Officially known as the Kingdom of Thailand, but colloquially referred to as Thailand, has long emerald blue coasts along the Andaman Sea and Gulf of Thailand which are a magnets for travellers of all ages from around the world. In addition to the tasty food, the tropical climate, rich and fascinating culture Thailand and its southern islands are heaven on Earth!
We would need to take an overnight ferry from the mainland to the island of Ko Pha-ngan where the infamous Full Moon Party (as seen on ‘Wild On’) is held every month on the crescent-shaped beach of Haad Rin on the night of the full moon. I have never been but I imagine the Full Moon Party is similar to Spring Break festivities in the States. You don’t have to wait until the night of the full moon though to party, there’ll be people partying near the Haad Rin beach almost every day of the year! You’ll often get to enjoy drinks with new friends you may have met on the overnight ferry and talk about your intrepid travel experiences.
We decided to stay a short distance from the epicenter of the festivities at the Cocohut Beach Resort & Spa which is located on the beachfront of Leela Beach. Our night started off rather sedately as the resort put on drinks and a cocktail party to start us off. We’d quickly discover Sam’s (one of the friends from New Zealand who met up with me for some travelling in Thailand) alcohol tolerance was mercilessly exposed on account of him recently finishing exams, as what seemed like just minutes after his second drink he was really feeling the effects. We eventually left the Leela beach side of the island and made the short walk over to Haad Rin beach to join the main festivities. Along the edge you can buy drinks called ‘buckets’ which are a cocktail of alcohol and they are an institution on Ko Pha-ngan; a rite of passage if you will. So make sure you get yourself one or two and join the festivities! The night got a bit hazy at some point after a few more buckets and even though for me it wasn’t as good as the previous nights it was still one hell of an experience with many continuing to party well into the next day.
The consequences of the big night for some wasn’t just small things like losing your sandals (as thousands do) some would get their mates name or something equally embarrassing tattooed on themselves. It’s funny and somewhat of a cliché after a full moon experience! It should be noted that you need to look after yourself and your friends while partying at the Full Moon Party, and that goes for anywhere while travelling, as there are a number of people who try to take advantage of drunk naive tourists, so look after your friends and your belongings as every month many travellers, girls in particular, leave with disturbing stories to tell, don’t be one of them.
In my opinion the partying in the days leading up to the actual night of the Full Moon Party are much better. Depending on the time of the year (it is said), there can be anywhere between 8,000 - 30,000 people attend! Still the beach buckets, extreme limbo, fire skip rope (only attempt when drunk, in fact, that’s probably the only time you would consider it), beachside raves, glow sticks etc make it all worth it.
It’s not all alcohol and drug filled partying on Ko Pha-ngan, you can also hire scooters once you’ve sobered up and set about exploring what is an island in paradise. If you do, take care though, many travellers have accidents and endure terrible injuries while riding scooters in South East Asia. On another note, the next intrepid destination would be Ko Phi Phi Island archipelago.