The first thing I should say right now is that hangovers in 31 degree heat and 70% humidity are as far from ideal as you can imagine.
What a nightmare, but I suppose it’s the sign of a good night out…?
Our next stop after Koh Tao was obvious: Koh Phangan. It’s the next island down in the gulf of Thailand and is infamous for its crazy nightlife, in particular the full moon parties.
Now, if you’re unsure of what one of these involves I’ll let you google it at your leisure (except you grandad), but in a nutshell it’s one hell of a big party on the beach.
Unfortunately (or maybe not so unfortunate if you are my grandad reading this), we missed it by a couple of weeks and though we were a little disappointed that our trip was not synced correctly with the lunar calendar, we thought the island was definitely still worth a visit regardless.
What we didn’t anticipate was the huge number of other “moon-related” parties on the island set up to fill the rest of the month. The most popular of these is the Half-Moon party, which is held every two weeks, and we were bang on time for this.
Well, what’s it like? Should I go?
Unlike the Full-Moon, the Half-Moon party is an organised event set in the jungle rather than on the beach. The setting is huge with various stages, different djs, fire performers, body paint everywhere – the whole lot. It’s really a great party atmosphere.
Since it’s an organised event, it’s also deemed somewhat safer safer – particularly drink and drug wise. So if this is something that worries you about going to a Full-Moon, the Half-Moon is definitely the way to go.
The downside however is the cost and this is something you really need to consider if you’re thinking the Half-Moon party could be a bit of you.
First of all, since it is an organised event you do have to buy a ticket (for around 1,400 baht) and, second, it’s a ride into the jungle rather than simply on the beach, so you will need to factor your journey in as well.
The bar is also VERY expensive, even by London standards.
While not major, if you’re travelling on budget like us it is a bit of a downer. You can however save a little bit of money by booking everything through your hostel.
We stayed at the Echo Beach hostel (which also now includes the Baan Tai Backpackers), who organised our transport as well as a pre-party in the hostel bar, which did well to get us “in the spirit”. This saved us from having to buy *too many* drinks in the festival and all in all we had a brilliant time.
But, if it’s not your style not to worry – we did way more than just party on Koh Phangan, honestly!
Renting a moped is one of our favourite things to do as I’ve said (please see my previous post here) and much like Koh Tao, Koh Phangan is home to an array of stunning beaches, waterfalls and jungle just a short drive away so it really is worth your time and money to rent one.
The waterfalls were particularly amazing and Than Prawet and Paradise Waterfall are must sees on the island. Climbing the rocks, swimming and exploring the surrounding jungle was an enjoyable work out to say the least, but definitely bring your bug spray.
As for the beaches, well, they’re the best hangover cure aren’t they!?
Those in the north and the east of the island are by far the best, in particular Thong Nai Pan Yao Beach. Despite being home to a number of large resorts, it’s still super quiet and has perfect white sand and clear waters – literally not a pebble in sight. We also had a delicious meal at Jip restaurant, and the lovely staff even let me feed their baby bunny!
Have you partied on the Thai islands? Let me know your best stories and memories below! (Especially the funny and embarrassing ones, it can’t be just me right?)
To find out more about the Half-Moon Party, have a look at their website here.
Want to see what else I’ve been up to in Thailand? Take a look at my previous posts.