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Published: January 14th 2008
Ko Pha Ngan is the Party island of Thailand hosting the famous or infamous Full Moon Parties at Haad Drin Beach but me and the gang arrived too late to experience the Full Moon Party which happened a week before on Christmas Eve but as the party island it seemed like the perfect location to see in the New Year.
The Full Moon Parties are probably considered world's biggest beach party that is until your are their for New Year - a think the beach at Haad Drin hosted the biggest party in the Universe to see in 2008!
From early evening the the beach became a swarming mass of drunk dancing revellers trying to wiggle their bootie on the over crowded beaches - moving to the deafening music from the multiple sound systems from the bars lining the beach and under the neon glow of the New Year decorations.
As the clock struck midnight (well it may have done I couldn't hear it) a massive fireworks display was set off to light in the New Year and start it with a bang! Not all of the fireworks wer official as a drunk party goers let some off
at ground level (luckily avoiding hitting anyone as it exploded but leaving many with ringing ears).
The crowds danced (or attempted to on the packed beach) 'til dawn and beyond. And for those that couldn't mange it until dawn they fell asleep on beach - hopefully if they were lucky at the quieter end though some probably would have been way too drunk to notice been trodden.
As a group we got separted in the swarming throng on the beach but eventually managed to re-unite on a roof top terrace where we could watch most of the celebrations from relative safety and where we could dance freely. Blimey that made me sound soooo old and like a real party pooper but unless you were there you can not imagine the sheer volume of people squeezed onto a thin stretch of beach, it was overwealming but great in small does.
We attempted to last until dawn to see the sunrise but at about 4am we had to call it a night, which luckily for us meant we made it home just as the rains started. So the first morning of the 2008 was spent watching the rain run
off the roof of beach huts and making dull thuds onto the sand below.
The weather decided to remain decidely dull for the remaining few days that the gang was on the island but overall a good time was still had by all holed up in a little beach huts at White West. The hours were whiled away playing cards on the verandas with excited screams of Queen! and Servent ringing out from our huts I wondered what the neighbours thought!
Rain time also was the perfect opportunity for Rani to get out his guitar and strum out some of my favourite songs - who needs sunshine! Well a little would be nice.
As is typical of life the sun made an appearance as a bid farewell to the guys as they headed back to Bangkok and I stayed on to enjoy more Island life. But the weather did not improve before they made a rather stomach churning ferry crossing back to mainland where everyone feed the fishes (sea sick if you are wondering!).
After they left Rani and I spent one more day at White West resort before moving to the lovely large rooms of
White West Sign
Image courtesy of Jay
Suncliff resort with their own balcony with sea view of the bay and one hammock and quirky additions to the room like the cliff face protruding inside!
Not that we saw much of the room when there is a Half Moon Party
and where you can dance until dawn and beyond but we only went until 5am before moving to the beach to watch sunrise.
The Half Moon Party may be the little brother of the Full Moon Party but it was still a pretty cool party. The location for the party is in the jungle at Ban Tai and not on the beach like the Full Moon. It feels pretty wierd to walk into a Trance style night club with trees for walls. As it was just after New Year I am sure there were not as many party goers as normal but it was still pretty packed but still with room to dance under the neon umbrella at the centre of the dance floor.
Ko Pha Ngan is a pretty big island and it is not hard to find a quieter side to the island assuming you have a motor scooter and can ride relatively
well to negotiate the windy hilly roads around the island. The North end of the island has some quiet beaches and enjoys lovely sunset views and by all accounts has some great snorkelling. I say by all accounts because I didn't see it actually I didn't see much with though when the vis at zero following the bad weather. Rani and I had to abandoned the notion of watching sunset whilst snorkelling within 5 mins of entering the water and discovering we were not able to see our noses in front of our face let alone a reef!
With snorkelling out to the question we toured the island stopping at a elephant trekking place where the main attraction was not the elephants but a 1 month old Thailand Monkey who charmed his way into our hearts as he climbed over us and drunk from a bottle. But like any baby - what goes in must come out and in this case it was on Rani on his arm! He He - Of course I didn't fall around laughing - right not much I didn't!!!
Ko Pha Ngan has a bit of everything parties, beach and you can even
go to watch Thai Boxing if the power doesn't fail that is. We arrived to watch some championship rounds but after one match the power failed in the middle of the second. I usually don't like violent sports but having learnt a bit of Kick Boxing as self defence I was keen to see how the pros did it so was disappointed when the lights went out. The crowds drifted or stumbled away and the boxers left the ring just for the power to return. The remaining crowds chanted their desire for the match to continue and the fighters re-kitted and completed their match with the white western fighter rapidly and conclusively dispatching the Thai fighter with a knockout roundhouse kick.
Have partied ourselves out it was time to consider moving island with nothing to do other than relax and walk along sandy beaches, we thought the destination would be Ko Lanta but in the end we ended up going to a small island on the the other side of Thailand called Ko Jum but that is another blog.
So for now that ends this blog entry and only leaves me to wish you all a VERY HAPPY,
HEALTHY and PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR.
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