There's nothing like it in the world. Koh Phangan, the coolest place I have ever been to...
It mixes an island paradise with a huge party scene, and team that up with the excellent food, cool local and traveller population, and the cheapness of everything and you have a place that seems almost dreamlike.
"There's an island in the Pacific, and everything about it is terrific..."
This tune I once heard on an old 50s album, and I couldn't stop humming on my arrival to the Koh Samui airport. Grabbing a bottle of Sang Som, which some people will tell you is Thai whiskey, and other's will tell you it's Thai rum, (but all I know is that it packs a punch and smells like a hospital antiseptic), I catch a taxi boat from Bohput beach and head over to a little bit of full moon madness.
More than ten years ago, a group of tourists found that the most beautiful moon was in Koh Phangan. They arranged a party along the crescent-shaped beach of Haad Rin to celebrate the Full Moon night.
From then on, people from all over the world came to join the celebration. And now there are 3,000-10,000 people at the party each month!
The party begins at dusk, when the round yellow moon makes its appearance over the white sand beach. In twilight, small tables are lined up on the beach and thousands of lamps are lit.
Quick, grab your organiser and pen in these 2013 dates:
Sunday, 27th January
Xmas 2013 Party Date
New Year 2014 Party Date
Wednesday 01 January 2013: New Year's Day After Party
As the evening progresses the beach explodes into a dancing frenzy as different Deejays take their turn on the decks. There is something for everyone here, trance, techno, drum and bass, commercial dance and reggae, no-one is disappointed. Jugglers and fire-eaters entertain the crowds as the night goes on and with the brilliant impromptu fireworks display, the party atmosphere is complete.
After a few hours it's time to chill-out for a while, grab a few more beers with your new found friends and get a bite to eat from one of the many beach traders, then wade out or sit down in the warm surf of the Gulf of Thailand, in pure, pure heavenly bliss.
The real party begins at Dawn. Drunk and happy, it's time to return to the main beach and get blown into another dancing dimension, while all around people are doing the same, there are no barriers here, no inhibitions, just people enjoying themselves with one unified intention, to rejoice in the magic of paradise!
If you overdo it, check out the Monte Vista Resort & Retreat Centre, which offers a variety of New Age Retreat Activities. Located in Nai-Wok near Thongsala, and is very nice.
Do not bring your valuables to the party. Thousands of people are there, you'll never catch the thief. Also, don't be a dummy and eat things given to you by strangers!
Keep away from DRUGS, no matter what anyone says. Someone might try to sell them to you but remember DRUGS are ILLEGAL in Thailand and have VERY STRONG PENALTIES. Don't say you weren't warned, and since we're all adults, I can say they're there for you to avoid.