We woke up at 5:30 am that morning, still not adjusted to the local time I guess. Drinking our coffee, we watched an employee sweep the beach while two local dogs played around him. We spent the rest of the morning relaxing and walking around the town a bit. We did some shopping, which included false eyelashes to wear to the party…we had black and gold, blue and gold, and rainbow eyelashes. By chatting with people at the pool, we also got some advice about what to expect at the party…apparently there is body paint and swimming, so we didn’t want to wear anything we cared about. Good thing there was a shop next door, for 100 baht we picked up a few dresses we weren’t afraid to part with. After a nap, we began getting ready.
I used waterproof mascara, eyeliner, and a liquid that makes my eye shadows waterproof as well. I applied my rainbow eyelashes and also helped the ladies with theirs. Once we were all dolled up we took a taxi to Haad Rin. In Haad Rin we met Dude for dinner. Dude had found a beach bungalow right at the heart of the party at Haad Rin Resort. We used his room as a base camp for the night. After a dinner of Pad Thai Chicken we walked to the main street walk in Haad Rin and bought body paint for 20 baht per bottle. There are artists on the beach that will charge about 400 baht for nice art work, but if you end up swimming it will have been a waste. But, body paint is a necessary party tool for the Full Moon Party, so we painted away. No need to buy paint brushes, fingers work wonders. Think of a two year old finger painting…and this is was just the pre-party.
Painted and ready, we headed to the beach. The cove is lined with fire dancers, fire jump ropers, and a large fire sign. The sign read, in flaming letters “Welcome to Thailand, Koh Phangan 2010”. Later I looked at the flaming sign, that can be seen from anywhere on the beach, and read “Full Moon Party…”. Along with fire, the beach is lined with “Bucket” stands. The “Bucket” is literally a bucket, one that a two year old would use in the sand box, filled with a 5th of your choice-liquor bottle, a 12-oz can of soda, and a bottle of Red Bull syrup. Red Bull originated in Thailand, and the original syrup is strong. I have heard that the original version, served in buckets, is not even legal in the US. The cheapest bucket would be one made with a 5th of Sang Som, Thai whiskey. Sang Som is the cheapest liquor in Thailand. These buckets are a staple for the Full Moon Party as well…it is expected that those attending the Full Moon Party will party until the sun comes up. These Buckets, made with Red Bull, assist the party-process.
Another famous party tool there are the “Happy Shakes”. These are shakes made with ice, strawberries, and yes- mushrooms. These can be found at the Mellow Mountain, which is located at the south end of the beach, up the rocks, for 500 baht each. Be careful when around the rocks there though, I heard stories of people falling head first, probably after too many shakes? There are also bungalows to be rented behind the Mellow Bar. I do not think these can be reserved in advanced, but they are a killer-deal if you are willing to show up and hunt for a room. They are right on the cliff, ocean side and party side. We met two guys, from Tahoe, (small universe still), who were staying there for 300 baht total, per night, for the room.
So under the full moon, on the beach, we danced all night to hip-hop, dance and tehcno music. Several stages and DJ’s line the beach, so when we got tired of the music, we just walked a minute down the beach and began dancing again. Thirsty for something other than a bucket? Water is really the only other option, going for 20 baht per bottle. When we took a break from dancing we could see glow-lamps, which are about four feet tall, being sent up into the sky. Or, if you walk past the “Sleep Area”, which is a tarp, fenced in on the sand; you might catch a few sleepers who couldn’t make it to sun rise. Bathroom break? Just go for a swim…and look forward to your next shower.
Sunrise happened a little after 5:30am, at which point I anxiously crabbed a taxi back the resort, leaving behind hundreds of people still dancing and swimming. Exhausted from the party, which is basically a gigantic rave on a beach, with literally about 8,000 people, I enjoyed my long awaited shower and sleep.