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Published: October 28th 2010
Ko Phangan is a world-famous magnet for travellers, who are attracted to Haad Rin like moths to a fire skipping rope.
Compared to Ko Phi Phi, Haad Rin seemed less developed and busy. The roads are much more hilly and many of the paths are rough tracks. The rest of the island is apparently very beautiful, but how would I know?! Build-up
The week before Full Moon was excellent, as Haad Rin is a great place to party all week, not just for one night.
Nobody gets out of bed much before noon, then everyone heads to the beach to lie around and do nothing. From around 9pm until 4 or 5am, everyone drinks ridiculously strong buckets of unspecified alcohol and dances on tables. Games like Fire Limbo and Fire Skipping Rope help to keep the drunk punters entertained. Full Moon Party
This is why (almost) everybody comes to Ko Phangan. A once-a-month party to rival any other on the planet. The Rough Guide describes it as 'Apocalypse Now without the war', which is probably fairly close to the truth. The numbers of partygoers perhaps quadrupled for the night. Everyone gets dressed up in fluorescent gear and
The reason for the party
My poor attempt at an arty shot of the Full Moon.
body paint - which turned out to be a bit of a waste, as there were few neon lights to show it off!
As it was low season, I believe that it was relatively quiet (by FMP standards), but the levels of chaos and devastation were spectacular to see. Hundreds of people staggering around worse for wear. Others passed out (or made out) upon the beach. The music continued with the volume turned up to 11 until lunchtime the next day.
The next day was also amusing, as the hangovers visibly kicked in. Everybody was walking very slowly around town. However, the music was still banging in the after-party club at 4pm the next afternoon, so someone must still have been awake.
The shops were playing videos of the event the next evening, so people could witness the full carnage for themselves (and maybe even remember what happened and how they made it home). There were still more than enough people, myself included, who had the energy to go out for one more night the following evening. Slight downsides:
- The music is far too repetitive - every night in every bar, the songs were pretty
Fire Skipping Rope
This will catch on in pubs across the UK (for 10 minutes until boring Health & Safety ban it)
much identical. The trance music playing on FMP night may have been fantastic (I'm really not an expert), but most places need to buy a few more chart CDs, or get a DJ to mix something a bit different.
- And the island really needs some tourist police, to cope with the theft, injuries, drugs, prostitution, etc.
Overall though, I would definitely recommend it as a place for anyone under 35 to go - provided that you have a high tolerance of alcohol, a love of sleeping all day and partying all night, with no care in the world about what you might get up to, or how you will feel the next day.
And if that all sounds like your idea of hell, then you're the one missing out!
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