Ko Phangan = buckets of…
It’s difficult to describe Ko Phangan. It’s the sort of place that after 3 days you can’t get far enough away from and yet looking back you’ll realize how much fun you had. At least of those memories that can be recalled.
Let’s be completely frank, the full moon party has nothing to do with the culture of Thailand, it’s an adult playground where thousands of 20/30 something Europeans roam the fire dancer filled beach with literal buckets of alcohol and a mushroom shake or two and dance till the sun comes up only to sleep the day away to do it all over again the next night. I still marvel at how the locals can cope with the constant influx of tourists looking for their next drug induced good time. wooden booths line the beach touting buckets of thai whiskey and red bull. each vendor trying to outdo the other, “no bucket, no boom boom,” “fucking buckets cheap,” “me love you long time bucking fuckets.” The atmosphere is more than palpable, it practically thumps through your body and clobbers you over the head till your unconscious.
After 3 days I’d had enough. Bags packed, ferry tickets bought, music still pumping from the beach at 10:00 am I was ready to get the hell out of there as was Emele.
Was it a good time? Of course it was…do I ever need to do it again? No, can’t say that never stepping foot on that island again will covet any response more than the nostalgia of time well spent and thankfully behind me.
For those dying to visit the largest full moon party in the world a couple of helpful tidbits:
1. Neon paint does not come off of towels and sheets and guesthouses may charge you extra for it.
2. While it’s almost inevitable that you’ll need to put your bucket down be wary, many a traveller winds up drugged only to awaken on the beach with no memory and no money from the evening before.
3. take only what you absolutely need. enough money for a couple buckets and if you dare your camera. I’d donned a belt with small pockets which worked out well. so far this trip, muggings/ theft 0 (though the moped dealer might as well have had thief tattooed on this forehead)
4. if you want to get any rest ear plugs are essential. All the resorts lining Haad Rin on sunrise beach are susceptible to the drum and bass beats of the seemingly endless party scene.
4. the bungalows towards the edges of the beach tend to be quieter with cactus bar at it’s epicenter, though when full moon comes about there is no escaping so you might as well consume a red bull and dance off some alcoholic calories till the sun rises.
5. If you are a new couple beware, the number of travelers who arrived together only to depart alone or with someone else was evidently quite commonplace.