Koh Phangan Island, Thailand and Full Moon party madness!
Koh Phangan Travel Blog› entry 3 of 9 › view all entries
The bus journey from Singapore to K.L was luxurious and the 9 hour, 6 pound bus ride from K.L to Hat Yai in Southern Thailand wasn't bad either. There were just 26 seats on the bus with loads of leg room and seats that reclined all the way back so the chair was almost a bed. We crossed the Malaysia-Thailand border without a hitch and arrived in Hat Yai at around 7pm and checked into a hotel in the centre of town....a double room with ensuite, air conditioning, TV and a king size bed for all of 5 pound between the two of us! All was going well...we ate and slept loads that night, both recuperating from the long journey and preparing ourselves for the next day's trip too.
Our journey was from Hat Yai to Sura Thani, a town 6 hours north and the gateway to the south easterly Thai islands.
We nearly tripped over our jaws as we got into the bus from sheer disbelief. There were 9 passenger seats on the bus...with 6 people already on the bus and another couple as well as us to get on! Each and every one of us had a large backpack each and some smaller bags too. We crammed onto the bus, the driver shoving the backpacks anywhere he could, behind people's heads, under our legs and feet etc. It was at this point that it clicked why the ticket we had bought the evening before had been stamped "NO REFUND".....crafty!
So, we headed off for Sura Thani.
Surprisingly, the bus ride wasn't too bad....I mean it was hot and sweaty, what with the air conditioning not working fully and our knees up around our ears......oh, and the fact that the driver started to fall asleep whilst driving. I thought he was driving a little more erratically than usual and it turns out he had fallen asleep, only to wake up as we started drifting cross into the on coming traffic. Good thing we could hardly see out f the bus I suppose or we may have been worried! A short rest stop (of about 4 minutes) and we were off again.....OK, so the bus journey was dodgy to say the least, but we reached Sura Thani in one piece and booked into a hotel for the night...same deal as before, cheap, cheerful and comfortable.
Yet another mini bus ride the next morning to get us to the ferry. It took about an hour but seemed to last an age as some Thai woman beside me insisted on clipping her nails whilst we travel. I mean, for Pete's sake...we are all hot and sweaty and in very close quarters and there she is flinging her nails everywhere. It was foul and I did everything in my power not to scream...or be sick out of the window.
I took what were supposed to be travel sickness tablets for the 2 and a half hour ferry ride. We had bought them in a shop for about 15p in Sura Thani and the shop assistant did not have much English....Now I am not sure if they are travel sickness tablets...I was completely comatose on the boat. I could not stay awake, my eyes rolling in my head.
I dragged myself off the ferry and followed John to a nearby bar/cafe and ordered some food to try and get some energy. After food and a short 'tuk tuk' (taxi) ride, we were there....Koh Phagnan Beach Resort.
What a little corner of paradise! We had reserved our own beach bungalow and it was great. We had our own room with an outside toilet and shower attached...we were set and ready to rest for the madness of the Full Moon Party.
John and I had all intentions of resting and chilling out before the Full Moon Party, but this went right out of the window.
We had a couple of hazy hours there on the hilltop and then started the long (and by now, dangerous) decent down the hill, to the taxi at the bottom. John and I went straight to bed when we got back to Phangnan Beach Resort, but I had great trouble getting to sleep...I only managed to sleep for about 2 hours all night. We found out the next morning that Red Bull in Thailand is not just an energy drink, it contains amphetamines, so the 6 Red Bull and vodkas I had had that night were keeping me up all night!
It took us both all day to recover after our night at Stone Hill, but we both managed to be up and ready for the Full Moon celebrations that night. We had decided to head down to the party at our accommodation about 9.
We got a minibus down to the party in Hat Rin and met a couple of American guys in the street and had a chat with them for about an hour...by the time we went to go down on the beach, John had already drank his first bucket of drink and I hadn't noticed! So, after buying some luminous body paint and painting each other's faces and my chest, I bought myself a bucket too, to try and catch up with John.
Obviously, we spent the next day recovering, waking up in time to take another trip to Stone Hill to watch the sun set and having a meal with friends we had met on the island. The only other event was a cat that we could hear scrapping away inside the roof of our hut which had, as it turns out, given birth to two kittens and we spent our last afternoon in Koh Phangan rescuing them from the confines of the roof. They were so young they had not even opened their eyes yet and they were so cute!
We had a great chilled out and crazy time in Koh Phangan all rolled into one, what with the mad Full Moon party and the luxury of having a private beach ten steps from our doorway....ahhh