Koh Phanghan & Krabi, Thailand
The party isn’t over yet. After a flight and a few ferry rides and one night in Krabi (where I experienced Pad Thai for the first time and discovered I hadn’t lived till then), we ended up in Koh Phanghan. Koh Phanghan is the island home to the famous- or infamous?- Full Moon Party. This party, and the chance to ride elephants, are pretty much the only reasons I came on this trip. Priorities, right? Before I try to explain the craziness of this island, though, I have to first touch a bit on our night in Krabi. I will begin with our hostel. Located in Krabi Town, Pak- Up hostel was easily my favorite of the trip. Each room had a difference school subject based theme to it. Our room was DIY themed. We were also given a free drink at the hostel bar, which brace yourselves, was called a “big black cock.” They named it, not me! This, as you can imagine, was quite entertaining to us. We also visited a night market, which was also my favorite of the trip. We ate Thai cuisine and watched people perform songs and dances on a stage in front of a large area where hundreds of people sat and enjoyed the entertainment. Our time in Krabi was short, but very worth it.
Okay, now for Koh Phanghan, get ready. I’m going to make it a bulleted list because there’s really just too much to tell.
1. Our hostel was terrible. Like, back breaking, I’d rather sleep in the streets terrible. It was obviously created for partiers, which is actually what the whole island exists for in the first place. The beds were nothing more than slabs of wood. My hips actually bruised from sleeping on it. Luckily, no more than 20 minutes a night were spent sleeping thanks to the parties.
2. This island exists, like I said, solely for parties. The streets are lined with shops selling trashy, neon clothes and body paint… a must for Full Moon Party. I, of course, spent the rest of my baht (Thai money) on painting my body in preparation for the night. I covered myself in neon flowers, skulls and tribal print. I was very much so in my element.
3. For days leading up to Full Moon party, there are numerous pre parties. Full Moon, for anyone who doesn’t know, is a famous beach party that happens once a month, every full moon, and brings out thousands of people from around the world. Numerous people also always die at each party. So, if that doesn’t explain how crazy it is, not much else will. The pre parties are equally as crazy too. Everyone who’s anyone starts their nights off at The Dancing Elephant, an intense party hostel equipped with alcohol buckets and a DJ. We started here each night. The first night, we then went to the beach. All of the girls, but Paige and I headed back early. Paige and I stayed on the beach and danced for a while. I woke up with a flower crown that I have no recollection of buying. Success. The second night was the jungle party; it’s exactly what it sounds like too… a giant party in the middle of a jungle. By now, Alli and Gillian have joined us on our trip. I finally have people who are equally as nuts as I am. The most noteworthy part of this night was the “cab” ride there. You see, cabs in Thailand are more like huts on wheels. You sit in a truck bed with no seat belts and a slab of metal as the roof with two rows of seats lining the sides and facing each other. We somehow fit about twenty people into this pathetic excuse of a vehicle… and it was terrifying. I’m a serious risk taker and to have me say that this ride was the riskiest thing I’ve ever done is serious. I’ve truly never been more afraid for my life. The driver was flying down the mountain roads as we all screamed and prayed. The entire taxi there Alli was holding me in like a man made seatbelt and I sat on her lap in a near panic. One random girl was hanging out the back of the truck and I kept screaming at one of our new friends to hold her in. “DO NOT LET HER DIE” I shrieked at this poor man who I had just met. The rest of the night can be summed up as EDM music, a crowded jungle filled with sweaty bodies and fire dancers. Lauren sprained her ankle so all of the girls except Caroline and I left early. There seems to be a theme where I’m always the one who stays out latest. Interesting.
Last but not least, was Full Moon Party. At this point in the trip, we discovered that a group of SAEs from USC were also traveling through the same areas of SE Asia as we were. One was Jackie’s ex, ironically. So, we met up with them before Full Moon and pregamed at The Dancing Elephant before heading to the beach. Alli and I broke away from the group early on and partied together the rest of the night, making new friends and attempting to use fire toys. Alli and Gillian jumped rope with a rope lit with fire (one of the crazy trademarks of the party) and I (for once being smart) stood by and watched as they burnt themselves. Instead of socializing with people for the first part of the night, I also found myself climbing to the top of one of the bars on the beach and sliding down a water slide over and over. The slide throws you off at the end with so much momentum that you just fly through the air, flailing, and either crash into whatever unlucky bystander isn’t paying attention or make a fool of yourself as you crash to the ground. I loved it. For the second half of the night, Alli and I hung out with a group of guys we had all met at the start of the week and danced up at this bar at the top of a cliff together.
5. Mushroom Mountain
6. Vodka and Redbull Buckets- I decided to embrace the speed
7. Sunrise on the beach after Full Moon. Yes, I stayed awake until after 7 am.