26/11/2012 - 30/11/2012 29 °C
A day long coach journey and I've come to Thailand, my 4th country of the trip. The first destination in my stay here, which will last until the end of the year, is the island of Phangan for the famous (notorious) Full Moon Party.
I stayed in a hostel in Haad Rin (the village next to the party beach) so paid a premium for what was undoubtedly the worst hostel I've stay in so far. The owners of the Haad Rin Muay Thai Boxing Arena had some spare rooms that open directly onto the arena and thought 'why not make them dorms?' While not very nice, it was easy just to rough it for 5 nights. The advantage of this hostel was free entry to the 2 boxing nights staged around the FMP. The boxing was very entertaining while sometimes extremely brutal. The highlight was a fight where the first round was dominated by a bigger, slightly older guy who at one point just stood and let his opponent have a free shot at him. The following round he hit the deck like a ton of bricks after 1 or 2 well placed hits from the other guy. Knock out.
Onto the party...I'd say overall is was a bit disappointing as I was expecting something special whereas it was just a really really big beach party. One person I met at the hostel asked 'where are the activities?' which I think summed it up quite well. There was one podium of fire dancers but no skipping ropes or people lighting Chinese Lanterns or anything. Just a big beach party. But the atmosphere was good and the bad parts weren't as bad as I thought it would be. I feared it would be full of drunken wankers whose definition of travelling is 'getting wasted while not at home.'
The rainy season was still in full force during my time on Phangan which was a shame because if you can't lie on the beach during the day there really isn't anything else to do in Haad Rin. I did have my first Thai massage (of many no doubt). After a day or travelling/partying nothing beats a good hour long massage for the sum of about £5.
By the end of my stay on Phangan I was more than ready to leave. I had heard the weather on the islands off the west coast of Thailand were getting good weather so I headed west with a couple I met on the island. Next stop Phuket.