Blog : Koh Phangan
Catching the ferry from Koh Samui, after our visa drama, in the pissing rain was not fun... Our backpacks got absolutely soaked - no clever plastic cover for me or my clothes (mmm gotta love the damp smell now) and the sea was really rough and choppy so it wasn't a comfortable ride across the waters to the full moon party island, Koh Phangan. And we got of the boat to more rain and no idea how to get to our hostel that luckily we had booked ages in advance... We managed to get into a minivan that looked like it was doing the rounds dropping backpackers off all over the party part of the island so we jumped aboard and we all had such shocked faces at the disgusting weather!! When we arrived to our hostel, Fubar, we were pretty disappointed as it looked like a complete s*** hole and the manager wasn't even there so we had to sit and wait with another big group of people from the Uk for about half an hour until he finally rocked up! Our dorm was directly above the bar and facing out towards more bars all blaring music at top whack, so my immediate thoughts were that i was never going to be able to sleep!! What a granny!
The other people in our dorm were really nice, all from Liverpool and around our age and everything. I was a bit worried about having hardcore party people in the room who would just be a bit scummy but i was really pleasantly surprised and actually as bizarre as it sounds, koh phangan felt more authentic than koh samui. All of the roads we drove on were either rickety or dirt tracks and the streets by the beach all crooked and higgle-dee-piggle-dee... So back in the dorm anyway the beds were pod style bunk beds again but with almost no light in the whole place and very shallow bottom bunks... I was the last into the sixteen bed dorm and all the best beds had already been bugsied, mine was a top bunk in the corner opposite the toilet... Not to bad, and the next five or so people into the room had it much worse! We slung our bags up onto our bunks and all we three an Israel went on a little walk into the town to sniff out full moon party attire and food, because we were starving having had breakfast at 7am and only scoffed a pack of crisps between then and 430pm ish! We came across Mama Schnitzel which Israel said he had read about in loads of guide books as was absolutely heaving full even in the middle of the afternoon... Surprisingly given the name though, with loads of Israelis rather than Germans! We walked in intending in just getting a bit if lunch to tide is over until dinner but we all ended up ordering schnitzel, mash and salad... Massive main course dinners! It was so yummy though and we were so full and satisfied afterwards and had to head back to the dorm for a little nap.
Everyone in the dorm was game for going out the night and having had a look round the town you couldn't escape the buckets of booze on sale everywhere and the millions of make shift stalls called "im not a c*** or "f***ing cheap" which i didnt really like, selling buckets and booze galore :/ i didnt see the need for that but certainly the alcohol was very cheap and in the hostel bar that evening where we started out with all our new dorm buddies my gin and tonic bucket was £4! I drank it slowly and made it last my whole night though as i didnt want to spend any more money or drink a crazy amount what with everyone warning us and being worried at home... From the hostel bar we ventured down to the beach where there were so many flashing and fluro lights and buckets being sold and people dancing, mish mash music, loads of very un-inconspicuous weeing in the sea and lots of silly games! We had a good boogie in the massive group of us and Andy and KV started doing cheer leading routines!! We inched up the beach dancing at each of the bars and gradually floated back into the town, in search of food, preferably pancakes. We went to the little crepe stalk but he had already rib out of batter micture for the night so was shutting up shop... KV demanded pancakes though and went behind the cooking station and starte pretendig to cook them, clattering te utensils around and sizzling butter on the hot plate. Al and i were in hystericals and stood laughing whikst i helped myself to raisons from a nutella pot on te side of the stall. i think the pancake man thought we were crazy, but he did point us in the direction of an American restaurant and so we figured we were set so sat down and all ordered choccy pancakes at silly o clock in the morning. They were sooooo disappointing. They came out about two inches thick and just tasted of scrambled egg, with lumps of banana on and cheap as chips choco sauce. In fact mine tasted like banana and chocolate and flour omelette and half way through when i worked this out i couldn't eat any more, bleughhhh... A not very well spent £2 odd!
