|We stayed in Koh Toa for the night of the 14th. The cost of accomadation on Koh Penang was ridiculously expensive due to the full moon party. We found accomadation in a small bungalow on the hill near sairee beach for 200 bath. We met up with friends from chang mai and hit the beach. Koh Toa is a nice combination of tourism and island living. A long way away from the beaches of Cambodia. Whilst it is undoubtably beautiful, people here do not live in poverty. There is noone on the beach to sell you trinkets, bracelets, food and water. People here dont want for anything, prehaps thats why they dont welcome you as tourists in quite the same way. Not that all people here are rude, we have met some lovely thai people, I think they just dont need you as tourists in quite the same way.
The next day we got a boat to koh penang. A small tribe of us were decending onto the island, among the thousands. We had booked bungalows on the northern part of the island, a small village on the beach of Haad Salad. It was an hours drive from the beach where the party was taking place (Haad Rin), but in retrospect this was probably a good thing as several bungalows nearer to the party were broken into. Our group included a manchester trio of lads, just turned twenty and looking for ladies. Jordan, the more extrovert one, a constant source of entertainment reminds me of my little bro, ADHD and constantly wanting to play games. We stayed in Hikers hut bungalows, an over priced stay due to the full moon party, costing us 900 bath, the most expensive place yet, but still amounting to 15 pounds for a room per night, cheaper than staying in a hostel in the UK. That night was chung's birthday and we celebrated with a bbq meal on the beach. We have realised in our time in asia that no matter how you order your meal they will never come at the same time. Even a curry and rice may arrive at your table at opposite ends of the evening. That night we ordered clams, they came raw. Apparently here the locals eat them like that, with a salty, chilli flavoured dip. We werent so keen. After much deliberation, Tom ventured into the kitchen and cooked them like a pot of muscles, in a garlicy stock,, much nicer. Later we headed for rasta homes. The most famous reggae band in Thailand ws playng there 'job to be' and had come highly recommended. The reggae culture here is huge, you cant wak past 3 bars without hearing a bob marley tune piped into the streets. What followed was an amazing, atmospheric evening. Like a small scale festival set in the hills of a beautiful island, this is how all bands should be heard. Dancing, singing and fire poi, the tunes instantly putting a smile on yur face. The tunes were a mix of covers and originals and a reggae version of imagine made waiting for the toilet a pleasure.
The next day was the long awaited full moon party. We decided to rent mobeds for the day. What started as a group expedition ended as a small outing. You can rent bikes here whether or not you can drive them. Out of our group, joey got a puncture after simply driving it around the corner. The cost was 700 bath, and she was understandably so annoyed she decided not to take the bike any further. Chung, one of the manchester lads dropped his bike twice, before leaving the bunglows, as a result of over reving it. He incurred a bill of 300 quid for a few scratches and was relatively pissed off for the rest of the day. As a result of these few misadventures, a further 4 people dropped out. Only tom, teresa and I were left. We drove about the isalnd, Tom and I taking turns to drive and teresa on her pink she mobile following. Stopped at some picturesque beaches for a swim and saw a bit more of the island. On our return teresa and I decided to do a circuit of the island. I absolutely loved driving the bike. A true sense of freedom, with the sun setting over hills and the cliched wind in my hair. We rrived back at camp safely. Had a few wine spritzers and got ready for the night ahead.
15,000 people decended on the beach of haad rin for the full moon party. It is really indescribably, but I will try. Imagine a freshers week at university, times it by 50, add a few bars pumping out dance and cheesy music, put it on a beach, then add buckets of cocktails and magic mushrooms. Now imagine me, sat right in the middle of it all, covered in fluorescent paint. A truely overwhelming night to say the least. An event that I am glad to have attended, but once is definatley enough. Our group of 10 slowly deminished across the night. It is impossible to keep together among the thousands. A line of men across the length of the sea created a public toilet, hence an overwhelming small of urine. At one end you could get whatever your heart desired painted on you with fluroscent paint for a couple of quid and watch it light up. Tom had a dragon on one arm and his own crazy pinting on the other, I had a butterfly and a design of toms choice on my back. At the other a mass of overindulging bodies lay on the beach, next to a bar selling magic mushroom shakes. Food stalls sold strange sweet pizza slices with vinagarette vegtables, cold spring rolls and kebabs and in between an array of the drunkest, most mentally dismembered people were scattered. At times it was disorientating, at others it was truely an amazing sight. We eventually got an overpriced truck taxi home at 5.30 in the morning. Sang all the way home, much to the amazement of the other thai passengers. Oh what a night. Neadless to say we got up late that day, booked a boat back to koh toa and nursed a hangover. That evening sat in a nice restaurant and had museli, whilst the rest of our group ate bbq fish and thai meals and tom had a chat with 'tummy' a rather large and friendly american chef with a good knowledge of thai food.
The next day was our boat. We where saying goodbye to two members of the group that were off to explore cambodia. An hour and a hlaf boat ride took several hours of waiting around and the boat its self was ridiculously overcrowded. It wuld seem the thousands that had decended for the full moon were on the same route as us. Once back in koh toa, we trawled the island for accomadation. Everywhere was full. Tom eventually found rooms on the hill for all of us after a sweeping mission on a bike. A 10 minute walk from sairee beach, so high you could see most of the island, sairee view resort had spectacular views. Our wooden hut whilst basic was both picturesque and and homely a haven in the hills that dreams are made of.