Full mooning in Koh Phangan..........
So the next destination on our itinerary was Koh Phangan for the infamous full moon party. The full moon party is basically a massive beach party which takes place every full moon and involves drinking potent cocktails from buckets whilst dancing the night away on the beach until the sun rises!
We decided to get to Koh Phangan the day before the full moon party to give ourselves a night to warm up for the party.
The trip to Phangan from Koh Samui involved a 30 minute boat trip of which there was nothing significant to report on.
James had been recommended accommodation (Shirelea backpackers resort) by a friend so we booked it in advance with the added benefit of being picked up at the pier in Koh Phangan.
Despite arriving at the pier almost an hour later than scheduled, "Uncle Mike" from Shirelea was waiting patiently to greet us in his swanky pick up truck. Mike's a recently retired East Londoner who was helping his friend run the resort. He was a really nice guy and so helpful -on the way to the resort he offered to take us to the cheap local supermarket so we could stock up on any essential items!
It was about a 30 minute journey from Haad Rin (where the pier was and where the full moon party is held) to Haad Yao where we were staying. It really wasn't that far but Koh Phangan is surprisingly hilly and the roads are pretty windy.
After checking in we had dinner at Shirelea - it was Thai Green curry for James and Pad Thai for me! The food was really really good.
The set up at Shirelae was really sociable, there was a big wooden shack with a bar, restaurant, reception area and chill out area with a plasma screen and a dvd player all together.
After dinner we went out for a few drinks on the beach. The beach was really beautiful - pure white sand and crystal clear water with just a few modest buildings lining the beach. Whilst we sat there chilling with our drinks, admiring the scenery, some guys from the bar put on a fire show. So the intended full moon warm up night was actually pretty chilled!
We spent the next day chilling at a bar on the beach which was a 2 minute walk from our resort. It was slightly overcast but we had a couple of hours sun which was enough to enable us to work on the tan!
We had dinner back at Shirelea before the drinking commenced! The whole of Shirelea had been booked out to a group of about 25 reps who worked for the NZ tour company Kontiki who were holidaying together during their time off. They were all off to the full moon party so we joined them in their pre drinking before getting a taxi together to the party.
The taxi ride was pretty mental. The taxi was a songthaew which is basically a converted pick up truck. One songthaew managed to squeeze 13 people although the guys were pretty much hanging out the back whilst having to hold on for dear life! We all had a sing song on the way there with the songs ranging from Whitney Houston to The Righteous Brothers. Seeing as the Kontiki reps were various nationalities, we all sang our respective national anthems and James caused much offence to Ria Evans when he started singing "on your own, on your own" over her rendition of the Welsh National Anthem!!
The full moon party did not disappoint and we managed to see it through until the sun rose!
The day after the full moon party was a complete write off. We didn't get up until early afternoon. Seeing as the weather was horrendous with rain and storms, we passed the hours playing Connect 4! Still feeling so rough from the night before, we took it upon ourselves to have an early night.
The next day the weather was equally bad as it had been the previous day so we decided to leave Koh Phangan to head to our next destination of Koh Tao in search of some sun. So we packed up our stuff, checked out and headed to the beach to get a boat ticket to take us to Koh Toa. Unfortunately no boats were doing the journey due to the bad weather conditions. To be fair the sea did look ridiculously choppy!
Luckily we were able to have our room back (after they had cleaned it!) and spent the day chilling around the bar area at Shirelea again. Thunder storms had caused power cuts on the island for a few hours so this left nothing to do apart from chill out around the bar and play Connect 4 again! When James was fed up of being beaten by me (or maybe it was the other way round!) he was challenged to some games by Karim, the bar guy, who gave him a thrashing!
That evening we watched The Hangover (for the second time in a week - James's new favourite film) before going out with the Kontiki guys for a "few" drinks at a bar on the beach. This was the most surreal night as James and I both agreed that we appeared to lose 6 hours! One minute we looked at the clock and it was 11 o'clock, then the next minute we knew we were being summoned by Ria Evans to go swimming in the sea and it was 5 am!
Apart from discovering a new found love for Lycee flavoured Bacardi Breezers, being entertained by a Toine from Holland with his riddles and being entertained by the bar's dog which was drunk on shots and beer, we seriously don't know where the rest of the night went!
As if swimming in the sea wasn't enough, when we got back to Shirelea, Ria Evans insisted that we all go swimming in the pool! Once again, for the second night in a row we went to bed when it was broad daylight outside!
The next day the weather was slightly better but before checking out we made sure the boats were running to Koh Tao. Luckily they were so we checked out of Shirlea for the second and final time. Looking back we probably should have left it a day or more before we braved the weather to get a boat across. That however is a story for the next blog!
Until then, bye for now
Laura & James