Koh Tao translates roughly to Turtle Island.
Don’t be fooled though, it’s not because there are sea turtles about, it’s because the island itself resembles a turtle. Snorkeling here is more likely to leave you sea turtle sighting-less. Somehow, we were grouped into the Chinese speaking only tour along with two Swiss-german guys who were recovering from the full moon party. We practiced our smile and nod, since we hadn’t prepped any Mandarin words.
A jump from the front of the boat was the best way into the water.
We had Mango Bay to ourselves for a while because the rest of the boat was hesitant to get in without triple checks on their gear. Tropical fishes dashed in and out of coral and rocks. Anemones, sea urchins, giant clams and several kinds of coral created a gorgeous under-the-sea-scape.
There are sharks and rays here, but we didn’t happen upon any of them. And for the sharks… that’s OK by me!
After enjoying the stellar underwater views we boated over to Koh Nang Yuan. It’s a tiny neighbor island to Koh Tao that offers one beach, one restaurant, and a short (and hot) hike to the top of another tiny neighbor island with great views. We took the hike and walked the perimeter until a storm rolled in and we said goodbye to the tiny islands.