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Greetings from Koh Tao! It’s been a crazy week. I’m still playing catch-up after a jam-packed two weeks of travel within Thailand and hosting visitors from across the world, and yet my next escape off the island is already right around the corner — I knew February would be crazy, but I didn’t know it would be this crazy!

Still, I’m never too busy to grab an amazing opportunity when it comes my way. So when I had the chance to jump on a Self Reliant Diver course with my friends at , I cleared the board in order to spend two days learning how to dive safely sans scuba buddy. It was the first step towards completing my goal of three new dive certifications this year, and so it felt great to sign off on (even if it meant one of my blog posts for the week didn’t go up as scheduled!) Additionally, I spent a very fun Valentine’s Day baking breakfast for my man, spending a few hours at the beach, and going out for a hilarious ladies night with all my girls. It felt very indulgent to take a whole day off work when I have such a looming to-do list, but it was the most fun I’ve had in ages!

Next week, I’ll be checking in from Thailand’s wine region. Yup, you read that right. Vineyards! In Thailand! I couldn’t be more excited about this trip. In the meantime, I’m pausing from coverage of my American Southwest adventures to jump ahead and bring you a few posts about my neighboring isles of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan. Can’t wait to see you all in the comments. Happy Monday!

Photo A

Enjoying the beauty of Koh Tao

Photo B

Admiring the Buddhist boat blessing on the Master Divers vessel

Photo C

Getting my baking on for Valentine’s Day, in the form of banana cinnamon pancake goodness!

Which photo is your favorite? How was your week?

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31 Comments...
  • Sarah
    February 15 2016

    Photo B! Love the random pineapple
    Sarah recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 16 2016

      It was such a cute little guy! Definitely caught my attention, too šŸ™‚

  • Thuc
    February 15 2016

    I vote for B! I absolutely love seeing all the Buddhist blessings and spirit houses and I can’t go past those colours. But C is very cute šŸ™‚
    Thuc recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 16 2016

      Thanks Thuc šŸ™‚ I’m not in the kitchen often, but when I am it’s usually to make something sweet!

  • Gemma
    February 15 2016

    Photo B for the colours. Happy V Day!
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  • Jenny
    February 15 2016

    A – Your day off sounds lovely, people always seem to assume that full time travelers take every day ‘off,’ but we are terrible at remembering to take whole days away from work. Nothing like a special day to remind you šŸ™‚
    Jenny recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 16 2016

      Oh, definitely. Especially after I’d taken two full days to do a diving course, I felt pretty indulgent taking a day off to make pancakes and go to the beach. But you know what they say, no one sits on their death bed and wishes they’d worked more!

  • Annika
    February 16 2016

    Blessings on the boat – those were always my favorite on our dive boats! And wine in Thailand?? Can’t wait to read about that because I always found the wine to be the own downside of a country I truly love as it is expensive, bad and usually to warm. But maybe you can convince me differently!?

    • Meihoukai
      February 17 2016

      Well, I have to admit we are going more for the experience than for the quality of the wine itself šŸ™‚ But I hope to be pleasantly surprised!

  • Janice Stringer
    February 16 2016

    Frangipans – one of my favourite flowers!

    • Meihoukai
      February 17 2016

      Me too! And I feel so lucky to have them growing in my garden…

  • Marni
    February 16 2016

    Photo A, but it was tough!! Those flowers are gorgeous and they made a great photo theme.
    Marni recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 17 2016

      Thanks Marni! Garnish easily plucked from the garden is the best kind šŸ™‚

  • Susan
    February 16 2016

    Picture A but just because of my favorite flowers, which I also have covering a big part of my back??? been to Thailand a few good times but never visited wine area, looking forward to read about that!
    Susan recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 17 2016

      It’s very rarely visited by foreign travelers, though seems to be quite popular among domestic travelers. Can’t wait to experience it myself!

  • Rekha Devarapalli
    February 16 2016

    Photo A and Happy Valentine’s Day!
    Rekha Devarapalli recently posted..

  • Jael
    February 17 2016

    Photo C because nothing beats home-baked food!

    By the way, I’ll be heading to Koh Tao in two weeks (Yay!) Do you know what’s the condition at the north coast (Mango Bay) and east coast (Hin Wong Bay) like at the moment? Recent reviews on TA seem to point towards rough sea and beach filled with rubbish and that got me worried. My initial plan was to keep my budget low by hiking to Mango Bay and Hin Wong Bay but life has been rather hectic since and I’m starting to think hiring a longtail for a full-day round-island trip (shared between 3 ppl) to get to those places sounds more fun. That said, I don’t want to splurge only to be greeted with rubbish, rough sea and poor visibility!

    Currently, I’ve signed up for a diving course that will most likely take me to Japanese Garden, Aow Leuk Bay and Chumphon Pinnacle (keeping my fingers crossed that I won’t freak out at the last minute!). Koh Nang Yuan via longtail is a must and I’ll probably carry on with my plan to hike to John Suwan View Point and attend a few yoga classes. In your expert opinion, is that enough to give me a sufficient taste of Koh Tao?

    • Meihoukai
      February 18 2016

      Hey Jael, the weather here changes quickly and there have been a few storms blowing through in recent weeks. In rough seas, the longtail drivers will discourage you from going around to the East Coast of the island. I LOVE hiking on Koh Tao and so I highly recommend hiking to either of those beaches just for the joy of it šŸ™‚ I think a bit of hiking, a bit of diving, a bit of snorkeling, and a bit of yoga is the perfect plan! Enjoy!

      • Jael
        February 19 2016

        Thanks for the positive energy, Meihoukai! I think I’ll keep it on my itinerary after all šŸ˜€

  • Kristin @ Camels & Chocolate
    February 17 2016

    Ooooooh I can’t wait to hear about that course!
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    • Meihoukai
      February 18 2016

      Ah, my fellow perpetual life-is-a-classroom student šŸ˜› You’d love it! We need to do a cert together one of these days…

  • Izy berry
    February 18 2016

    My favorite one is the A
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  • Steph @ Wanderlust Pulse
    February 18 2016

    Those pancakes look delish!
    Steph @ Wanderlust Pulse recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 21 2016

      Thanks šŸ™‚ I don’t cook often, but when I do I try to make it pretty!

  • Dominique
    February 19 2016

    What a great step towards your goal for this year! Thailand looks beautiful as ever šŸ™‚ I’ll be taking my refresher two days from now on sunny Bonaire!
    Dominique recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      March 2 2016

      How did it go, Dominique? Bonaire came up in conversation with a random traveler last night… love that island!

  • Rashaad
    February 22 2016

    The second half of Photo A – that’s a lovely flower.
    Rashaad recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      March 2 2016

      I do love the flowers in this lush tropical paradise!