The next island along from Kho Tao is Koh Phangan, this is where the Full Moon Party is held once a month. Since going to Thailand was a spur of the moment decision and not very well planned, the Full Moon party that was on during our time in the country had already been and gone, however when we looked into it there was a Black Moon Party the next day so we hopped onto the boat and headed over to Koh Phangan.
We arrived, picked a 'resort' and got a lift straight there. You know when the pictures in a brochure look nothing like real life; well this was definitely one of those cases! It was a bit surreal as the whole place was empty, you could see the leftover evidence of past Full Moon Parties with neon paint smeared on the walls of the bungalows or should I say huts.
We got showered and changed and decided to head to Haad Rin which is the part of the Island where the Full Moon Party is held, we figured there must still be things going on even if there was no party. On this island the Taxi's are big truck like Tuk Tuk's, the island is pretty hilly and it felt like you were on a roller coaster; it was great fun. We arrived at Haad Rin and it was filled with shops selling neon t-shirst, tattoo stores and takeaways, after a quick wander through the streets we headed down to the beach. It was such a strange feeling seeing an empty beach lined with a few bars and a few stalls selling buckets but only about 50 people around. It was difficult to imagine how it must be when there are 20,000 people dancing away.
If you know me and Scott you probably know we like a drink, so even though no one else was we decided we couldn't come here and not drink buckets. So a few very strong, vey big Vodka and Red Bulls later (please note the Red Bull in Thailand is practically liquid speed) we decided to visit to Mushroom Mountain before we went onto the Black Moon Party. Mushroom Mountain is a bar at the end of the beach, it's covered in neon lights and you guessed it, sells magic mushroom shakes. We bought ourselves a shake each but after the first sip went and got a bottle of water to wash it down with! Imagine a pint of mushrooms blended together with a bit of ice and some sugar to make it taste not quite as awful. We drank the shakes as quickly as our gag reflex would let us and headed off back down the beach to the town.
On the walk back we thought the beach was the most beautiful we had ever seen (it certainly wasn't) and the fire poi, well they were something else! The Black Moon Party was held at a different beach which meant another ride on the rollercoaster. This turned out to be quite a journey as we shared our taxi with a family and due to the influence of the shakes we couldn't help laughing at just about everything, the family obviously thought we were crazy and the mum even refused to look in our direction (I'd just like to point out that the children were probably about 18). The party was really good, although the music was a bit psychedelic for our liking; the mushroom's definitely helped us enjoy it a bit more than we normally would. We basically drank and danced the night away whilst being amazed by the crazy moving neon pictures that were surrounding the dance floor.
The next day was a write off and we spent the day lounging around the pool and in the evening went back to the beach to watch the fire show, this was the point we realised the beach wasn't actually that beautiful at all.
On our last day on Koh Phangan we rented a moped and drove around the whole island, stopping off for a swim in waterfall pool's when we got too hot. It was a nice chilled out day and we did a couple of little jungle treks before stopping in the evening to drink beer and watch football. We found a cool little bar where we had our own retro tv on the table playing English football, Scott couldn't have been happier.
At this point we were still unsure of where to head next, we had about 6 days left before our journey to Cambodia. We considered going to the next island along or going back to Koh Tao to do more diving, however we realised we wanted see more of the jungle. So booked a journey to a national park on the southern mainland of Thailand called Khao Sok. We hadn't met anybody that had been here and all we knew was what the guidebook told us - you were surrounded by jungle.