Thailand

A 2-post collection

Searching for Whale Sharks in Koh Tao, Thailand

By Matt Button |  Nov 2, 2016  | thailand, travel, scuba, whale-shark, rocktopus-divers, toastmasters

I spent two weeks in late August on the island of Koh Tao, which is located in the eastern Gulf of Thailand.

The weather was perfect. Every day, I’d head out on the boat to go scuba diving at various dive sites around the island. I’d been a qualified diver for several months prior, so no training was needed, and I signed up for the fun dives, where we would be taken on underwater tours by a guide called a dive master.

I was planning on diving virtually every day around the beautiful island of Koh Tao. In particular, I was hoping to see some big sea creatures such as the Whale Shark.

Now I should give some context. Some of you might hear the word “shark” and think of danger, or perhaps a film such as Jaws

A whale shark, while being huge at up to 14m long and 21 tonne, is nothing like the kinds of sharks that you might see on the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. Instead, a whale shark has no teeth, and is a gentle, slow-moving, filter-feeding carpet shark, feeding only on plankton (not on humans!!)

What does a whale shark look like?

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Traveling light on a six week trip around Japan and Thailand, in 2016

By Matt Button |  Oct 1, 2016  | japan, thailand, travel

Whenever I travel, I keep my luggage as light as possible, traveling with carry-on only; everything fits inside a 38 litre backpack, usually with room to spare, and this trip was no exception.

My entire set of luggage, for my 2016, six week trip around Japan and Thailand, weighed about 6kg (14lb). During my trip, I picked up a few more things, which pushed the total weight up to about 7kg, which was still within the carry-on weight allowance.

I travel light because I think it’s by far, the easiest, simplest way to travel; no checked-in luggage, means no lost luggage, no awkwardness with connecting flights (just grab my bag out of the overhad locker, and I’m ready to walk to the connecting flight), no need to wait for the baggage carousel, no dragging around multiple suitcases, easy to get on the bus or train.

Below is a photo all of my luggage, in the “capsule” room, where I slept in Asakusa, Tokyo.

Enaka Asakusa hostel capsule room - and all my stuff!

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