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Tropical blue waters of Koh Tao.

15) Into the ocean? Get dive certified.

Koh Tao, in the Gulf of Thailand, is known for training salty dogs how to breathe underwater. I am happily one of those folks now. See barracuda, grouper, coral life, find Nemo, pray for a whale shark sighting. Basic water skills and general health required; they teach you the rest.

The crew at Sairee Beach Dive Resort are fun, educated and will make your experience a memory for life. I look forward to returning next year for advanced diving. See you 30 meters under!

16) Into other sports?

Feed your inner explorer. The north of Thailand offers incredible whitewater rafting, cycling, ziplining, elephant reserves where you can be caretaker for the day, jungle treks... the list goes on.

17) Make new friends but keep the old.

Even if you are traveling with friends or as a couple, branch out. Take a day apart, hang with someone new, share an experience. I had an exciting yet disastrous road trip to the north with some fellows I had met in Bangkok. All good memories! Connections with where we are and the people around us are ultimately what the adventure is all about.

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beltzy Dec. 16, 2013 @ 2:22 p.m.

I would recommend against renting a motorbike. Almost every ex pat that I met on Ko Tao had some sort of engine burn or crash scar on their leg from riding. Also, there are a lot of unscrupulous vendors who "find a scratch" and nearly extort renters. Better off taking a taxi.

You are right about the beer though. Chang is the best bang for your buck beverage in all of Thailand!


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