The Bionic Salesman
A Journey around Thailand
Birds fly south for the Winter. Salmon swim upriver to spawn. At full moon the lesser-spotted backpacker, doe-eyed and bulging with hormones, flocks to the island of Koh Phangan for a night of ritual jiggery, eyes wide and body painted day-glo technicolor rainbow.
The Wiki tells me that the monthly full moon parties on Koh Phangan’s Haad Rin Beach started in 1985 and grew quickly, to the point now where they routinely draw in as many as 30,000 revellers.
The party has got so big that it has spawned dozens of imitators, advertised on sign boards all over southern Thailand… the No Moon Party, the Half Moon Party, and my personal favourite, the “Ample Moon Party” (which presumably comes somewhere between half moon and full moon). But the full moon bash is still the original and best.
I was a bit late for me, not just because the party doesn’t really get going until midnight, but also because I am at the time of life where a full night’s sleep is just so much more appealing than a night of semi-naked gyration and waiting for the sun to rise.
So I skipped the party but bought the video of the party. I took in a pre-party party on Koh Samui, then went to bed, got up the next day and rode the ferry to Phangan to see what it’s like when all the island has a sore head. (Read more…)