We got up late the next morning, with everyone waking up and feeling equally groggy and stuffy in our dark and dank dorm... Although conversation initially started with a girl eating her own tampon it improved and when breakfast was mentioned we three all raised our heads. We ate downstairs in the hostel as it looked pretty cheap and none of us could be bothered to walk much further as wed not had the best nights sleep with all the music around us blaring until 6am. Yes 6am! I was woken up as it was turned off because it made such a noticeable difference! I asked the guy who ran the hostel if he had any soy milk and bless him, he went to to shop to get me some so i ordered a fruit salad with muesli and my milk which was delish :) and only cost just over a pound, including a bottle of water! Al kate and i wandered around the town a bit, poking our noses into all of the shops and we found a shop selling cut off Levi denim shorts which were super cheap so we spent ages in there looking, but i didn't want another pair so i looked for B instead and found some nice ones :) and then we sunbathed on the beach and napped which was just what i think we all needed.
We had a late lunch at yet another Israeli place - Ladino, we all had falafel pittas with pesto and hummus which were sooo yummy :) and after more mooching we met up with the newbies in our dorm and started planning the evenings events! The Liverpool lot were heading the apparently famous Coral bungalow pool party and so we and the American couple from the dorm all go on board and we decided to go as a massive group... After showering and pre drinks buckets in the Fubar downstairs we all started the short walk over the hill to the Coral bungalows. After a few mins a taxi bus came past us and said it was going to the pool party and no joke all twenty or so of us piled into this bus that probably should have only held eight people... We had girls sitting on the laps of girls sitting on other people's laps, three times over! And we became a bit loutish shouting songs and for some reason the names of all the boys in the bus saying they had hard ons(?) and banging the ceiling to make a bass! We got to the pool party and it was pretty busy although there wasn't really that many people in the pool at that point. I had brought no money with me so i didnt buy any more alcohol but one of the girls with us who was quite drink literally ran and jumped into the pool the second we arrived, in all her clothes! Everyone started getting either pulled in or encouraged to jump and get wet. Israel was showing off and did a leap frog over a girl standing up straight and into the pool... Which unfortunately was only a meter and a half deep in the deep end and he got a massive gash in his back. I mean one of those ones that doesn't actually even bleed and is so deep that you can just see white fat :/ bleughhhh it made my knees go weak but he seemed to say he was down so for another twenty mins or so everyone forgot about it. I then saw him being "kicked out" of the party because of his wound and he was pretty drunk so couldn't really explain that he didn't want to go to hospital on a motorbike to get sown up! I went over and explained wed look after him and had a second look at his cut. It was pretty bad but our main concerns were that a) the pool water was full of alcohol, wee and probably sperm with all of the people making out around the edge of the pool, so an infection was a sure thing if he didnt get his wound cleaned properly so me and another girl took him up the road to a nurses clinic that wed noticed on our way there. And b) once he was cleaned up, the nurse insisted that he go to the hospital on the main land to get stitches, which obviously would cost a fortune... And we were doubtful as to whether he really needed to or whether the nurse was trying make a pretty penny from him whilst he was drunk. We sai wed reevaluate how it looked in the morning and whether he needed to go or not then.!we had to borrow some money of some others we recognised from the hostel as he didnt have any and the nurse was holding him hostage until he could pay his dressing fee. We then put him in a taxi and sent him home to bed just after midnight. It was quite a palaver! When Charlotte and i got back into the pool party, if we hadnt been already then we most certainly then were sober as anything! We went for a wee and then statue looking for everyone else. We found kate and al who were carrying someone's clothes and valuables and just gave them to us as they went to per but they didnt come back and find us so we lugged the stuff around with us looking for everyone else and then decided to hide the clothes in a bush at the front of the hostel and just look after the valuable bits. We found another girl from the group who was devastated about loosing her glasses in the swimming pool and everything seemed to be getting a little more rowdy and reckless. Next thing we knew, Charl and i were ring huge by very wet Liverpudlians for looking after their stuff and offers of free drinks showered upon us. When i showed them where their dry clothes were as well they were so happy at having not lost them! I felt like a mum to everyone. Charl was then at the point of tears, a combo of stress from the Israel hospital thing, not being able to find everyone and the general craziness of the night so i sat with her for a while and we chatted and did the usual tell your life history s*** and we both decided to go and dunk in the pool, which was really quite disgusting but the only way to find any of the people left at the party as all of our group were right in the middle! We waded over, trying to avoid the glass at the bottom and people bombing in left right and centre! I had a good old boogie with the South Americans from our hostel whilst the others stayed in the pool... I wasn't that keen! And at about 3am me Charl and some others walked back to the hostel, where once in bed, more people carried on arriving back in dribs and drabs! So another terrible night of sleep...!
