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The Full Moon Party

THAILAND | Monday, 17 October 2011 | Views [1864]

Ko Phangan is obsessed about the moon. It is not enough that there is the full moon party there’s also the half moon festival and Shiva moon party, there is a full moon bus stop, full moon buckets, the road signs advertise “full moon every month” (oh, really!?!) and every shop on the island sells you the same neon colored full moon branded shirts and tops.

Apparently the correct worship includes arriving at the right time (sounds obvious but not everyone manage), painting your face and body with bright colors, dressing in beach wear and getting pissed by drinking liters of mixed drinks from buckets that were made for kid’s sandbox plays and finally giving the ultimate sacrifice peeing into the sea in the moon light. I’m not convinced that this is the religion I want to follow but I refuse to be too old for having fun and tag along.

It’s supposed to be good fun and I’m kind of looking forward to a good party. I put on some make up and my party dress. Unfortunately the party is on the beach so no high heels. I let one of the girls paint a pink heart on my cheek and I have couple of beers while the crazy (and loud) crowd of already drunken boys and girls from our bungalows suck their party booster from a bucket. I could not even imagine drinking that amount of vodka cola before the ice melts but the kids seem to be fine. They drink to get drunk.

Around 11.30 we finally head of to the party beach. There is a pickup truck with two benches at the back and we manage to hustle 14 loud and drunken tourists in. No one else seems to care that our devoted “taxi driver” is ripping us off charging 100 bahts each for a five km trip. I bargain for a discount and he agrees to round sum of 1000 bahts in total which is about 25€/$33 and of we go. The trip is scary. The road is bad, curvy and some hills are so steep that I’m afraid some of the most drunken ones will fall off but we manage to arrive without complications. We head to the beach through small alleys with stands selling even more buckets. People stock up; it’s more expensive on the beach. You will actually need to pay 10€ instead of 8 of your 1 liter vodka bucket. I’m worried. I’m not drunk enough if I can still care about the safety of the others, price of the taxi and worry about the hangover I might have if I’d buy myself a bucket. I head to a convenience store and get myself a half bottle of red wine.

People are giving me weird looks. “What are you drinking? Is that wine?” (At this point I will need to ask you to imagine the tone these questions are presented.) “Yes it is.” I know vodka. It pretends it’s your best friend and you share such a memorable moments but next day it will literally leave you in a way that you wish you never had met. So I stick to my wine.   

The beach is full of people and the music is loud. It is not only one music it’s many. On the whole beach you cannot find a spot where you wouldn’t hear at least 3 different tunes at once so it is a bit hard to dance at least if you’re not completely pissed. We hover around the beach trying to find the perfect party spot. I forget myself to watch a fire show for a while and I suddenly notice my “friends” are gone. The friend I actually came with found herself a bloke and the rest of the group has just dissolved to the party crowd. I’m actually quite relieved. I mean, I wouldn’t mind hanging around with my friend but I reckon she will appreciate the “alone time” with the guy and the rest of the gang I’m not missing very much. And then someone starts to talk to me. I recognize the guy from the group from our bungalows. His shorts are completely wet and his body paint has smudged big time. “I fell into the ocean” he explains. He doesn’t have much to say but he won’t stop talking. The poor guy is trying so hard I almost feel sorry for him but I have to let him down. “Look, I reckon you should go and I find your friends. I’ll bet you’ll find another girl to hang with. I mean, your more than welcome to stay with me and talk but that is all you gonna get from me tonight.” He looks like a wet puppy when he asks me why, but settles with my answer and hangs around.  

It’s around 4 am when I decide that I’ve had enough. There are people passed out on the beach, some couples have obviously forgotten where their room was and people start to look like they’ve seen better days still unaware of their current state. I’ve finished my wine had a bottle of water and a bite to eat and we finally manage to find my friend with her bloke. When we head back to our bungalows I decide that it’s time for a moonlight swim. It’s the low tide and the water is shallow on our beach anyway so it’s really not dangerous. I feel quite ok when I finally crawl into bed freshened by the cool water and night breeze. The next morning I wake up with something which I first think is the worst hangover ever.

Tags: full moon party, ko phangan


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