We had several great dinners here on Koh Tao, a nice change from Haad Rin. We met our Irish friends (Podge aka: Mcnulty, Kevin aka: Danny Zuko, Kenny aka: Ladies Man, and Ron aka: Sneaky bucket) for dinner and drinks one night. It was nice to catch up with the boys sans buckets! A lucky or love bucket are these small sand buckets bars fill with alcohol. Since they include 5 straws, they are meant to be shared...but rarely are (see full moon party pix). Because Koh Phangan and Koh Tao are so close, you end up having drinks with friends you've met on the other island. So we got to see a lot of people we had met in Koh Phangan.
Our hotel is located on the south side of the island and most of the better restaurants are located on Sairee beach, NW of us. Dinners have been great here. 1st night in Koh Tao we had a filet with blue cheese for $10 and it was delicious! Wine is a bit expensive- $6-8/glass but the beer is only $1-2! Last night we had dinner @ Papas Tapas for $20, a bit expensive for this area, but well worth it. The mosquitos are the only ones eating better than we are!
Since the island is fairly new, only parts of it have been developed...I'd say 25-30%. So, much of the island has yet to be 'touched'. I imagine in another 10 years this won't be the case. Jay already decided he wants to live here for a bit! Which brings me to the interesting foreign community (expats in some cases). You see a ton of guys/girls from all over the world working here- bartending, waiter, or heading scuba shops. Some have been here for 8+ years, but most are just here for the year. They found paradise and don't want to leave. It's not a bad life, especially if you are young and don't have a career yet. We met a Burmese man who left his country several years ago to come work in Thailand. I think he was actually Mong. Anyway he was saying that because he has darker skin than most Thais, and even most in his country, he is treated like a 3rd class citizen. He is not allowed to buy a house, can only rent and his rent is a lot higher than his Thai friends. But, he says it's better than being in Burma, which is run by a dictator. We spent the evening talking to him and when we got up to leave, he gave Jay a big, heartfelt hug as if to say "Take me with you".
This is just one of the many stories and people we've met thus far. Everyone is so friendly, they want to share their stories and want to hear about yours. It's so refreshing!