If you asked me why Thailand?
Well, to be honest, first of all, fun. Thailand is the country where I had the most fun of all, the parties, the people, their culture, the amazing beaches, incredible food, and all the backpackers coming from all over the world make Thailand one of the best places on Earth to have a proper blast for really, really little money compared with great party cities from Europe or North America.
Now, on this article, I want to focus on one specific Island that is where I used to live and is the wonderful Surat Thani, at the south of Thailand, also known as The Full Moon Party Beach. And I do want to remark FULL MOON a little bit since it is what is considered the high season of the island.
Is a whole week of parties, every month, starting with Waterfall, following Jungle (both electronic music parties) and the biggest of them all: Full Moon, and if you still have the courage to keep on going you will have two more days of after parties to cope with the hangover.
To be fair, if you go five days after or five days before that week you will find not much parting around, which it doesn’t mean you have nothing to do, Koh Phangan is plenty of beaches and waterfalls, and temples for you to go when is low season during the month and still every Friday and Monday you have really good places with top quality Djs to go and have fun, plus, there are two Half Moon parties every fifteen days, which are awesome and, personally they are even better since it’s a very well organized party. Yes, they really have a thing with celebrating the moon calendar!
So, if you are in the party hardcore mood, I highly recommend you to check when full moon is going to be that month, and book right away the hostel, hotel or bungalow for your whole stay since lately a lot of hostels had been shut down due to lack of legal papers there are only few hostels open and as is high season every price goes up twice if not, three times at least, plus everyone is going down for that week so it gets packed quite fast.
My best option for accommodation is Shenanigans Lazy House, located in Haad Rin Beach, exactly where Full Moon Party takes place. They have a beautiful pool place with a bar to chill and also, warm-up parties with barbecue for the four main events that I had mentioned above.
If you are not a hostel person you will find plenty of hotels and my other best option re bungalows! There are many at different beaches all over the island, such as Haad Rin, Thong Sala, Mae Haad, Malibu beach (lovely place, far from the noise, perfect to relax and probably the finest), among others.
Now, if you are not going on party season you still have many things to discover and many cool places to go. You should definitely go to Amsterdam Bar, is this place up in the mountain with a stunning sunset view where you can enjoy while being on their awesome pool while having a shake, a beer, or a joint that you can buy right there, same for mushroom shakes, most of the people share one, I could handle one by myself and have a pretty chilled out five hours trip (please do one in my name!)
In Haad Rin “city” center you have my favorite Outback Bar, if you are missing British food and watching sports this will definitely be your friendly bar, managed by Charles, an Irish (he’d kill me if I say British. No really) man. There are also two pool tables at the end of the bar that you can spend time at after you buy a beer or a whiskey, or whatever.
Also, there is this amazing vibe bar called Escobar at Sunset Beach where you can also get a joint or weed, and of course, all those drinks that you like.
And last not least on my top four is Sunset Bar, located as well in Sunset beach where you have a crazy sunset view, especially in February and March.
DISCLAIMER: Drugs are highly illegal in Thailand but somehow, these places are safe for these kinds of activities, always take care of yourself, and watch over, yeah, I know, mamma talk.
Ok, ok, I convinced you! How do you want to get there?
1) You can book a flight from Bangkok to Koh Samui and then it’s a short boat trip to Koh Phangan. Flights to Samui are more expensive and you need to make sure you arrive on Samui early in the afternoon to catch the last boat to Koh Phangan. This option is by far the easiest/quickest option but also the most expensive.
2) You can book a flight from Bangkok to Surat Thani and then book travel directly to Koh Phangan in the airport, It takes about six hours from the airport by bus and boat. Flights are a lot cheaper to Surat Thani but it will add about 9 hrs to your trip.
3) Overnight train – when you get to airport you can get a taxi to the train station and book a combined ticket all the way to Koh Phangan (train, bus, and boat) on the overnight sleeper train – you get a decent bunk to sleep in and there is a restaurant on the train for food or you can also get in there with your food. It’s safe and relatively cheap. You can book this one online. If your flight arrives late you may end up staying for the night in Bangkok. That’s no biggie there are loads to do there, but I would need another article to explain to you that J This option is definitely my fave, you get a night sleep and when you leave Bangkok in the early evening you get to see all the night markets from the train, it’s really pretty.
4) Overnight bus – there are travel agents all over Bangkok but when land if you head to Khao San Road you should be able to book the overnight bus there. This option is cheap and not very comfortable.
And what about if you want to get there from other places in Thailand? Well, no problem at all, you will find tourism offices wherever you are. Thailand is in the top ten of countries with their economy relying on tourism. AVOID buying tickets at the ports/pier, they normally and sadly try to scam with the prices.
Most packages to move from one place to another will include one or two busses (maybe more) and definitely, at least, one boat.
Now yes, you are ready to go!
Ps. You will find out that the best way to get around the island is by renting a motorbike really cheap, BUT, only do it if you already know how to drive one, trust me, there are plenty of accidents, some are mortal. Koh Phangan is by far not the place to learn how to drive, sometimes is better spend some more money on a taxi and keep your body together.
OH C’MON YOU’RE BEING MAMMA AGAIsorry! I had to. Enjoy!