I’ve stayed in many guesthouses and resorts which have the word paradise in the name. None, until reaching Koh Wai Paradise even came close. In fact if it wasn’t for the terrible laundry service, the mosquitoes (that even bite during the day) and the rock solid bed then I think this would be it.
Picture this, your own wooden hut on a clean sandy beach on a small remote island (3km at it’s longest point) with no roads. Clear light blue 30 degree water with a coral reef metres off the beach. Dolphins swimming by while eating breakfast and lobster, scallops and prawns to eat fresh out of the water. Swimming at night leaving trails of the bright blue phospherence… Pretty perfect really.
Then you have to mention the people. We met some seriously cool bods there. Peruvian Angel and Nikita, Philippe and Nadine from Germany, the wonderful Penny of Oz (more to be said about her later), Daniel from Spain, the Gareth esque Eke from Germany and the Spanish/Italian speaking Swiss couple Claudia and Maria. People from all over, and a surprising number of Spanish speakers. A relief for the likes of Espe and Daniel, and a good opportunity for the rest of us to practise.
Although we didn’t get any diving in (Espe had an ear infection), upon over hearing a some Dutch ladies I found out about a dive clean up day in the area. Somehow within two hours I found myself on a dive boat with the potential of getting in a free dive. It didn’t happen as there were too many divers and not enough equipment, however I did spend the morning whizzing around in a small speedboat pulling out rubbish (mainly old fishing nets) from the sea and transporting it to the “rubbish collection boat”. In the afternoon I got a good hour and a half’s snorkeling over a simply breathtaking reef (despite all the cleanup operations visibility was about 20 metres).
After four months of quite tough overland travel, a week on the beach was more than welcome. Especially when you wake up to this…