We made it to Koh Phangan and are now just counting down the hours until the big full moon party!! I am interested to see what is in store for us on the night of the party. I've been to my fair share of full moon parties in Whistler but this is where they all started and it will be my first true Full Moon Party! Before heading to Southeast Asia I was super excited about the fact that I was going to Thailand and could experience the crazy party in which I have heard and read so much about! Now that I am here and it is the eve of the party I'm not sure how I feel about the whole thing! I've really enjoyed the more mellow and chilled out parts of Thailand and have been trying to avoid the crazy touristy party beaches as much as possible. Ive found that being on islands packed with tourists and everything being tailored to tourists kind of takes away from the whole experience. Walking around begins to feel like a bigger crazier Sauble Beach and I sometimes forget that I am in a whole other continent.
We are staying on Haad Rin which is the beach where the full moon party happens. We arrived on the island not knowing where we were going to stay because I thought we'd be better off checking things out in person so we didn't end up booking somewhere right in the middle of the party action. Bryan and I both talked about our options and came to a mutual agreement that we should try and find something close enough to the moon beach but far enough from all the craziness so we wouldn't be stuck having a three or four night bender if we were staying in the middle of all the action. When we got off the ferrie we ended up in a minibus which was packed with Canadians. We quickly became friends with a group of three girls and three guys who were travelling together and we decided to check out where they booked to stay. After weaving our way around Haad Rin trying to find the place we finally arrived to the nice little beach huts which were literally right on the beach. Bryan seemed very skeptical when we were showed their two cheapest rooms. One was a bungalow with fan, cold shower and toilet for 300baht and the other was the exact same but with a larger bathroom and hot water for 700baht. I was down to share the 300baht room because I've been staying in very similar accommodations along the way and am always looking for the budget options. I could tell Bryan was not very comfortable with what he was seeing and it took a bit of convincing to get him to agree to stay in such a hut. I was really hoping to get the cheaper room because I knew we would be spending a lot of money while we are here and everything is a bit pricier in Koh Phangan especially around full moon. I decided to compromise and settle on the room with a hot shower and larger washroom so he could feel a little more comfortable and paying 350baht each wasn't too much out of my budget since I've been travelling solo and haven't always had the luxury of sharing a room with someone to save money on accommodations. Once we started to settle in a little and I kept reminding him to think of it as camping he began to really like the idea of staying in a hut. I've embraced and actually really enjoyed the huts so far and I knew he would too if he just gave it a chance. I was happy because we were situated on a beautiful beach with white sand, perfect for swimming and laying around away from all the crazyness but still just a 15-20 minute walk from the party and about a 10 minute walk from the main strip with all the restaurants, bars and shops. We spent our first day here just laying on the beach, swimming and drinking pineapple coconut shakes which we spiked with rum. After a full day on the beach we ran into the Canadians who invited us to join them for dinner and then head to a pre full moon Pool Party at one of the hostels a friend of theirs was staying at. We all got dinner and drinks and Bryan and I continued to drink fruit shakes spiked with the little bit of rum we had left from the afternoon. Since we had been pacing ourselves all day I wasn't really drunk at all and wasn't sure how ready I was for this crazy pool party we were about to venture off too. I could tell Bryan was thinking and feeling the same. As soon as we arrived to the hostel where the party was I was surprised at how tame the atmosphere was. We walked into a restaurant full of almost all guys watching soccer, mostly drinking beer or the occasional bucket and not a single person in the pool. Not what I was expecting, or any of us for that matter really. We all grabbed a table and the girls walked around trying to find their friend who was backpacking with her boyfriend who also happened to be there for the full moon. Within minutes the game ended and the room was starting to get a whole lot rowdier! Bryan and I headed to the bar because we both knew we needed to be a lot drunker for this party which was about to go off! We got there 5 minutes before happy hour when rum buckets were going to be on sale for 100baht as supposed to 200baht if we ordered right away. We decided on what we wanted to mix with our rum as we waited the extra 5 minutes. I had been drinking buckets with some of the locals in Ton Sai so I decided to stick to what I was drinking with them. Sang Som (rum), Diet Coke and Red Bull which was just what I needed to get on the right level for this party which was quickly starting to go off. About half a bucket in and I was feeling pretty good and ready to party! We all hung out, met some new people and occasional would take a quick dip in the pool. We left all of our valuables back in our room so we didn't have to worry too much about leaving our stuff if we decided to swim. I was very glad of that decision because we both ended up in the pool and left our clothes with one of the Canadian girls to watch while we were in the pool. I had about 400baht ($13) in my pocket which I later found out was missing when I put my clothes back on after swimming. Bryan also lost his shirt which he had just purchased the day before which kinda put a downer on the night. You hear of all the horror stories if people getting things stolen from them during full moon time and now I can see how it happens. I don't necessarily think our stuff was stolen but more so lost but then again it goes to show trust no one. I have a feeling my money fell out of my pocket because they were pretty loose pockets and the girl had a pile of all our clothes which she walked around with until we got out. She had also been a few buckets deep and probably didn't notice it falling out and might of also dropped Bryan's shirt along the way. We couldn't really blame anyone but ourselves for not being able to resist the urge to keep our clothes on and stay out of the pool! I was thankful that I didn't bring anything else with me and didn't lose too much money. When you think of it in Canadian dollars it really isn't much I'd be worried about back home but in baht it's a whole other story. It's was more then what I was paying for one night stay in our hut and when backpacking on a budget, that 400baht is a pretty decent lose. I was trying to stay positive and not let it ruin my night and was a good lesson to learn before the actual party itself. I am going to have to keep my money very close to me at all times and not bring anything else because its not worth the risk. That means no photos from the party but I can deal with that if it means me not losing my phone. After that whole incident we carried on to have fun until we were ready to go back! I could have stayed a lot longer but the girls we were with wanted to leave so I thought it was the best idea to go with them and save money on a tuk tuk since we were quite a ways from where we were staying. I also know if I'd stayed I would of had one too many buckets and would not be doing so well the next day! I know the full moon is going to be full of drinking and I want to be able to last the whole night and not be too partied out before it even happens. When we got back to our beach we hung out on some lawn chairs, swam in the ocean and drank a little more in a much more relaxed setting. The girls went off to their rooms and Bryan and I weren't ready to sleep so we stayed on the beach. We met a guy and a girl from France who were super cool and we just hung out sitting in the ocean until the early hours of the morning before heading off to bed.
