The Day I Earned My Thai Tattoo

SE Asia Chronicles – Koh Tao, Thailand
Day 4: Scooters are as dangerous as they say

Venturing the beaches in Koh Tao
Venturing the beaches in Koh Tao.

We got to the island of Koh Tao early this morning, and I’m in love! I would describe it as…ghetto fabulous. It’s half garbage wasteland and half completely freaking adorable. It’s got a touristy, small town, beach vibe. People mainly come to the island for the scuba diving and not much else (foreshadow into what’s next to come). However, we decided to rent up some scooters and check out the island.

Kaitlin and I decided to share a scooter, which would make taking group photos easier since one person wouldn’t have to drive. #logic

Views of Tanote Bay
Not a bad view of Tanote Bay.

We cruised around the island, went to a beach and ended up at a restaurant at the top of a mountain above Tanote Bay. So pretty. It was an unusual little joint. We were the only customers. The owner was the host, the server and the cook (I’m guessing probably the dishwasher too). Her dogs were under our feet at our table, shamelessly shedding long golden hair all over us. And there was a bird that would whistle at passers by, making them look at us in confusion.

Becoming just another scooter bike stereotype…

After lunch, Kaitlin and I decided to switch drivers, so she could take some group pics with the GoPro. Mind you, I am not an expert scooter driver, and I haven’t driven much since I’ve been in Hawaii for the past 10 months with no car. So I reluctantly hopped on the front and gave it a go. We slowly cruised down the dirt road, until Nate stopped at the base of a steep, U-turn, dirt mountain, and we followed suit. At the top was to be a good view.

Parking the scooter, I stared up at the daunting road ahead. I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it up there, but I had to try. I gave it some gas again and tried to turn up the hill. I wasn’t able to turn sharp enough, and sure enough we went skidding sideways into the gravel.

Yay. Not embarrassing at all….

Thai tattoos
Just a couple’a Thai Tattoos

Kaitlin and I checked the bike – just a few scratches on the mirror, not too bad. Good thing we got the insurance. I didn’t realize how hurt I had gotten until I stood up and saw the blood pouring down my shin and foot. It’ll leave a nice scar, I s’pose. Everyone gets scooter bike scars in Thailand…Thai Tattoos, if you will. I rinsed off my new tat and we continued up the hill. At the top of the mountain, we came across a small store with the coolest yard and a stunning view.

Cleaning up the chaos

First thing, I used their restroom to properly clean up my leg. One thing to note about Thailand is that the restrooms are often very different from the U.S. They had a toilet with no seat cover, a hose to squirt water on your bum to wash up, and this particular room had no sink. Sanitary.

What were my options, you might be thinking? Don’t worry, I kept it classy. I used the water squirter to rinse my bloody knee over the toilet. Yes, you read that right. I cleaned my leg in the toilet.

Don’t judge me. That’s called resourcefulness.

After our adventure around the island, Briana, Kaitlin and I began day one of our scuba certification training. Today was just videos and book work, but there will be more to come!

Koh Tao views
The views are worth the trouble
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