Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Full Moon Parties on Koh Phangan: and Elsewhere, too!

We all know that Koh Phangan is Samui’s smaller sister island which lies approximately ten kilometers to the north of the bigger island. Koh Phangan is definitely less developed than Samui. The south coast is blessed with good roads but as you go north many of these disintegrate into dirt tracks. This makes transportation a slow and bumpy affair. A boat service from Maenam sails the east coast and is often the best way to get to some of the more interesting resorts situated on Bottle Bay. This service serves the Sanctuary Detox resort and Mai Pen Rai bungalows,too. A trip to this region of Koh Phangan takes you back in time and gives you some idea how Samui was 10 years ago.
The Full Moon Parties on Koh Phangan are world renowned. Haad Rin is the nightlife hub of the island and every full moon, 10 or so of the clubs band together to host a beach party which has rocketed to world wide acclaim. The next full moon arrives on May 17th, so if you are thinking of going don’t mark this date in your diary because it is a Vishaka Bucha Day which means parties of the type enjoyed on Koh Phangan will have to be delayed until the following day in deference to the religious holiday. Then surprisingly this peaceful and relatively unblemished island turns into a party goers paradise. In the quieter off season months like the month of May, ten thousand people make their way to enjoy the full moon revellery. They dance the night away to music so loud that it reverberates across the water and can be heard as far away as Samui, itself.
You can be pretty certain it will be a difficult task to find a bed close or not so close to the party unless you book early. For the hardy there is no real need to spend the night on Koh Phangan because an armada of speed boats whisks passengers across the sea from Bangrak all night long. Most people make their way to the party from Samui. You need to book a return trip to avoid being stranded overnight. Another caution is to be sure to find your boat by the appointed time for the return voyage unfortunately some party goers find this a difficult feat to accomplish! Koh Phanagan is definitely worth a visit, so this speedy in an out approach to the Full Moon party is not to be recommended. You would be well advised to spend a night or two across there. Venture away from Haad Rin and there are many breathtaking surprises to be had, because then you have the opprtunity to spend a few days in any one of the many delightful resorts scattered all over the island. As I say if you want to stay during the time of the Full Moon festivities you need to book, this means some prior research is indicated.
However, if you are going expect am amazing evening, where the huge speakers act like jackhammers to drive the beat into your very bones. This makes everyone get up and boogey. It might not be your cup of tea, it certainly isn’t mine but I am told everyone should try it at least once. Instead I shall be going to Jun’s wonderful vegetarian Art Cafe in Samui Town Centre. This is just off the ring road a few hundred meters after the Bophut traffic lights travelling in the direction of Chaweng. She opens her door at 2 and closes them at eight on every full moon day. She donates the food which comprises a healthy fusion menu for free and the happy eaters then pay a donation for their feast. This goes to support a worthy charity. In April the money was directed to recompense for some of the damage incurred by the local floods and the previous month it went to the survivors of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. To find out more link to their webpage by going to:Check here
By Alister Bredee in "Ther Samui Gazette" of 13th May 2011

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