Having booked the komodo-flights just hours after coming back from the liveaboard, I was scrolling down my facebook-feed and noticed Phoenix Divers Koh Tao – whom I had visited the year before – had been posting whaleshark pictures for days in a row. Erik, my dive-buddy just said ‘can’t we go there?’ – And since we had 4 days before our flight to komodo, we started googling how to get to Koh Tao asap. Flights were expensive but we found a bus-ferry route and messaged the diveshop if they had beds in the dorm and spots on the boat. They did =). Delayed by a day due to the late kings funeral ceremony (may he rest in peace) and after leaving our krabi-hotel 3 days early, we were on our way to Koh Tao – anticipating to see those magnificent giant spotted whalesharks. A few hours of cab, bus and ferry rides we arrived in koh Tao in the evening and set up our gear. The next day we had 3 great dives – without whalesharks 🙁 . And the evening was overshadowed by backpackers and tourists deserting bars due an alcohol ban.
On the 2nd and last day of our ridiculously short trip over to Koh Tao we were on the boat again – enjoying coffee, the salty air and stunning view while making new friends among the other divers. Then we saw it: The captain lifted his hand sideways in front of his forehead – and people started getting enthusiastic while the diveguides tried to keep us calm since there’s absolutely no guarante these animals stick around. Luckily it did =)). When we reached chumpon pinnacle, we got ready and as soon as someone spotted the whaleshark jumped in.
It stayed with us for most of 2 dives, circelling in and out of sight and coming really close.
As mentioned previously; we didn’t get to see any manta rays during our liveaboard trip. But we met a few swiss people who told us about komodo… and once we were back on land and had wifi, we found (return) flights to komodo for ~160€. Glad that we hadn’t booked anything besides the liveaboard, we booked the flights and – after a short visit to Koh Tao (upcoming post) – flew over to flores to enjoy 2.5 days of diving followed by a visit in the national park to see the last living dragons.
Our boat was really comfortable with a sundeck complete with bean bags to enjoy the ~2h boat ride to the first dive site. Those were the first current-dives with hooking in for me and I saw sharks, mantas and lots of turtles. Komodo is definetly worth a visit but don’t go there just for the dragons.