(Early December 2008)
Koh Samui, Koh Phangan & Full Moon Fever…
So, Nathan and I set off to see how the islands on the east side of Thailand measured up to the west. After the hedonism of Phi Phi, we were keen for an overall more tranquil experience on Koh Samui and so avoided the main tourist area of Chaweng Beach and headed to a quieter area – Big Buddha Beach.
We found a gorgeous little bungalow, situated a stone’s throw away from the beach and spent the next couple of days relaxing and recuperating.
Once recovered from the excesses of Phi Phi, we took a boat trip over to Koh Nang Yuan, just off Koh Tao. This little island paradise is famous for its crystal clear waters and unspoilt beaches, as well as being an ideal spot for diving or snorkelling.
After our third and final day of relaxation, we were ready to get back into the backpacker spirit and party once more…
Koh Phangan – The Full Moon Party
Having read about the infamous full moon parties when researching Thailand, I timed my trip around attending and it certainly didn’t disappoint!
Most travellers head over to Koh Phangan a few days before the full moon to attend the pre-parties that go on in the build-up, but in hindsight I’m glad that Nathan and I decided to stay on Koh Samui and get the boat over just for the night (the boats run well into the next morning) as one night was more than enough.
The night of the full moon, we took the short boat trip over and on noticing the busy-ness of the beach already, we decided to be sensible and arranged a ‘meeting point’ in case we got separated. (I’m known for my propensity to ‘wander off’ so this seemed like a good idea but, as we were soon to discover – fat lot of good a meeting point is when you’re too drunk to remember it!) We headed to the main strip of the beach, where row upon row of stalls were selling the infamous Thai buckets.
All I can remember is the atmosphere – pure electricity and excitement. Or maybe I’d just had one too many buckets; because suddenly I’d lost Nathan and I couldn’t for the life of me remember where the damn meeting point was. After frantically searching for what felt like hours, I sat down with what must have been a very solemn look on my face, prompting a young (and pretty cute) Australian guy to ask if I was ok. I relayed the story to Bart, then we decided to get a drink and soon all worries were forgotten and we were dancing on the beach until dawn.
Around 6am, I started to sober up a little and figured it was about time to head back home. So I made my way to the port where we’d been dropped off the previous night and hopped on a boat back to Samui. Unfortunately, the boat broke down about half way across the sea (seriously not good when you have an emerging hangover). It turned out that it had simply ran out of petrol so after what felt like an age, a speedboat arrived with some more fuel and we were back on our way.
Once I had arrived back to the empty bungalow, I’d fully sobered up and panic began to set in. Where was Nathan??
Thankfully, a few hours later he arrived home safe and sound. I thought he’d be pissed at me for wandering off but I think we were both just relieved to see the other home and safe. We spent the rest of the day sleeping off our hangovers and then it was time to say goodbye.
Nathan (by now nicknamed ‘big bro’) was headed back to England and it was time for me to catch my flight to Sydney…
Read about the start of my Australian adventures in the next post