Christmas on Koh Tao

In addition to the spectacular resort where we stayed on Koh Tao (see previous post), our short time there was special for other reasons. We met a fun German couple on our ride in (as mentioned in the last post we bonded over the scary songathew ride) and they ended up being our neighbors on the resort. Lucky for us, we also ended up spending Christmas day with them. Steffi and Marco, we had a great time hanging out with you!

New friends, Steffie and Marco

New friends, Steffie and Marco

Since there wasn’t a beach at our windy clifftop resort, and the water was too high to find the snorkeling spot, Steffi, Marco, John, and I set out to find a beach on another part of the island on Christmas day. We found a beach that was by far the best one we’d seen yet. It was called Freedom Beach, on the southeast side of the island. We hung out for the whole afternoon and just had an amazing day.

Freedom Beach, Ko Tao

Freedom Beach, Ko Tao

Christmas on the beach

Christmas on the beach

Steffi and Marco, beach

Steffi and Marco, beach


Drinking my newly discovered favorite drink; the coconut shake.

Drinking my newly discovered favorite drink; the coconut shake.

We were both able to skype briefly with some of our family on Christmas Eve, so that was really nice, and also left our Christmas day completely open. We hadn’t planned anything at all for Christmas, but we did sort of wonder if we’d regret not doing something to make it feel special, like at least exchanging small gifts with each other. In the end, we didn’t try to make any specific plans for the day, and we didn’t do any gifts, either. I have to say, it was really, really nice to completely avoid the consumer culture and stressfulness of gift-giving on Christmas.

John, contemplating a different kind of Christmas

John, contemplating a different kind of Christmas


And another wild ride in the pick-up truck; heading back from the beach to the resort.

And another wild ride in the pick-up truck; heading back from the beach to the resort.


Given the amazing afternoon we had, we were very happy with our Christmas. If nothing else had happened, we would’ve been totally satisfied with the day. But then, we had dinner back at our resort and moved over to a large table overlooking the cliffs to have some drinks. We had picked up a bottle of Jim Beam in town and decided to offer to share it with folks. One by one, most of the guests at the hotel joined us at our table and we ended having the most fun night on our trip so far. A couple from South Africa, Alistair and Shar, had just gotten engaged the previous night – so in addition to it being Christmas, there was lots to celebrate! Congrats again!
Christmas Christmas night with new friends. What was left of the bourbon is in the plastic water bottle, center of the table.

Christmas night with new friends. What was left of the bourbon is in the plastic water bottle, center of the table.

Laughing with Steffie, Shar and the dogs

Laughing with Steffie, Shar and the dogs

The manager of our resort, Tony, even hung out with all of us and played some Thai music on his guitar.

The manager of our resort, Tony, even hung out with all of us and played some Thai music on his guitar.

We had a great Christmas on Koh Tao and were so happy we ended up stopping there. In full disclosure, I feel I have to at least mention that the boat ride back to the mainland was one of the worst in my life. It was such rough going that John got the first case of motion sickness he’d ever had. And for me, with many years of experience on this front, I got the most sea sick I’ve ever been. Me and about half of the boat, from the sound of it. So, not too fun of a ride, but once it was over I just had to laugh because it was so bad. And we were fine once we got our land legs back. We landed at the port town of Chumpon, where we would stay one night. Next up was making our way north and figuring out where to spend New Years’ Eve.

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