I woke up the next day still drunk and remembered I'd promised to lead an 8am yoga class on the beach. The Canadians we were with were super keen on getting up the next day and doing yoga when we were all drunk as having a good time. I wanted to keep my promise so I dragged myself outside to do a little pranayama and meditation to prepare myself if they actually woke up and decided to show up regardless of how they felt. Meditating while still drunk does not work so well and I was glad that no one showed up for yoga because I was not exactly in there right shape and form to lead a class.
Bryan woke up about half an hour later and came and found me outside. We grabbed breakfast and got in touch with Calina who was also on the island with her travel group. We told her to come to our bungalows and we could hangout and shop for full moon gear together since we were a lot closer to the strip then where she was staying. It was so nice to see her and have the three of us together in Thailand for a couple days! I'm glad I'm able to share a tiny bit of this journey with a couple friends from home so we can all reminiss on our time here when we get back home! It's nice to hangout with them and experience this together for a bit but I am still looking forward to being back on my own and having that ultimate freedom again!
We spent our day doing as planned. Checked out multiple stores on the strip trying to find the perfect full moon outfit and souvenir shirt. It was also Calina birthday so I was happy she could spend the day with us and hopefully had a decent birthday still considering she's so far away from friends and family back home. Calina was in heaven shopping around buying something almost everywhere we stopped! It was her birthday and she was treating herself with such much deserves gifts! I on the other hand had to try and contain myself from buying everything because of my budget and the fact that I don't want to carry too much more on my back. I've been buying things here and there but also getting rid of stuff I came with to make room for my new purchases. It's hard to resist the temptation to buy though because there is soooo much cool stuff here, especially clothes! After we were done with spending money we found a little reggae bar where we could have a birthday drink with Calina before she had to meet up with her group for dinner! If you've been following my blog you've probably noticed the common theme of ending up in reggae bars! Not a day has gone by in Thailand where I have not heard at least five Bob Marley songs and I love it!!! The perfect soundtrack to being on these beautiful islands. I'm interested to see if this theme is just as common up north. After our drinks we headed to the restaurant where Calina had to meet her group. They were all eating when we got there and told us to join so we did just that especially since all their food looked really good. It wasn't the cheapest place and pretty westernized compared to a lot of the places I've been eating at while backpacking but the food was really good. Bryan and I split a Thai Tappas platter. They had various platters each featuring a different theme/type of cuisine but we both agreed on the Thai one. It consisted of chicken satay, phanang curry with prawns, spring rolls, steamed vegetables and rice. Everything was so good and it was a nice way to try a few different things! And the coconut shakes were amazing so all in all it was worth the extra few baht. After dinner some of her group joined us for another drink at the reggae bar we'd just came from before they all headed to a Muay Thai fight. Bryan and I decided to skip the fight since we'd both seen one and there was a 350baht cover fee which neither of us were willing to pay! I've been spending quite a bit since Bryan arrived because he is mostly just on vacation so he is willing to spend more and I'm kinda just going with it. Hopefully it won't throw me off my budget too much especially since I'm heading up north soon where things are supposed to be a little cheaper.
Tomorrow is the full moon party and we will probably just relax on the beach all day so we are ready for the crazy night ahead of us! I am trying to mentally prepare myself and get excited because I know it will be a blast and I know how much fun the parties were in Whistler so I can only imagine how much fun it will be here, on a beach! I don't know if its all the zen and yoga, Ton Sai or I'm just getting older. I'm just so shocked at how skeptical I am about this whole thing right now. I think it's mostly because I've been enjoying just hanging out at really cool bars, getting to know fellow backpackers as well as the locals and not getting blackout drunk so I remember my nights, the conversations I've had and the people I've met. I've been doing my fair share of drinking and partying but not in the same fashion as what I know tomorrow will be and what I'm feeling right now is so not how I was expecting to feel the eve of the full moon. Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I was soooo excited to be going to a real full moon party and now that it is finally hear I'm having to mentally prepare myself for the craziness! What?!?!?!!?!!!!? Either way, I am going to go, decked out in neon gear, face and body paint and all and I know Slopsessa will come out!! It happened briefly last night at the pool party so I'm sure she's still in there just waiting for tomorrow to come out in the midst of all the craziness.