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Ko Phangan

THAILAND | Friday, 12 May 2017 | Views [326]

My flight from Bangkok to Surat Thani was a short hour flight, no issues at all. The Surat Thani airport is the smallest thing I have ever seen. It makes the Lansing airport look like a palace. It is exactly like the Sault Ste Marie airport...2 gates. Going to islands requires a bus from the airport to the docks and a boat out to the individual island. The ticket I purchased the night prior gave me about a 4 hour layover in the terminal. There was air conditioning in the terminal so I was able to survive without much issue. Hopped on the double decker luxury bus and made it to the pier. I met a french guy named Vincent, he was also heading to Ko Phangan. We chatted for a while. Once we made it to the boat, they loaded up our bags in a huge pile in the middle and I took my seat in the “air conditioned” cabin. I think I heard that it was a boat for over 1,000 people and once the seats filled up on the inside of the cabin, the body heat of people were taking over. Sitting next to me were two canadians, Zayn and Adrianne. I hung out with them for a majority of the boat ride. There were very small rain clouds that popped up in the sea around us. It provided some cool rainbows off in the distance from the boat. As our 2.5 hour boat journey continued, the sun fell behind the horizon and we had an awesome sunset. We got off the boat in the dark and the taxi drivers started to swarm. They obviously feed off tourists and are very annoying. Zayn and I met 3 people from england and they were staying in Haat Rin as well. Martin, Stephanie, and Amanda were their names. Haat Rin is where the Full Moon party beach is located, a small busy part of the island. Having 5 people, we ignored most of the taxi drivers offers and haggled with them to get the price we wanted. The 5 of us made the 35 minute cab ride and we each found our hostels.

The next morning I gathered some people around for a hike. Roy, who I met in my hostel came with us and I met up with Zayn again. A bunch of people came with us on the hike, we picked up random people at a few hostels that we met in the street. Ben, Darren and Sean all joined us on the hike to a lookout over the beach. It was a fun hike up the mountain, we got lost a few times along the way when the trail sort of disappeared and boy am I glad I wore my hiking shoes. Sean wore his flip flops and boy did that look difficult and uncomfortable. Along the way we ran into 2 girls from Houston, Taylor and Courtney, who had hit a dead end in the road, they didn't know how to make it to the very top. They joined our group and we made it to the look out area. It was such an awesome view and we hung out there for a bit. We decided we were going to hike back down the opposite side of the mountain to the beach we were overlooking. This direction there was much less of a paved path, it was more of a jungle trek. Again, I was happy I was wearing the proper shoes. We used vines to support us as we went down small drop offs. I felt like Tarzan. Luckily we did not come upon any snakes or anything too terrifying, other than a few really big bugs….we eventually made it to the beach. We hung out at the beach for a while, there very few people there, and we took a boat taxi back to the beach near where we were staying. We had an awesome time on the hike and we went and got food then hung out on the beach for most of the evening.

The next day was the day of the Full Moon party. People come in from all of the other islands to come together on the one beach which is full of people and music. I decided I would go snorkeling with a group of people. The group consisted of 4 guys from Central Michigan, a few Canadians and a girl from Denver. We had a great time snorkeling for just over an hour, swimming out just over 200 feet off of shore. The bottom dropped out and there were some huge coral formations that came up near the surface. We saw some very interesting fish, both big and small. Once we were done swimming around, we hiked up a huge hill to a bar called “360 Bar”. Once we got to the top, we had an incredible vantage point of the beach we were swimming on below. The bar overlooked the horizon to the west and we had a great view of the sunset. We grabbed a cab back to the other side of the island, where the party was going to be starting to go until the morning.

At the “Full Moon” party, it begins at 8 pm and goes until after the sun rises at 8 am. Zayn and I met up with our 3 British friends at their hostel and we got body painted and ready for the party. The party was a blast, the beach was full of people and music. We did not get to the beach until about 11 pm and it was on full force. People were dancing on the beach and swimming as well (that could not have been safe). Our group would frequently lose each other on the beach since there were so many people in one area. I went back to my hostel a few times in order to regroup with the others. We made it throughout the whole night and I was at the beach when the sun came up at 630 am. I hung out on the beach and we fought through some rain until about 730 am when I finally went to bed.

I slept for about 5 hours then I met back up with people for food. We wandered down to the beach to see the damage from the night prior, it was brutal. Beer bottles and trash everywhere, pretty gross. Later in the afternoon we took a cab halfway around the island to “Amsterdam Bar”. Our group consisted of Nick and TJ (Canadian couple) and their Thai cousin Nicholas, Zayn and Adrianne showed up as well. Too many Canadians on this island! This bar was very laid back...probably because literally everyone there besides me was smoking weed. Weed is not legal in Thailand, but this bar is one of the few places on the island that you can buy it from a restaraunt. The music was great, we watched the sunset and watched the stars for a while. It was a nice laid back night after the one we had before. Later in the evening we made it back to the other beach to meet up with the 3 Brits. We hung out with them on the beach for a few hours, just chatting. Then this crazy guy named Ross came up and sat down next to us, he told us we were going to all be best friends. This guy was in his mid-40’s and definitely on something, the way he was talking. But he had some pretty hilarious jokes and we talked to him for a bit before I called it a night.

In the morning (Saturday), I am taking the ferry over to the island of Koh Tao. Koh Tao is most famous for certifying open water scuba divers, but they have great snorkeling too. I am not sure if I will do the diving, my buddy Zayn is pushing me to do it since he is going to get certified. We shall see.

On to the next island...


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