory) and he kicked it and chased it away…

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