I had absolutely no intention of going to Koh Pha Ngan, partly because I can’t spell it without looking it up. Even now, I can’t spell it without looking it up, and to be fair I’m pretty sure i can’t pronounce if properly either. The very hazy plans I had for Thailand involved steering clear of anything that mentioned the word ‘full moon party’ because despite my unquestionable love for neon paint, sweating with thousands of wasted strangers is just not where I’m at. Ever. So therefore it’s best to just avoid the island that holds it? Right?
The plan was to go to Koh Samui, then hang with the monks, then go to Koh Tao. So I booked the boat yo Koh Samui, found some awesome people’s on the coach and discovered none were going up Koh Samui. I should have stayed on the boat but I didn’t.
Everything about Samui was grim. Apart from the heat it made Bognor look like paradise on earth, I mean atleast in Bognor you can find the sea easily right? Even if it does have stones not sand. So after 24 hours I decided to get a boat to Koh Pha Ngan head north and see what happens… Well actually I checked booking.com and made a 2 night reservation first.
Now after being screwed out of 500baht on arrival in Koh Samui I didn’t want the same on the way back to the boat so booked a trip via an agent who would pick me up. All went swimmingly until I realised this boat was the Had Rin Queen and heading to full moon Mecca. Argh. Argh argh….
It took 3 taxis and a lot of negotiation to get myself to the opposite end of the island, but I knew when I arrived at my resort i had made the right decision and booked a further 4 nights upon checkin. I was not mistaken. A chilled first night, including an amazing Penang curry and I went to sleep on my dorm bed. Which is, I reckon, the best dorm bed outside of Tokyo.
1. It had a massive locker
2. It had hanging space
3. It had sheets and a towel and the best pillow I’ve seen since London.
4. It had a curtain. Yup. A dorm bed with privacy. HEAVEN!!!
After a solid nights sleep I woke up and headed to the beach, 5 minutes barefoot down a quiet road. The beach of dreams. Quiet, golden sands, blue waters. To get to the sand you had to wade through the water (waist high on 5’7 me in places). Palm trees overhead and the occasional boat in the distance it was Thailand island paradise. Where was the catch? Seriously?
I spent the day drifting between lying in the warm blue tideless water and baking my skin in the Thai sun. Pure bliss. Then I headed back to the resort to de-sand my skin and treat myself to one of the Aperol spritzes and some food. I can’t actually remember what i ate, possibly the papaya salad? Three aperol’s later and the bar was invaded by the resident tour group. About twenty odd people who had decided to have a cross dressing party. Then the bell rang. Shots came out, someone drew a beard on me, i took part in a quiz and I was dancing…. I think i went to bed at 4ish. And it was exactly what the doctor ordered. And for the rest of the week, with a few brutal hangovers, i sunbathed and partied and chilled and partied and read and partied. Then on the most dangerous night where i think i managed 45 minutes half sleep I headed to the monks. And i knew afterwards, i’d be back. The place had alivened my soul, alivened my mind and turned my blood to alcohol but every second was needed. I also figured 7 days of silence and I would need it again. And I managed to stay away from anything relating to ten thousand revellers smashed on a beach. Just.