First of all I’m going start with… IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!
Yes, I know, I know… I don’t look a day over 18 but today I turned 25, a quarter of a century!! Anyway lets talk about Koh Phangan…
We arrive early in the morning and head straight to our hostel. Were staying at the Hacienda Backpackers. Not a bad hostel to be fair, the room is big, clean and we even have a fridge! Doesn’t sound like much but with the weather hitting 30 degrees celsius on a daily basis, cold water is a god send.
We take a walk to see what we can find and to do a bit of exploring. We head down to the pool and beach but the beaches here aren’t like what were used to on Koh Tao. The sand on the beaches near us is rough and the sea isn’t clean, lets hope the rest of the island isn’t like this. We also soon discover that unless you want to drink all night and sleep all day then there really isn’t much to do. Everything is geared around drinking and partying, with people boasting to have the “biggest buckets” on the island (someone must be lying) and “free beer pong” signs everywhere. We have the half moon festival coming up so we decide against the heavy drinking. We explore some more but find that there really isn’t much to do here. We spend the day relaxing and get some food, funnily enough, travelling on a boat for only a few hours seems to kill us both and we crash out quite early.
We heard from some other backpackers that there is a total wipeout course in Ko phangan and automatically both of us decided we would have a go. We head out there but with a taxi costing us 150 baht each, one way we decide to rent a scooter for 200 baht. We head to the wipeout course and it looks quite easy at first glance.
Start with a 15 foot high rope swing into a lake, swim to a platform and try to make it across two inflated, hollow rubber rings without falling in and swim on the next obstacle. Here you climb onto a platform and try to make it across the monkey bars with wet hands! From there its onto to the rolling barrels and then an inflated mountain that you try to climb to the top. If you’re still alive then you head to the big red balls. Sounds easy right… WRONG!! I was dead by the time and I got to the inflatable mountain let alone trying to climb it! Plus they let you go round as many times as you want!
Any way we try our best but are never able to complete the big red balls, nearly completing the rolling barrels and finishing the monkey bars seems and achievement. They also have an inflatable bag that launches you into the air…
We decide that as we have the moped we should try to see some of the island to make sure it’s not as bad as have found it to be. I want to point out that the reason we stayed where we stayed on the island is because it is close to the half-moon party that we will be attending. We head north along the western coast and stop at several beaches and view points. We quickly realise that the rest of the island I really beautiful. The beaches are clean and the water is clear, surprisingly the beaches are also quite empty.
We heads far north as the road goes, to head further north you have to trek to see another beach, and find what seems to be an abounded building with signs leading to it saying sunset view. We head in to the building and the views from here are truly spectacular. They over look the North westerly part of the island across a sand bank that leads to another island.
We then realise theres another floor up but because construction wasn’t finished there are no stairs. We find a hole in the floor above and pull ourselves up onto the next floor. This floor provides 360 degree views, on one side the beach and sea, the other side you have the valleys and forests.
We stay up here for a bit and take a few more pictures and find two shrines amidst the unfinished building. We then head back through this hole and take a different route south, seeing a view more sites that Koh Phangan has to offer.
Half Moon Party
We start the day with breakfast and proceed to relax the rest of the day by the pool topping up our tans, We figured we are going to need all the energy we can get for the night. We changed hostel after two days and checked in to lime and soda. This resort gives us free breakfast both days we are here, free dinner on one of the nights ( I told you lot I was fat at heart!!) And a free thai massage for an hour. Since we are spending the day relaxing we decide the massage will come in handy today so we book ourselves. Ive never had a thai massage but the only way to explain it is that they find what areas of your body are sore and they see if they can make you cry! But once they’ve stopped torturing you, you feel so much better!
The rest of the days I spent just relaxing and booking our transfer to koh Samui. We are informed by the resort staff that they have good drink promotions on tonight for a warm up to the half moon party so we know we don’t have to go far for pre drinks!
we get ready and for the night and wear the brightest coloured clothes we have, and use as much uv paint as possible…
We get to the half moon party at around 22.30 and its still relatively quiet. The main stage area with the techno music is going and both cassie and I are happy to see there is also a house floor, that doesn’t open till midnight… we can wait.
We walk around and get to know the event. We got a free drink on entry so didn’t really matter where we got that one from but most of the drinks stalls are expensive. Most of them charge 800 baht for a bucket, you can get these most places for 200, although we did find that there were two bars serving buckets at 500 baht and consequently all their other drinks were cheaper than the other bars too! We take a seat on a balcony that over looks the main stage, from here you can see everything thats going on, the DJ going ape shit when the beat drops, wasted people (the festivals only been open an hour and a half) and the fire dancers. There are three guys here, two with sticks lit at either end and one with two lit balls on strings. Im sure there are correct terms for these objects but I haven’t got a clue what they are!
Once the house floor opens we head there and dance into the early hours of the morning, admiring some more fire dancers accompanied by belly dancers and some peoples UV designs on their bodies before heading home in an overly packed pick up truck.
KOH SAMUI PLEASE DRIVER…
The next day we head to the pier on what appears to be a lovely day, my god how quickly that changed!! As we stand with 100 other people waiting for the ferry the heavens open up and the rain lashes down! Everyone scrabbles for shelter but with the rain it is pointless and we all end up getting drenched anyway. We struggle to board the ferry because the seas to rough but we make it and crash our way through the waves to koh Samui. Im not going to lie to you, the way the boat was jumping up and down and swaying I thought of the worst… WHAT?! Ive seen titanic, a perfect storm and castaway!!
We made it to Koh Samui safely… We are off to see what this island has to offer…