Simple Life runs two resorts on Koh Tao, both situated along Sairee Beach.
Offers a wide range, from dorm rooms to beachfront villas at the south end of Sairee Beach.
By Sarah O’Leary from London, UK
Prior to dive internship: I had just finished my first year of uni in Bournemouth, studying journalism, before i decided to head out to Thailand.
Life on Koh Tao? Amazing… I truly miss being on Koh Tao. I have printed my favourite pictures and they are currently blue tacked to my wall for me to dream over while it’s raining in England.
The island is perfect for a few months’ vacation and lifestyle. You have everything you need from food, parties, doctors, loads of places to sightsee and chill out and obviously loads of dive sites to choose from.
The dive training? Assisting is very educational and fun. With every course you see new problems and learn ways to deal with them, and ways to calm new divers who struggle with skills. It’s really insightful when you spend the whole course following someone from the beginning to when they finish and pick up on what the instructors do to help situations. I think its one of the most important aspects to completing your DM.
I was lucky when I first led a dive because I knew the site quite well and had a good DM helping me out along the way. I think you definitely need to check your compass as your going along and look out for what is familiar to make it an easy dive for you and the people your guiding. I found it ten times better though when your at the front and while your divers are following you, you can look ahead and not see another pair of fins in front, makes a world of difference.
Diving in Koh Tao? Chumpon has to be the best site. Starting off with the amazing boat ride out to the deep, jumping into the unknown to find sharks swimming around you, with amazing groupers, barracudas, batfish and loads of beautiful of types. Its different every time you enter the water, with crystal clear waters to an occasional bubble blanket. Different has the thrill factor is your looking for sharks in the distance while casually swimming around the pinnacle.
Sharks galore. I saw plenty, some a bit too close for comfort, but it just makes you realise how powerful and fast those things are. They are so majestic and big when they appear from the thermocline or deep blue as you look out. I was jinxed with the whalesharks it seems the few times I didn’t dive there was always a whaleshark.
Nightlife, Food & Social: Koh Tao is a very friendly island. After a couple of weeks you’ll start to recognise everyone and start learning who goes where which nights. Simple life usually has a good set of people hanging out at the bar, and in the shop. The night scene is just what you want for a small island. A different bar every night, which a slightly different setting. Although the Castle parties are brilliant.
Check out King crab – Thai green curry, best you’ll find I reckon. Also the place behind lotus bar has amazing green curry baguettes. For cheap food there are loads of places down the back streets off Sairee beach, but the chicken satay stand by 7/11 is good for a quick bite to eat. Ali the pancake man is also mesmerizing after a couple of beers!
I attended plenty of full moon parties. It’s great going in a big group with simple life. Everyone usually gets t-shirts made, gets the boat over together playing the ‘mine’ game, and having a couple of beers. The experience is insane if you like to have a rave on the beach. Surrounded by other nutcases, you just dance till the sun comes up then head to the after party, where ever it may be, and then head back on the boat in the afternoon to finish off the experience on Sairee beach, before falling asleep covered in paint, with arm bands on and a bucket in your hands.
Funny stories: More then i can write about, mostly too embarrassing for me to mention! Glimpses include skinny dipping in the hidden pools, riding around on motorbikes, parties at the castle, full moon, simple life parties, getting seven balled too many times, fancy dress parties….
What Next? Due to still being at uni i have been a bit restricted with money and time. but i managed to get over to Egypt for a month in then Dahab and Malta, and even isle of Wight a couple of weeks, which is very, very cold! I am now assisting with courses for my boyfriend’s dad dive school (Jim’s Scuba Crew) in St Albans, UK. I help with pool sessions and I am hopefully attending some dive holidays later this year.
I think Koh Tao has a good name for turning out Divemasters. Living on the island and having the DM life defiantly opens your eyes to the possibilities in the rest of the world. It helps you know who you need to know to get the best equipment or courses and training, and teaches you generally how to socialise and meet other divers for those important connections you’ll need.
Final advice: Enjoy every second, go on every dive your allowed to on the boat, assist as many courses as possible and really revise for the exams, and keep re-reading it when you’re done, as I’m sure along with other people my memory is struggling with certain bits now I’m revising for AI course!
Take a good camera with housing for your dives as every time you go down you’ll want to take a picture of something new
Patty M. | Mexico
"one of the most amazing places I've seen in my life .... Oh man, the shenanigans we got up to underwater!." Read more
Joe M. | Wales
"I remember thinking, wow, is that where I'm going to be spending the next 10 weeks...time of my life." Read more
Lisa & Ash | ZW & UK
"made more friends in that short time on the island and had more fun than we have in 3 years in the UK rat race." Read more