June 2024

Full Mooner


Last time we wrote, we were bidding adieu to our beloved paradise-no-more, and heading to the opposite side of the island, to a beach called Chao Phao. We took an uneventful taxi ride back to the pier where the boats arrive, and then we were to transfer to another taxi to take us on to Chao Phao. At the pier, we arrived to a deserted parking lot (the pier is usually teeming with freshly arrived travellers) and only a few taxis, one of which beckoned us in to head to our destination. He said it would leave in 5 mins and would cost us 150 baht. Well, 20 mins later, nothing had changed, and we hadn’t moved. I got out to ask the guy what was going on, to which he replied “5 mins, we go”. A few minutes later, another few people got on the taxi, but they were heading to the completely opposite side of the island than we were; this wasn’t right. Again I got out and asked the guy what was going on: “two taxis.” What? We were so confused, but then the taxi started to move, and drove about 10 meters, across the parking lot, and told everybody but us to get out and move to another taxi. Progress! But wait. “You now have to pay 200 baht”. What? Because there was only two of us, it was now more expensive, and we hadn’t left half an hour ago like he had promised; we were pissed. Ah, Thailand.

We finally arrived at our hotel where we were meeting our British friends Em and Nat again (and their Canadian buddy Troy), whom we had just seen a few days before on Ko Samui. Our room was quite expensive, but nice – 1000 baht ($33), but we wanted to be with friends so we weren’t stuck by ourselves at the party. We had a quick nap before the festivities for the full moon party began.

The Canadians (primarily Edmontonians!)

The Canadians (primarily Edmontonians!)

At 7:00, we took a taxi to the full moon beach and grabbed some dinner. We had tentative plans to meet up with the Canadian boys we had met on Ko Tao, but my cell phone was out of credit. So, while dinner was being ordered, I headed out to the nearest 7/11 to top up my account. And who should I meet there? The Canadian boys….buying beer, of course. This was becoming a pattern – the reason we became friends in the first place was because I met them in 7/11 in Ko Tao when they were filling up their beer cooler, which was the precursor to an epic night.

After dinner, we took in some crazy party deals at all the vendors that were taking advantage of their drunken customers, and then headed to the Canadian boys’ room for some pre-drinking. We had just walked up the stairs when a room full of guys dressed only in fluorescent pink short shorts runs into the hall – who should it be? You guessed it, the flamboyant Canadians. These guys were decked out in the best party garb and had all the body paint you could need, and off we headed to another hotel to meet up with more friends and for some body painting.

Buckets anyone?

Buckets anyone?

After some more drinking and body painting and general debauchery with guys and girls from almost every European country, we headed down to the beach. Immediately after getting to the beach, everyone dispersed, and we lost contact with everyone but Troy, Em and Nat. There’s not much to say about the party itself – 10,000 drunk people on a beach, some fire-tossing, loud music, guys pissing in the ocean, lots of booze and general debauchery, but nothing sticks out (or we don’t remember much – which is entirely possible given how many buckets we consumed). We ended up losing Troy early in the evening – the guy was super drunk and insisted on going swimming in the piss-laden ocean every 5 minutes, and eventually he never came out. OK, he did make it out, we just never knew where and lost track of him. He apparently made it home at around the same time as us…but sans wallet or room key. I guess the hotel had to put him in another room for a night and he had to pay them to replace the lost key. Wowzas!

Eating some chicken schniztel

Eating some chicken schniztel

As often happens, the best stories come from after the party, on the way home. We had hoped to stay until sunrise, but Kenna started passing out around 5 a.m. and the girls wanted to go, so we called it quits. We don’t know how, but some British guy convinced us to grab chicken schnitzel on the way home. We said to him “but we don’t want chicken schnitzel.” And before we knew it, we all had schnitzels in our hands. The hilarious part was when two drunk white guys got behind the counter and started taking orders and giving them to the Thai people running the restaurant. That restaurant was pure chaos…nobody knew what was going on and the Thai people kept yelling at everyone. Good times.

Next was the task of finding a way home across the island. Eventually, we found taxis and, burned from our taxi experience earlier in the day and fueled by liquid courage, started haggling on a price. Haggling is a way of life in Thailand, but the goal is to find a happy price for everyone involved, and you’re never supposed to get angry and become discourteous to the seller. But unfortunately I think we were a bit rude on this one. The driver was very aggressive and mean on the way home (maybe he was drunk too?): he sped like a maniac, tossing us around in the back. And at one point, everyone in the taxi had to pee, but he wouldn’t let us. We stopped to drop off a few people, and Kenna asked him if she could pee and he said no and started to drive away without her. At the next stop, we asked the people getting off to have prolonged pleasantries – we learned their life stories and precisely where in Britain they were from, while Kenna pulled out the she-wee.

The Aftermath

The next day, Em and Nat braved the hangover and left for Ko Tao, while we did nothing but sit in our expensive hotel room and watch HBO, grateful that we had shelled out a bit of extra cash for a nicer room to indulge our hangovers.

Hat Rin - when it's not littered with people and bottles

Hat Rin - when it's not littered with people and bottles

The following day, we rented a motorcycle and headed back to the full moon beach to see what it looked like in the daytime and without thousands of drunk tourists everywhere. The beach itself was gorgeous – no wonder they used this place for the original parties. Unfortunately, westerners come every month and ruin it. But that story is for another day.

We spent the day at the beach and shopped (because of volume, this place has great stuff on sale and at fairly cheap prices). We also started trying to figure out how exactly to get to our next destination, Siem Reap in Cambodia. We went around to several travel agencies, all with their own version of how to get to Bangkok or Siem Reap – there is no consistency from one to the other, and all options were bad, but they all loved to say “Same same” and try to tell us they were the same as all the others. I guess to them it is “same-same” – they are all buses that get you to Cambodia…even though some leave in the morning, some at night, some are 25 hours, some are 48…

Finally, we decided we’d get on the 8 AM boat and bus the next morning to Bangkok (which coincided with Nat’s bus as well), but it was full! The next one left at 1PM, getting us into Bangkok at 1 AM that night. This was a serious problem, as that would mean that we’d have to spend another day in Bangkok, which we’re not fussy about.

Alas, we sucked it up and got on the boat, then the bus, and we’ll arrive in Bangkok in the wee hours shortly…

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