Welcome back! The adventures that started in Bangkok continue onward to the famous Full Moon Party in Ko Pha Ngan and began a what is possibly the best chapter of my travels, and dare I say… my life? Read on to find out why!
Full Moon Party, Ko Pha Ngan 2008:
My time in Ko Pha Ngan was short-lived, but will forever remain one of the best experiences of my adventure overseas. Shocking as it may be, I was drastically opposed to the idea of heading to Thailand’s biggest booze fest. Being the cultured Canuck I was trying to be, I planned to head north to Chiang Mai and away from the party scene. Instead, I struck a deal with my partner in crime, promising to head south to Kho Phan Nhang, partake in this Full Moon Party we’d heard so much about, and then continue our travels onward to Kho Phi Phi where we would part ways and I would finally have the chance to explore the northern part of Thailand – jungle, spiders, temples and all!
We got to Ko Pha Ngan just in time to take in some beach and swimming before the party began. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this renowned fest, the Full Moon Party is a once a month occurrence on the beaches of Ko Pha Ngan and a hard core party that lasts all night long. Drinks are served by the bucket and people dance along the shoreline as far as the eye can see. My friend and I checked into a Bungalow on Haad Rin Beach and were lucky enough to book the last room. Travelers note! Hotel rooms book up very quickly around the Full Moon Party and unless you want to take a boat to and from your hotel, it is recommended to book in advance. After setting down our bags, we decided to grab a bite at an eatery nearby. Given my dislike for beer and my love for wine, I decided to enjoy a glass of white wine and promptly entered into an argument with a waiter over a glass of wine that had clearly gone off. He then brought me the jug of wine that had, most likely, been standing open for a few weeks or so and I realized I had it coming to me. Ordering wine in Thailand – smarten up blondie!
After our exciting interactions with the waiter, we figured it was time to get a real drink so we went to the beach and got a bucket of Malibu mixed with pineapple juice. This delicious concoction quickly became my drink of choice for the night as I eased into the island groove. I invested in some body paint, sampled some beach meat (food, not men) and allowed myself the indulgence of enjoying the nightlife for a change! Up until now, I’d been hibernating past 9:00pm and I was really appreciating getting a feel for the culture once the sun went down.
As we strolled the beach, stopping to dance at various points along the way, I ran into a bloke I knew from a hostel we’d both stayed at in Kuala Lumpur! We exchanged greetings and he introduced us to the two friends he’d met during his travels, one Dutch and one German. After getting acquainted over a bucket or two, we danced the night away under the stars only to see the sun poke it’s head over the horizon. We finally rolled into bed around 7am, utterly exhausted but having had the time of our lives. This was a big lesson for me when it comes to travel: Never forego an experience just because it isn’t an obvious interest. You’ll be glad you did it and you may get more from it than you expect. Need proof? That German friend of the guy I knew from Malaysia is now my husband. After a thoroughly enjoyable night spent dancing on the beach, we made plans to meet up again up north, and that, is how it all began.