28 November 2011

Quantity over Quality [Ko Phangan, Thailand]

What do you get when you mix white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, fluro paint, pumping house music, and way too much alcohol (served to you in your own colourful bucket). Ko Phangan!

The ferry across to the small island was a perfect introduction. Cruising through smooth turquoise water under beautiful blue skies, looking out over the hundreds of tiny islands that dotted the horizon. It complimented our over excited, 'lets get loose mother goose' mood completely. We left the island through choppy seas on a shitty, rainy day. Again, matching our mood perfectly; hungover, bruised and battered.

Arriving at the port was an experience in itself, with about five guys approaching us all vying for our accommodation dollars. In the end it came down to two, and these two were almost in a fist-fight by the end of it. One calling the other a liar; telling me he didn't have the rooms he promised and would try to rip us off. And he was quite accurate. This guy made big promises but didn't really come through. The deal was an air conditioned bungalow with en suite and wifi for B400 (which is almost double what we have paid anywhere else in Thailand). First up he tried to charge us B100 for a ride to the hotel, then tried to charge for us the wifi. The room was out the back of the computer room with a chain and padlock to secure the door, nothing like the nice photos in the brochure and certainly not a bungalow. Oh, and he promised it was 1.5kms from the half-moon party, when it was actually closer to about 5 (tested and proven). But it was the cheapest we could find, so we just sucked it up for one night.

We just hung out for the rest of the day, exploring the small town, relaxing and having a quick swim. That night we went out to the half moon party. It was an insane 500B to get in, which came with one (tiny) free drink and a free CD (AWESOME! /sarcasm). But it was really freakin' cool. The whole place was showered in black-lights, and there was neon everywhere!  Plus good music and crazy fire dancers.

The following day we moved about 5kms down the coast to Haad Rin. This is pretty much party central for the island, and the location of the full moon party. It is a really beautiful spot and I can totally understand why it is so popular.
     

That evening we did what everyone else does in Haad Rin, drank cheap rum mixed with VERY strong red bull (apparently illegal in most countries) from buckets, danced and risked our lives while skipping a flaming rope. They had a few games were you could win free drinks, and while we weren't very good, we employed the strategy of quantity over quality (the same strategy we employed with our beverages that evening). The skipping rope was the most fun, but both of us came away wounded. Julia actually got hit in the face and now has a nice burn mark (I got it on video, check it below), and I got a couple of smaller burns. But that didn't stop me demanding they turn the rope as fast as they possibly could! (again, video below). We woke up the next morning with massive hangovers, and it seems I swapped my sandals for a new pair of flip-flops, only two sizes too big for me.


We actually planned to leave that next day, but ended up just having a lazy day doing absolutely nothing. We actually hardly left the hotel, our main trip being down to the pharmacy to get some cream for Julias burn. But it was a completely miserable day so I didn't feel guilty.

We finally left the following day. Next stop: Krabi.

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