A May 2002 trip
to Ko Pha Ngan by kiwilee
Quote: How I managed to pass 5 days on the Island known as the party capital of the South East Asia.
This is a group of a dozen bungalows run by Mickey and her family, who are quite possibly the nicest Thai's in Thailand. They are set right on the beach at Ban Tai, about a 15 minute ride from Thong Sala.
The rooms themselves are your typical island fare. Bathrooms with shower, toilet and basin. Fans in every room, 24 hour power, and a hammock on the porch.
What really makes this place is the owners. They cook the best food I ate in Thailand. It was all really fresh and the servings were giant, even by my Kiwi standards. Also, if you ask Mickey nicely enough, then she'll teach you how to cook the food, so you can fry your noodles and eat them too.
The whole family will chat and teach you strange Thai words, then dance around to whatever CD you give them. They even brought out the fire sticks on Full Moon evening for us to have a play while there was a power cut. A taxi was arranged to Thong Sala when we were leaving. Arriving there, we were met by a travel agent that Mickey had phoned to tell of our plans to travel to Krabi, and promplty gave us our tickets at well under what anyone else had seemed to pay. Who said customer service doesn't exist in Thailand.
For 250 baht a nite (low season), I was well impressed. I'm sure we could have got this down lower, but I was happy to pay this for their hospitality. To get to Had Rin, just flag down a songthaew from outside the 7-11 (great for midnite snacks!) and it will take about 15 minutes and 50 baht. A small price to pay for living it up like this.
A testament to how well Emerald Ocean was run was the couple of people who had been staying there for almost a month, too happy to leave.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 16, 2002
Emerald Ocean Bungalows
Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand
Interestingly enough a power cut plunged the island into darkness just before I went into Hat Rin (karma perhaps). A spectacular lightning storm threatened to dampen the night but the party gods intervened and the clouds overhead receeded.
The lightning kept coming and the forks that kept striking behind the hills of Pha Ngan mixed in with all the lasers and strobes from the bars to bring another mind blowing dimension to the night.
It was brilliant that everyone was in such a good mindset. Meeting people from places like Germany, Russia, South Africa and just about everywhere else who all just wanted to dance the night away was incredible.
Unfortunately with about 5000 people on a beach, there has to be downsides. Lazy people who didnt want to walk inside for the bathroom - turning the sea into a communal urinal wasn't a high point.
I left to watch the sun come up from the rocks on the south end of the beach. It was spine tingling seeing day dawn over Hat Rin and the chaos that was continuing.
Stumbling back across a beach covered in waterbottles and buckets I took time to laugh at all the people still off their heads and going hard. Apparently 9:30am isnt a normal time to go home here.
This has to be on everyones 'to do' list. It's becoming a rite of passage for Generation X, and seriously, what else are you going to do, go to bed early and get up to watch the sunrise...please.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 17, 2002
Full Moon Party
Hat Rin Beach
Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand
At the end of the pier stands a swarm of locals all with signs and yelling "TAXI, TAXI" at the top of their voices. Now if you have just endured an overnight train followed by a cramped boat ride then this may be a little more than you can bear. Especially when they start jostling and pushing you as you try and walk through them.
If you have somewhere lined up to stay, then just ignore them and walk past. You'll see all the songthaews further on, and there are a few drivers who seem to take a much more relaxed view to getting passengers. Just ask to be taken straight to your bungalows.
If you have no accomodation plans, then just get a group together and ask the driver to take you to Hat Rin (or wherever). By having a big group, you'll probably get it cheaper, and not have to wait for the taxi to fill up. You might even make some friends while riding the roller-coaster that is the road to Hat Rin.
Consisting of ice, Sang Som (Thai rum) and Red Bull, this potent mix is sure to get your night up and running. There are rumours about what is in Thai spirits that are so cheaply sold. Whether this is true or not, they seem to have perfected the art of hangover free alcohol.
If you find the right flyer, it should be possible to swap it for a free bucket to get your night kick-started. Otherwise, 160 baht isnt a lot to fork out for a drink that can be shared by 6 people.
We ended up having so much fun with the bucket, that it made it's way back to England along with some supplies to keep enjoying the good times for a while yet.
Try it if you dare.
London, New Zealand