We had agreed to meet in Koh Phangan as he was flying into Bangkok from Australia, and the timing so happened to fit around the Half Moon Party. We had heard many positive things about it, despite it not being the ‘big one’, and we wanted to check it out.
We had booked a hostel previously online as we thought it might fill up, and an 18 bed dorm for $7 USD looked lovely with it’s own private beach and bar. We didn’t stay in Haad Rin, where the beach is, as we read that it was far from the party and town.
On arrival, we discovered that we were the only people staying in the 40 bed hostel… pretty convenient actually! We were pleased to know that the Half Moon was within walking distance from the hostel, though displeased to see that the ‘beach’ pictures were perhaps a little dishonest… or the beach was unkept, whichever, and used only for boats. Nevertheless, the bar did overlook the sea and, thanks to Brendan renting a motorbike, we could reach food and drinks with ease.
On the Saturday, awaking bright eyed and bushy tailed after an early night, we sprung into action, hopped on the bike, and explored this stunning island. A few daunting steep hills which forced us to walk the bike up with our feet, didn’t hold us back from reaching the picturesque Haad Rin Beach. It was beautiful. The sea’s high, spiralling waves enticed me from the first look in, and I was excited to drag Brendan in to play in them with me! I was really surprised to discover that the sea here was this choppy every day, and I enjoyed watching everyone’s attempts to ride the waves or body board.
This beach contrasts to the one in Ao Nang, with it’s calmness (in terms of people), it’s more laid back, there are few shops, the town centre is smaller, and it is quieter. Agreed, it is also perhaps a little more expensive, but I would say, worth it!
After catching some rays, and overindulging in a pretty sizable Mexican dinner, we enjoyed some homemade Sangsom & Coke buckets in our room, before venturing out to the Half Moon Party.
Full of fluoro outfits, neon UV lights, body & face paint, and the typical strong beats of a large, popular, backpacker party, we failed to get as ‘completely off our face’, as hoped! Perhaps due to too much food, and watered down alcohol, but we just could not get to where we wanted to be… and this was a party where you need to be F****d! Interestingly, looking around, very few people actually seemed to be that trolleyed too, leading us to believe that the drinks really are watered down. I can understand this, though, as with this amount of people, completely drunk, things could get messy, involving violence, loss of belongings, illnesses. Not of these were witnessed by us.
As we didn’t wake up with a hangover, we took the opportunity to stroll into town, and enjoy a delicious full English breakfast overlooking the pier. A few hours by the beach, we returned home to shower, change, relax and drink, before returning to the beach via tuktuk for some drinks. A good night was had by all indeed involving sea dancing obviously, and sandy times.
The final day was rather slow, as we wanted to prepare for our departure on the following day. We both knew that I had to reduce my three heavy bags, to two, lighter bags, and this was going to be a task in itself! It was accomplished by unloading some things into Brendan’s bag, obviously, and leaving some of my treasured clothes in the hostel. I hope they went to some worthy cause.
An early night, and early morning later, we were on the ferry, then the bus, arriving in Bangkok on Khao San Road (oh god!). obviously, it was crowded but we managed to find a seat on the roadside at this lovely restaurant we had eaten at on our previous visit last year. After spending the last few Baht we had, we made our way to the airport, where we awaited our 3am flight to Kolkata……