Having got up late and chowed down breakfast at the hostel, we went to the beach and all sunbathed, napped and chatted with our big group of people that we set up camp with on the beach. We talked about the plans for that evening, a rave in the jungle was on the cards, but we had to be there before 11pm for free entry... So we all went out for a relatively early dinner on the beach. The good was disappointingly average. I had a thai red curry which had quite a few dodgey looking vegetables in it that i didnt recognise and i find it really annoying when the curry's consistency is almost soup like its so thin and runny and my dinner this night was difficult to eat for being so liquidy. I guess its probably the traditional way but i don't like feeling like in just drinking coconut milk, we make it much better at home with the coconut cream. After dinner, which ended up taking quite a while once wed all individually paid and gotten change, we got home and it was a quick turnaround to change, shower and get back out to have a predrink in the hostels bar downstairs before heading into the middle of the island for this jungle party. Someone had arranged a taxi bus to take us to the rave and we crammed way more people than should have been inside in, with more hanging off the step at the back and continued the tradition of belting out songs from musicals at the tops of our voices along the whole journey! At the other end i skipped out paying the fare as a) there was so many of us the taxi man had done well enough as it was b) i didn't even have a seat, i was squatting and c) we were told it was free... Ggrrr! We had to run down a dirt path which was about 400m long to make sure we got in the door before the clock ticked 11pm and as we started running everyone else had obviously also had the same thought so there was just a huge pack of people ascending on this party in a clearing in the jungle. The speakers were huge and music so load and it was heaving! We had a good old boogie and it was good that early on we sort of established an area that we all gravitated towards so we could find one another. You had to pay to use the toilet though so the girls and i kept going behind a little shed in the clearing which after a few trips we realised was actually the drinks stock room. The worst hidden ever! So helped ourselves to Chang beers and cokes galore! Freebies all night long. We all crashed about 3am though so piled into a taxi home and it took forever because the taxi lady wouldn't go without everyones money and some people didn't pay, so we were there for a while :/
The following day was much the same as the one before... Sleeping in late, chilling in the beach and stuffing our faces with falafel and pitta. Its so weird the number of Israelis here and that all the restaurants serve Israeli food and the menus are in Hebrew as well as thai and swedish(?) we stocked up on UV paint and KV got herself a fluorescent T-shirt to wear to the full moon party later that night. I didnt really want to spend any money on anything bright as i figured i would probably not want to wear it again and only then have the predicament f what thing to throw out for its place in the backpack... Although having said that, a couple of tops did get the boot. Two white vest tops that were pretty dirty with yellow stains on them and some toiletry bits, like the plastic containers that my bluster plasters were in and my snap back hat had to go as i didnt take v good care of him and the front went all out of shape. Plus he always makes my head sweaty so i don't usually wear it. I will probably regret this one, when i see people sunbathing with caps shading their faces!! So back to full moon, we had all paid the 200baht for an all you could eat buffet at the hostel (about £4) so we chowed through that the second it was served. I ate two full plates full of just carbs. I was actually embarrassed at one point at the amount i was putting away! I had tomato pasta, potato curry, veg fried rice, cheese sandwiches, spring rolls etc i think every type of starch there is? And yes i had seconds and yes i then had pudding. I justified it though as lining my stomach properly for the party later. I was pacing myself with the alcohol too as i didnt want to peak too soon and miss the 7am sunrise on the beach!
