We took a bus, two trains, another bus and did some walking to get to the airport. Even after all that, we were still several hours too early. Emily’s flight left two before ours though and it made sense for us to all go together.
Unfortunately, we had left in a hurry that morning and didn’t have time to eat breakfast. We figured we could eat when we got to the airport, but we were flying Air Asia and the check in counter didn’t open until 3 hours before our flight. The Colombo Airport is oddly set up in that you pass through two security checks before you get to the check in counters and if you can’t check in yet, you are stuck in a foodless limbo area. That’s where we were. It was miserable. We had a few snacks and water from earlier, but we were all famished. Emily was able to check in early and she left to get food before we were able to check in. The counter finally opened at 7:50 and after waiting in line forever we got our tickets, got food and tried to get rid of our rupees. Everything was super expensive though and we only had a few dollars worth of rupees left. Oh well!
When we got to our gate, we had to go through another security check and they took my tiny little nail scissors! I somehow had made it on 6 flights with them and the dude that took them was so smug, so kinda got cranky with him and made a small scene. Ethan just laughed and said they were going to get taken at some point, which I knew, but I was still mad. Ugh!! Anyway, our flight was only 3.5 hrs, but there is a 2.5 hr time change so we landed at 5am.
The last time we had been to the Kuala Lumpur airport, we had spent the night for a super early flight and it was the worst night of my life. The airport was tiny and gross and there were barely any places to eat. I was dreading having to spend 7 hrs there after not really sleeping on the plane. We landed and walked into a huge, seemingly very new and modern airport. It was definitely not the same place we had spent the night 3 years ago and I was so glad. Turns out it is fairly new and was finished in 2014. Hooray! It’s also maybe sinking? 😳 We had to to get our tickets for our next flight that left at 12 from the transfer desk and were so glad that we didn’t have to exit thru immigration and check in at the regular counter.
Once we were set we headed straight to McDonalds! The hashbrowns were crunchy and the sandwiches delicious. We found a comfy spot to use the airport wide free wifi and hung out until we couldn’t keep our eyes open. We tried to sleep in our booth, but got kicked out of the eating area, so we found a carpeted area where a bunch of other people were sleeping and passed out for an hour or so on the floor. Our next flight left a bit late and we were concerned since this flight included a bus and a ferry to Koh Samui island.
The flight was short, but the line for immigration was not. It was chaos and so frustrating. We finally made it thru without killing anyone or ourselves and got our tickets for the bus that luckily hadn’t left yet. We were so exhausted and hoped that the ride was short. The bus was one of the huge double decker buses and it brought back so many memories. The ride was not short and we were both struggling to stay awake. I’m not sure how long it took, but we finally made it to the ferry dock, where we bought some water and peanuts. The ferry was insane and we got a seat inside next the children’s area. They were screaming and jumping around, but I was so tired that I laid down and fell asleep for half of the ride.
When we got to Koh Samui, we got a taxi to take us to Mae Nam, which is closest to the next ferry we needed to take us to Koh Tao. We got a bungalow room and headed to the main road for dinner. Ethan got his Pad Thai and I got stir fried veggies. The 7-Eleven was too far, but we went to a minimart and got our favorite snacks which brought back even more memories. It’s pretty strange to be back in the place that we called home for 6 months. Everything still feels pretty familiar – the sights, sounds and smells!
When we got back we sat on the beach and reminisced about our time here and why we loved it so much. We also talked about making a trip to the north to visit where we had taught, but ultimately decided we didn’t have time. Someday we’ll go back there!
This morning we slept in and then walked an absolutely brutal walk to and from the pier to buy our ferry tickets. The beach is heavily slanted into the water and the sand was super deep, so I was dying and had to stop and sit down several times. I could’ve killed Ethan, but it was the most direct way to the ferry. We got breakfast when we got back and by the time we had finished packing it was time to head to the ferry. We tried to get a taxi, but he only dropped us at the end of the road to the ferry so we still had to walk a ways, but it wasn’t in the sand thankfully.
The ferry was jam packed with people, but we got seats on the top and once we got going the breeze was glorious. A couple hours later, we were on Koh Tao – our favorite place in Thailand!! We had the dive shop that we are diving with pick us up and we went straight to their shop. We talked to them about Ethan’s dives to get his Advanced Open Water Cert and scheduled most of his dives. I am going to give it another try on a shallow, no caves or over hangs dive. I think. Once that was all set we headed to the place we had stayed last time were here. They didn’t have the same type of bungalow available so we got bit of an upgrade to a newer, bigger bungalow with a king bed.
We ate delicious cashew chicken for dinner and we are now sitting on the deck of the place we’re staying listening to a beach party playing today’s top 20 hits down the way and the steady sound of the waves crashing into the sand.
We’re excited to be back here, do some diving and have a little R&R after our crazy time in India, the Maldives and Sri Lanka. I might even do a yoga class! We’ll see! I’ll definitely keep blogging, though it might not be super exciting stuff.
Thanks for reading!