New post by Mila —

Visible from Sairee Beach and a short boat trip from Koh Tao is Koh Nang Yuan (Nangyuan Island or simply Nangyuan), really a series of three tiny islands connected by sandbars upon which you can walk to get to and from each island. Known for its snorkeling and crystalline aqua waters, so we brought along snorkels and masks and enjoyed getting close to tropical schools of fish. Jette also brought a half slice of toast, which we shared with our underwater friends. It felt somewhat magical to have dozens of fish would swarm us, nibbling bits of the toast.


The “boardwalk” at Koh Nang Yuan


Shallow water made for some gorgeous color combinations



Some areas were just way too busy for our taste


After our daytrip, we took a longboat back into “town” to our favorite restaurant for lunch and fresh coconut water shakes, then walked around and explored a bit.

There’s a nice mix of low key, simple places and some that have invested in some modern interior design and are priced accordingly.


The perfect local spot for iced Thai tea with tapioca “bubbles”


A very nice cafe called “Butter”. Notice all of the flip flops outside. We love this Thai custom.


Giant tropical foliage


Lots of green thumbs around here


Island humor

We absorbed as much of the Koh Tao life and atmosphere as we could. Even the simple pleasure of walking from our bungalow down to al fresco dinners was a delight.


Mango Bay’s version of a Caprese Salad


There were several resident kitties living (mostly) peacefully at Mango Bay. Two of them did have a wild cat-fight one night right under a table where another family was having dinner, resulting in one woman climbing onto her chair to avoid getting clawed (we didn’t act fast enough to get photos!). Moments later, this one looks so innocent.



Our work space consisted of some mats and a low coffee table. Here, I’m working on a blog post and Jette is finishing some Khan Academy math work. She’s right on track with a mastery of nearly 50% of the fifth grade lessons and quizzes.


Homework almost finished—Can I go swim now?!

One night, we were honored to have been invited to join some of the Mango Bay team in their Loi Krathong festivities. During the day, we noticed everyone working busily with flowers, not realizing each person was making their own elaborate floats using local banana leaves and flowers. As night falls, they tuck a snippet of their own hair into the float along with some money and some incense. The incense is lit and prayers are made. The belief is that each participant receives forgiveness for any transgressions of the past year and good luck for the upcoming year. Jette was kindly and generously invited to place one of the floats in the water. Not knowing the protocol, she kindly declined the generous offer and we all watched the beautiful and intimate ceremony. The aroma from the incense and twinkly lights on the water from each float was lovely and it was a true privilege to have been a small part of the celebration.


Jette getting a chance to hold our friend’s float just after he lit the candle


Our friend carrying his float down to the water


Floats being pulled away by the ocean

We were getting used to our little island life on Koh Tao, but after nearly two weeks, it was time to get back to the mainland. We said our goodbyes, took one last photo on the deck at Mango Bay, loaded bags onto a longtail boat and savored the short boat ride to the main pier.

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We’ll miss this idyllic view from our bungalow balcony over thatched rooftops and innumerable beautiful sunsets.


The view off our bungalow’s balcony

We’ll miss our walks along Sairee Beach.








The three of us agreed that island life is definitely something we can live with every once in awhile.

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