I wore my pink topshop tie die tshirt which is quite long so i wore it as a dress with a bikini underneath as i knew id be dipping in and out of the sea, to wee if nothing else. It was too got to have my hair down so i had it in a big pile on the top of my head with my flower wreath on, from Byron bay Christmas Day. Having had an allergic reaction to the paint the night before on my face (obviously eh?) i avoided putting it on my face again and thought if i did a particularly intricate design on my leg people wouldnt try and attack me with paint "because i didnt have any on"! I painted a bit of a swirl tree growing up my leg and then when we were all together downstairs in Fubar decorating each other i got a bit carried away and had 24601 on the back of my leg along with everyone else, the les mis prisoner number, to signify our obsession; a Harry potter dark mark on my forearm, yes thats right death eaters went in force to the full moon party! And i had spots and strips galore across the rest of any arm space remaining! I decorated a couple of other people too, doing KV and charls faces which luckily i didnt f*** up! And we all sat around drinking our buckets and chatting and taking pictures until almost midnight. Most people didnt want to take their cameras with them for fear of getting them wet or loosing them do i was quite smug with my big round the next strap and waterproofness!! Down on the beach, about 10m from our hostel, we established a meeting point in case any of us got lost or split up and almost instantly after that the front half of our pretty big group got seperated from the back. There was tens of thousands of people on the beach that wasnt that wide with the tide and loads of make shift bar stands with thai people hollering out to you to come and buy a "f*** me bucket" or "same same but better" buckets. The music was all blaring from the different beach front bars and i found that i was dancing continually to different beats than those around me as all the sounds mixed in together! I had a great time with the Liverpool girls splashing in the shallow sea, chatting, dancing and generally just soaking up the atmosphere. It was really fun. I could see why there is potential for the parties to be dangerous but actually as long as your sensible and look after yourself then your all good! Some people were smashed though and every time we nipped back to the hostel in twos for wees there was always someone having a nap or that had over egged it on the sofa! We found the second half of the group about mid way through the night after they'd had dramas with someone hitting their head and being concussed.... But we all carried on drinking and dancing the night away. Time seemed Togo really slow then really fast, one minute it was 2am the next 5am etc and i made it to sunrise :D i was so proud of myself! The original granny stayed out all night!! Some people came back to the beach from bed to watch it and hilariously a taxi boat with a group full of people pulled up to the beach at about 7am looking for the party.! We were all laughing and saying it was yesterday so they'd missed it! After a quick jumper run, i was freezing, i was dancing in the sea and so many people kept asking what i was on, like drugs or anything because i was dancing like an idiot. Embarrassingly i was just happy in my own little world of livy, doing my normal dancing and told everyone i was high on life - cringe! At the end of the night, 7 or 8am or something(!) i went to the schnitzel place and loaded up on chicken sand which before bed (how i could be hungry after that buffet il never know!) and went back to the hostel to sleep. The blaring and pumping music carried on until eleven am but almost everyone was home when we got in, sleeping and some people were awake early and started drinking all over again and went to a day after party up the road. The girls went but i must have been asleep and missed the whole thing. I probably wouldn't have been able to handle it though in my state of tierdness!
The following day was a bit of a blurr for me. I got up and went to the beach about lunch time with the girls and and couple of the Liverpool peeps and then had another nap on the beach, although it was soo dirty with rubbish everywhere having not been cleaned up yet. We saw a very few people that looked like theyd been out all night and were still raving but for the most part the beach was pretty empty. Even though id seen how much beer, piss and vom had gone into the sea the previous night i still got in few a swim as it was blisteringly hot! I went in search of food at about three or four and ended up with the worlds most disappointing mozarella and pesto pitta :(. I decided to spend the rest of the day on the hostel sofas watching TV on my phone, monging and talking to mum and B at home. I dozed on and off too as i felt exhausted. We all went for dinner about eightish together, a farewell dinner we called it as only some of us from the group would be going to the next island Koh Tao the following day. I had some kind of veg with rice dish which i demolished immediately - standard! The resturant was showing step up 2 as well so we all sat transfixed to the rubbish movie in a zombie state! We walked down the beach a bit to see if anything was going on and it was very empty with only one bar playing any music so we hoped that ours would be quiet and wed be able to get some sleep. I watched another episode of the killing and some of the others went to the reggae bar next door for a few beers. Our hostel did have music on but i went to bed about midnight, sufficiently tired enough to be able to sleep through it! It was quite possibly the worst nights sleep though, with people coming in and out of the dorm, the music volume outside constantly changing and freezing cold from the aircon. And i woke up with a real fluey feeling :( and like koh phangan had done a good job of ruining me!
We were up relaticely early to pack snd have breakfast, which turned into a but of a stress, as it took such a long time for all of our orders to be made and half of them were wrong that we only had about ten minutes to shovel the bacon and eggs down our throats before we had to be checked out of the hostel and up the road to be picked up by the minibus and taken to the ferry port. Bring on the peace and quiet of koh tao!