Trip Start Sep 27, 2009
122Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Ko Phangan is island on the South East peninsular and is a famous back packer destination for the full moon party which is a huge party on the beach every full moon. We arranged to meet our friends Kate and Lindsay here, they have been traveling for as long as we have and it was so great to see some familiar faces. We spent the evening caching up with Kate and Lindsay, we went for some Thai food and dragged Em to a sports bar which had 4 screens of football playing.
Next morning we hired a scooter so we could explore the island and find some of the beaches Ko Phangan is famous for. It was almost impossible to find a scooter as the island is so busy but eventually we found one and headed up the West coast. We came across a really nice beach called AI Hin Kong which had crystal clear water and boulders in the water. We went for a swim to cool off then headed up to Hat Yao which was a nice beach but the water wasn't that great. Chris and Lins went snorkeling for ages and didn't see a thing as there was fields of sea weed. We then drove to Ao Mae Hat which is a beach with a sand bar connecting to a mini island called Ko Ma. We spent the rest of the afternoon sunbathing there.
At sunset we headed back and went to an English pub we had spotted earlier. It was like some one had dug it out of the ground in England and dumped it in the middle of Thailand. We got a pint of bitter and a pint of cider and had a roast chicken dinner which was amazing as that is the one meal we have both been craving the most since being away.
After a couple of games of darts and ping pong we took the scooters down to Hat Rin which is the party beach of the island. The drive there was pretty hilarious as it was so hilly our little scooters were really struggling. We arrived and straight away wished we hadn't bought the scooters as it was a really good atmosphere there with loads going on. We decided to leave the scooters there and make a night of it so we all got straight on the buckets. Hat Rin actually has a really nice beach which was full of bars playing different music and fire shows so we checked out a few bars and went to the famous Mushroom Mountain.
Next morning feeling a little delicate we decided to check out some more beaches around the island. We headed to the North coast and went to a beach called Ao Chalak Lam which was beautiful. The sand was the finest we had seen and the water was crystal clear so we stayed here all day sunbathing and swimming.
That evening we went to the food market which was brilliant. The food markets are turning out to be one of our favourite things about Thailand as there is so many stalls selling different Thai food, it is all so cheap and tastes fantastic. We had few different dishes and then went to see some Thai boxing. The stadium was pretty small but there were 8 fights all together. The boxing was quite entertaining but the majority of them got knocked out which was quite vicious and weren't so keen on seeing the little boys fighting who were only 8 years old but it was still interesting to see as Thai boxing is so big out here.
New years eve Kirsty and Daz, the guys we met in Kanchanaburi and again in Ko Tao, came over from Ko Tao for the full moon party. We went and picked them up in the morning on the scooters and all went to the Ao Chalak Lam beach and chilled out there all day. We went to the food market for dinner and then went to Hat Rin for the full moon party! Hat Rin was a completely different place from where we had been a couple of nights before as there were people everywhere, it was so busy. It is the first time in 39 years that a full moon has actually fallen on new years eve so it was meant to be the biggest ever.
You had to pay 100 baht each entry to get a wristband which was really good considering the prices you pay back home for new years eve. We started in the bars in Hat Rin and thought we would hit the beach after a few drinks. We went to a couple of places and got some UV paint and started painting each other which was hilarious, when we were all satisfied we were fully covered in paint we headed for the beach armed with our buckets. The beach was heaving, there were people everywhere and you could barely move through the crowds. We eventually found a bit of space so we danced on the beach until midnight. At midnight they set off loads of amazing fireworks it was really cool with everyone dancing on the beach.
After midnight it became apparent we had all had a bit too much to drink and everyone apart from Em was a bit fed up with the dance music we headed to the rock bar which is at the end of the beach up some stairs. The views of the full moon party were really cool from up here so we all chilled out for a while whils Chris and Daz downed a bottle of whiskey - big mistake!!! Couple of hours later Chris and Daz were a bit worse for wear so we decided to call it a night, we got some food and got a taxi back. Much to our surprise when we got back the sun was coming up and we just about lasted till sunrise, 6am!
Next morning Daz and Kirsty left to get their boat back to Ko Tao and the rest of us were feeling pretty delicate especially Chris. We hung out all day eating and milling around town before going back to Masons English pub had some more amazing food. We were all pretty depressed at the prospect of getting up at 5am to get the boat in the morning as we were all so tired so we decided to stay an extra night and have another day together.
Next morning we went in search of a waterfall which are supposed to be quite impressive but we found a little trickle of water which we had to climb 300m to see. We continued up 200m further to the view point which again was a little disappointing as it was pretty cloudy so the views weren't great! We then tried to get to Bottle beach but the roads were horrendous and we were on a really rubbish bike that had absolutely no power so we scrapped that idea and after some lunch we headed back to our new favourite beach for the afternoon.
That evening we went back to the food market for dinner and for a couple of drinks before heading back to pack for our 7am boat in the morning, to go to the Andaman coast. Ko Phangan has some beautiful beaches and crazy night life, if we came when it wasn't the full moon it would probably be a different place but for us, but it was a bit too Westernised for us. It was great to see Kate and Lins though so that made our time here special. It was so great to catch up with them and we had a real laugh, hopefully we'll see them again in Australia, same with Kirsty and Daz.