...and the Full Moon Party
20.10.2010 - 26.10.2010 28 °C
We arrived at night. It isn't my preferred way of arriving anywhere, we couldn't see much on our approach into the airport or in the taxi to our hotel. When we got to where we were going, we were greeted by a tiny Thai woman (who went by the name of 'O', maybe she used to be an MI6 director or something) and a quite drunk half naked Brit (Andy) - we never did find out whether they were actually married, I hope for her sake they weren't.
After being shown to our room and dumping our bags we decided to be social and go to the bar to have a beer with Andy and O. This was the first of many times we struggled through conversations with a drunk Andy hearing story after story about his mates back home "long dead now of course" and trying desperately to make sense of the drunken slur. Thankfully a young Aussie bloke, who was also staying there with his girlfriend, came and broke the monotony. And so went our introduction to, and most evenings in, Koh Samui.
The beaches in my opinion were nothing spectacular, we went to two, our nearest beach Maenam and the most popular one Chaweng and neither compared to the beaches of Cuba which was the standard I was expecting (perhaps foolish to expect Caribbean standards in this part of the world I'm not sure). We explored the north east corner of the island on scooters and for most of the time I felt like I could have been in any Spanish beach resort town. All a bit underwhelming to be honest.
So, we were a wee bit bored. All the incredibly rich young folk in our hotel (travelling for months on end at the age of 20 and debating about where they'll go to university - England, Australia, the US or Barcelona!) were heading to the Full Moon Party and in an effort to look cool and down with the kids we said, sure we're going too! Our mates who we had been travelling with in Chiang Mai and Pai were already on Koh Phangnan so we said we'd hop over on the ferry and hook up with them and see what all the fuss was about. Anyone reading this who doesn't know what a FMP is read this Wiki entry for a very bland explanation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_Moon_Party.
Our expectations were extremely low. I was expecting Saturday night in Coppers on a beach. Drugged up knackers listening to rave music beside drugged up hippies howling at the moon. We were, however, proved very wrong. We were on the beach early at 7pm. The setup was very impressive. The sky was clear and the full moon was shining down upon dozens and dozens of bars and stalls selling the famous buckets of booze (irritatingly impossible to get these things without Red Bull in them). Each bar was blaring it's own music - one even played a Muse song, imagine! Most had their own fire dancers. Here's a video Will took of the fire slide (probably not the safest thing in the world): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRwzUDBp10E
The tradition at these things is to paint oneself in dayglo body paint, for some reason at 2am in the morning it's the most amazing idea ever! There are guys up and down the beach who will paint whatever you like wherever you like for a few baht....I got a bit carried away...
So you march from one bar to the next up and down the beach carrying your bucket of booze until the sun comes up at around 6am. And even though at this stage in the early daylight you can see that the dayglo paint is now flaking off your skin and looks somewhat like someone who overdosed on skittles may have thrown up all over your back, you're surrounded by rubbish and human debris on the beach and your head is slowly beginning to realise that there is a hangover lurking somewhere about to explode...the sunrise is absolutely totally worth waiting for...
The next few days were spent sleeping off the effects and planning our getaway from the drunkard Andy after one too many ladyboy stories. Next stop Krabi.