Full Moon Madness
Koh Phangan Travel Blog› entry 223 of 658 › view all entries
People i met here who contributed to, and improved my trip: Julia (Russia), Toby (England), Janne and Krista (Finland), Chay (Israel), Lisa (Denmark), Jill (Sweden)
Koh Phangan has become famous for one thing - its parties! Once a month when the moon is full, the island becomes packed with people, all in search of what is rumoured to be one the best parties going. I had been to the New Years party of 2003/4 and Julia had heard me talking about this place for the last 15 months with other backpackers, who had headed this way at some stage of their travels through South East Asia. If you love or hate to party, it seems to be one of those places that everyone has to see at least once, to know whether it really is for them or not!
My previous time on the island had been a noisy affair, as i had stayed on the beach at Haad Rin, where the party takes place.
Friday was our first excursion around the island as Jill, Julia and I walked to the port town of Thong Sala, where Jill was getting money wired to her. It took about 2 hours to get there by the main road, passing en-route a loud speaker advertising a Muay Thai Boxing event happening that evening as 'Great Violent Entertainment for all the family'! Fantastic! On the way back home, the much more desirable beach route was taken and we were treated with a lovely sunset and a huge stretch of pretty, deserted beach.
The evening was to provide us with our first taste of the action down in Haad Rin and in the sawngthaew on the way to party, we bumped into Toby and Ches, who we had shared a truck to the hotel with the previous day. They invited us for Dinner with them and it was wierd that they were meeting Shay and Lisa, who we met at the port in Surat Thani the previous day and they had met that day at the beach. Conincidences like this never fail to astound me. The 6 of us had Dinner in Mr K restaurant, one of the better deals in town and then headed down to the beach with some beers, to watch the fire show. I was surprised at how many people were out, saying that this was only the 'pre party' and i think it impressed everyone and added to the excitement and anticipation for the following evening! Not wanting to burn out, it was decided to head home around 2am.
Saturday was spent doing as little as possible as we awaited the prospect of a very long evening. The guesthouses DVD player was taken advantage of and Julia also cut Jill's hair on the beach, ready for the big night out! At 7pm we met up with all the guys and headed out for Dinner. Toby decided to start the evening in style with a lobster, but this would sadly be his final participation in the nights proceedings, as he went home to get changed and get some cash and was never able to find us again. Chas and Chay went and got their faces painted whilst Jill and Lisa went and bought new dresses and this completed the transformation of the company that we had come out with!
Down on the beach everything was already well under way, with between 5,000 and 10,000 people all getting into the spirit of proceedings, with the aid of beers and buckets.
Coming back from my toilet break, i was horrified to see Julia had taken my bag off and put it on the floor where they were all dancing. Koh Phangan is famous for theft at these parties and we had discussed this before and agreed to keep a close watch on everything. After she said that no-one could steal it whilst it was so close, i also pointed out that with so many drunk people stumbling around, it could get stood on, which would also end in tragedy for all our valuables inside. Point taken and backpack safely on the back again, the dancing and craziness continued. Lisa chose to leave her bag on the floor...
5 minutes later, crunch, some drunk aussie came stumbling through us and stood on Lisa's bag. Julia and I looked at each other, smiled and were thankful that disaster had been avoided by a matter of minutes.
Lisa stayed with us and after cancelling her cards, she took the attitude of 'whats done is done - lets have fun'. The rest of the evening went off really well and we met some crazy cool people. A Finnish couple called Krista and Janne and a gentle giant from Canada called Dean all provided us with laughs and conversation - although i'm not sure any of us truly remember what was said or done the next day :))) Several buckets later and as the sun was threatening to raise its head, Lisa, Julia and I decided enough was enough and as Lisa had no keys to get into her bungalow, she came and slept with us. Chay had ended up at Toby and Ches' house in the next set of bungalows, but was somehow locked out from them, so he ended up in our hammock.
Understandably everyone felt pretty rotten on Sunday and every face that we saw looked like they were suffering in equal amounts! Once again the DVD player was taken advantage of and between the cushions in the bar area and the hammock, we rotated until it was finally time to go back to sleep... hurray :~)
By Monday everyone was feeling pretty good again and this was helped by a fantastic bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich with heinz ketchup - now thats what i call comfort food! Reunited together again, our little posse chilled out on the beach and played ball games in the water, before some bright sparks decided that it was time to drink again - thanks Toby and Ches.
The night sadly didn't go according to plan once again. After Toby and I had gone off to the mushroom bar, set on the hill overlooking the bay, i came back to find Julia with the bag off her back again. It was so frustrating that when it was her turn to look after it for a bit, she couldn't do this. I was so angry that she had paid no attention to what happened to the guys at the Full Moon Party and was basically offering all of my belongings to some snatch and grab thief. I'll leave the night there, as it deteriorated rather rapidly and ended with me drunk and paranoid and with a bag that i was now sure somebody was going to steal! Adding to my paranoia were the types of people that were at Haad Rin, including plenty of people looking for trouble and fights, all of whom i am delighted to say were British or Irish.
Tuesday was a day of tension after the previous nights catastrophe and by Wednesday Julia and I decided to get off the island for good and headed to Koh Samui and what would hopefully be a change of fortunes and happier times!