Koh Phangan - Full Moon

May 8, 2007

Large numbers of people flock to Koh Phangan Island to take part in this “backpacker rite of passage.”

That night on Koh Samui it was pouring with rain. Lightning filled the skies over Koh Phangan too, thought at the time I thought it was fireworks. Meanwhile Ben had decided not to go; he would stay with Joy and Som back at his hotel.

Sam and I waited on a beachfront bar, sipping Red Bull and Vodka (served in buckets) and we waited for the weather to improve.
Eventually the weather improved enough for the speedboat crew’s liking. Everyone piled on board the 40 foot boats. In all at least 50 people were aboard our boat.

The next 40 minutes consisted of speedboat vaulting over high waves, with the cheers of the British passengers: “Waaaaoooo” as the boat pitched wildly.However we, white knuckled while gripping the seat, surveyed escape options if the boat flipped. At least one person dies at the Full Moon Party every time (usually drug related) but I didn’t rule out drowning in the middle of the Gulf of Thailand. Lucky for us the boat reached the wharf safely and it was a short tuk-tuk ride down to Haad Rin.

Even though it was 11 pm, Haad Rin was electric. There seemed to a half-dozen bars pumping out electronic dance/trance music. There were crowds of foreigners dancing on raised platforms scattered around the beach. The only Thais I could see were bar staff, glow stick and glow paint salespeople, and drug dealers.

At the end of the night there were some sorry souls; either bent-over or collapsed. There was even a special fenced area set up for comatose people. With the daylight breaking, the two of us hired a tuk-tuk back to the wharf (getting ripped off in the process) and arrived back in Koh Samui just after 7 am.

 Getting map markers...