A Whale On High

Nobody can ever say enough good things about Koh Tao but here’s one more. It’s excellent to explore by motorbike. Now, when I say excellent, I do mean challenging and when I say motorbike, I mean you should probably get a dirt bike but it definitely makes for an entertaining day. We picked up a Honda iClick from for $10 from the high street. It’s basically a little automatic moped but with added knobbly tires which turned out to be very useful.

Without much of a map or reliable sense of direction, we headed up. Straight up the side of the closest mountain. The incredibly steep, concrete path lead us to a cross roads with a signpost that lead us to believe there was a whale skeleton at the top of the mountain… While this seemed highly unlikely we hung a left and before long we’d reached the summit. We ducked into the slightly run-down resort and stumbled across this…

Just hanging out between the empty swimming pool and a semi-boarded up bungalow was an entire whale skeleton! Propped up on a wire frame, the skeleton was free to touch and explore but there was one thing that just didn’t make sense. How did a whale get on top of a mountain? Nobody seemed to know the answer to this but a guy working at the resort did tell us that it had been on the property for over 100 years so maybe the story died with the original owner.

While discussing this strange phenomenon, we hopped back on the bike for a white knuckle ride back down the mountain and up the side of another. We paid 20 baht to a random person to cross under the wooden barrier that they’d probably just installed and followed the signs to Mountain Bar. Completely abandoned, the ‘bar’ was essentially four pieces of bamboo with a roof on top and a painted price-list for drinks that didn’t exist.

As the only people there, we had loads of time to admire the fantastic view of the island and we could even see Koh Phangnan in the distance! We set up the camera on a rock and took some cheesy timer snaps then reluctantly headed down to Mango Bay.

A semi- private bay, full of dive boats and a great place to snorkel. Rich even swears he saw a hammerhead shark swim right past us! Luckily he didn’t tell me until we were out of the water. I would recommend a visit here but beware, it’s a super steep ride and I had to get off the motorbike and push uphill on more than one occasion.

A little track off the main road was Golden View restaurant and viewpoint. Upon our arrival, a lovely woman rushed out to greet us and explained that in order to visit the viewpoint we could either pay 200 baht or spend 200 baht in her restaurant. We were already starving, so headed inside for a home-cooked meal and were really impressed by what we found. A beautiful, sunny balcony with a 270 degree view of Koh Tao, Ko Phangnan, Ko Samui, and Shark Island. Our meals were fantastic, large portions and cooked fresh, from scratch. She even made the coconut milk for Rich’s curry from scratch after he ordered. Delicious.

After dinner we hoofed it up to the viewpoint to take in the palm forrest and turquoise waters below. Within minutes, the mosquitos had almost eaten us alive so we headed back down to Golden View for a drink and a really impressive sunset.

Do you know how a whale gets on top of a mountain? Please, do share.


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