Thailand: Jungle Party

The rain has hit Koh Phangan at the absolute worst time. Since we arrived last night it’s been wet and rainy, but today in particular it’s absolutely pouring. I wake up thinking Ilona is in the shower because the rain is so loud outside our window. All I can do is hope that it stops by tonight, but more importantly by tomorrow night for the Full Moon! Ilona and I have woken up a little later than the other girls who are all ready to go get massages, so we tell them to go ahead and we’ll do our own thing for the day. It’s been a pretty long time since I’ve spent a day where it’s just me and Ilona. We eat breakfast at our guesthouse and then grab a tuk tuk into town to go shopping. I am in need of a cross-body bag. I refuse to ever go out dancing or even to a bar again with a huge tote hanging from my arm.

It’s surprisingly much easier to shop with two girls instead of 6. We stop into a lot of little shops on the “busy” strip in town and sift through a lot of junk to find the good stuff that we do. I buy a long black tie-dye dress (I know, who am I?), a small nude toned cross body bag, a used version of Life of Pi, and a pair of flip flops, because mine have been breaking every 100 steps I take ever since the motorbike accident. Ilona buys a dark brown box hair dye, and trusts me with the task of dying her hair for her later tonight. Exciting!!

It’s a successful shopping trip, and on our way home around 3pm we stop at a nearby restaurant titled “Proper Fish & Chips M8!”… We can only assume the M8 is meant to be mate. We order 2 fish and chips while we watch the credits to Finding Nemo on the TV screen mounted against the wall. We’re the only people in the restaurant, but we are eating at an awkward hour after all. About 20 minutes pass before we start to wonder where our food is, but we’re content just chatting and exchanging any details we’ve heard about the jungle party tonight, so we don’t think too much of it. An absolutely massive man comes rolling up on a tiny motorbike to the restaurant with some street food style chicken, and sits at the table next to us. He strikes up a conversation with us about where we’re from etc etc while we’re waiting, and even after the food comes he keeps talking. We find out he’s originally from America but has been living in Thailand for 12 years. The wrong end of a bounty hunter situation, he tells us (cool story, bro). Ilona is the first to bite into the breaded fish, only to find out that it is actually chicken. Not so Proper Fish & Chips after all! It’s good all the same so we just laugh about it and continue eating, but when the large man beside us asks what we’re laughing about, we find out that he is the owner of the restaurant. Oops.
It’s good for him to know that the order was messed up but I don’t want our waitress getting in trouble because I’m just as happy with chicken instead of fish, Whatev. He apologizes to us and I think he says something to the waitress about our order, but it is all in Thai, so I’m not sure.

We finish our meal with him continuing to make awkward conversation about just about anything, including mosquito larvae in the shower water…while we’re eating. He also confirms that the M8 on the sign out front is supposed to be ‘mate’. We laugh all the way home about our Proper Fish and Chips experience. When we get back, all the girls are all about to leave for dinner at the night market, so we plan to meet back at the guesthouse at 9. While they’re out, Ilona and I dye her hair, shower, and start to get ready for the party tonight. We run out quickly to grab neon face paint in order to do animal print make up for the occasion. Koh Phangan is always filled with neon-clad tourists!!

When we come back the girls are waiting in the common area with the group we met from Waterloo while in Koh Lanta. Everyone who travels Thailand goes to the Full Moon Party, so a lot of people that we’ve met along the way will be here tonight (and obviously tomorrow) which is exciting! We paint our faces as quickly as we can, because we hear we can get in for free before 11pm. We are in such a hurry that some of the girls don’t have time to paint their faces, but Cara does a really cool cheetah print design on my face in blue. We grab a tuk tuk, and drive down to the party which isn’t far from where we’re staying. They can only drive us so far, and we have to walk the rest of the way, which is about 500 meters down a pathway lit by black lights stuck to various trees on the way. We make it just in time to still get in for free, and avoid the 300 baht charge. It’s an absolute shit show of tourists all wearing bright greens, oranges and pinks, with a DJ blaring dance music across from the jungle-hut bar. A small river runs through the party area, but they’ve installed wooden bridges at many different points along the way so it’s easy to cross. We’re actually in a jungle. On my way to the washroom, I see the largest spider I have yet to see, which is legitimately the size of my face with its legs included. I almost die.

We do our best to stick together all night, even though it’s hard for such a large group of us. I manage not to get lost in the jungle alone so that’s a plus. The amount of backpackers at this party is apparently only half of what we will see at tomorrow’s Full Moon event, and I am already over whelmed.

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