The infamous Full Moon Party on Haad Rin beach… it’s hard to put into words a week that was filled with neon, body paint, vodka/whiskey buckets, debauchery and a 40-person dorm room. Probably the best way to describe it is RIDICULOUSLY AMAAAAZING!!! And something I could do again. Maybe next year. Ha!
Despite being in inexpensive SE Asia, we have been spending quite a lot of money (not to mention coming off the fortune we spent in Australia/NZ). We have been trying to cut costs wherever possible (i.e. double bed top bunk share in Hanoi). When we were looking up our hostel for Full Moon, we had the option to spend slightly more money and stay in a 20-person dorm room or save about $30 each and stay in a 40-person dorm room. Our decision took about five seconds…40-person it is.
After a 16-hour train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, a six-hour train to Chumphon, a three-hour (very choppy, less than fun) ferry and a 15-minute van taxi ride, we arrived at the Dancing Elephant.
The owner, David, gave us the run down on the week and went over all of the rules, some of which included (verbatim):
- Keep your shoes on the beach
- Never drink in a glass unknown
- Split your money in your pockets and bras
- Do a break or help/motive a friend to have one
- No night swimming on the beach
- Don’t do stupid things when you are drunk (my fave rule!)
Surprisingly, the Dancing Elephant and the 40-person dorm room ranks up there as one of my favorite hostels we’ve stayed in so far (beaten only by Hanoi Backpackers Ma Mae). I had my own little comfy cubby to sleep in (which included an outlet and light) and my bag fit easily underneath so the floor wasn’t super cluttered. There were only three showers/toilets in our room, but it never seemed to be a problem. There was a pre-party nightly at the Dancing Elephant/HQ Bar so everyone came together for beers, buckets and body painting. It was like a big family! On the first night, we really got into the body painting and set the tone of the whole week.
On the second night, the Dancing Elephant had a Pink Party before the Jungle Party. Everyone who wore pink got a red clown nose. Around midnight, everyone hopped in a tuk tuk to head to the jungle where the dancing and buckets continued. The jungle was a fantastic time, capped off by a monsoon rainstorm, leaving everyone happily soaking wet.
The following day started with a discovery Danielle made in one of the bathrooms. Someone had clogged the toilet and left us all a present that was dangerously close to overflowing. She proceeded to get all of us to go look at one of the filthiest, eye searing sights ever. And we were all glad she did. The culprit (who was never discovered) unbeknownst to him (or her, I suppose…) kicked off hours and hours of story time with about half the dorm room. We literally laid in bed for five-six hours telling stories and REALLLYYY getting to know one another. Our core group headed to get dinner at MonaLisa before the Full Moon Party, where the story telling continued. After dinner, we showered, dressed in our neon and headed to our Dancing Elephant courtyard to have beers, buckets and begin painting. Danielle discovered a new talent and was one of the highly sought after body paint artists in the group. About eleven, everyone headed down to the beach where thousands upon thousands were gathered dancing around on Haad Rin beach, which was lined by bucket stand after bucket stand. More and more buckets were consumed and the dancing continued until the wee hours of the morning. A few brave soles in our group even attempted the slide. Perhaps the pictures can illustrate the words I can’t seem to find to wrap up a pretty freaking spectacular night.
The day after the Full Moon Party consisted of: breakfast at Lucky Crab, nap, Wanderlust, The Hangover 2, lunch at Lucky Crab, The Beach, Wedding Crashers (first half), dinner at MonaLisa and at the end of it all, we somehow found ourselves back dancing on the beach with buckets. Lordy!
A few highlights, in no particular order:
- Full Moon Party (dancing on the beach, buckets, etc…)
- The Jungle
- Dancing Elephant dorm rooms
- Body Paint
- “Richard, are you going to come to Koh Phangan with me?”
- Story time with our ‘fam’
- Pink Party
- Our brilliant new mates
I really had no clue what to expect from Koh Phangan (alright, let’s be honest, just Haad Rin because I never really left our mile radius) or the Full Moon Party. The week exceeded any and all expectations I had for it. A truly epic week shared with lots of wonderful new friends!!