Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Koh Phangan - Jungle and Full Moon Party


Tuesday - 10/06

Arrived on the island of Koh Phangan by ferry and had a chilled dinner at our resort's restaurant right on the beach. We witnessed an incredible thunderstorm over the ocean and enjoyed a relaxed atmosphere with some pool 

Storm clouds brewing

The comfy bed/couches in the restaurant

Clearly a very serious game of pool...girls vs boy

Wednesday - 11/06

Jungle Party

The Jungle Party is always held the night before the Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan. As the name suggests, the venue is actually in the jungle and as a result the parties can go on long after sunrise (07:30am in our case). The party consists of trance music, lumo paint, buckets and most importantly traditional Muay Thai fighting (traditional Thai boxing).

We made sure that we got front row seats around the ring as we eagerly awaited the Muay Thai fights
 Obviously it was a legitimate tournament as there was even some silverware to be won!

We made friends with the ring announcer, Tony. It was his first time so we were trying to give him some tips

Clearly they worked

Before any Thai boxing fight, the fighters perform a traditional dance/prayer to show respect. Quite a lengthy display and intriguing to witness.

Fighters in action...elbows and knees everywhere! Nobody in the crowd could take their eyes off the action.

Between the fights there was a demonstration by a Thai guy who could not only tightrope across the ring but could also juggle, do fire poi and balance on a stool all at the same time!

Joy posing with the Champion and his trophy!

We met up with our buddies from diving school in Koh Tao.

Joy couldn't help getting involved in all the action and her klepto hands soon found the bell and poor announcer Tony's mic!

At the end of all the traditional fights, they opened the ring to any willing participants in the crowd. Of course  our crazy Irish mate, Moley, jumped at this opportunity! Luckily for him he had a whole team at his disposal - Joy on bell and mic (obviously biased commentary); Rox in his corner as his coach and trainer (her experience as a black belt in karate coming in handy) and Santi as waterboy/masseuse and the whole crew as cheerleaders getting the crowd to cheer his name!

Getting in the zone!

Although the fight ended in a draw, Moley is still our champion!

Our taxi ride home in broad daylight

Thursday - 12/06

Full Moon Party

The Full Moon Party is what Thailand and especially Koh Phangan are known for. No-one knows how it started exactly but there is a theory that some friends were throwing a farewell party for a mate which was crazy and fell on the full moon and thus the tradition has carried on every full moon since. The party draws crowds of between 5000 and 15000 people depending on the season. Even though we can during low season. it was still incredible to see the hoards of people that had flocked from all over to party! The dress code for this party is usually lumo clothes and body paint but as we had had a lazy day after the Jungle party and being silly South Africans, we didn't bother to spend money on either. Fortunately for us we found some abandoned paint in the girls' bathroom and appropriately branded ourselves.

Roxy displaying her hula hoop skills

Aerial view of the crowd
Due to the masses of people and sharing a room key, we did the thing that all reasonable people in our situation would do and tied ourselves together with our trusty dental floss! Genius!

Face painting - there is a good reason why Rox didn't take art in school...look at that thing on Joy's cheek! What is that even suppose to be? Certainly not the requested Irish shamrock!

Massive fire rope with full moon glistening in the background

Good times were had by all and we survived the biggest party that Thailand could throw at us [despite drunken tackles, a wave of urinating people in the sea and passed-out Asian boys everywhere!]

Friday - 13/06

We spent the day catching up on some much needed sleep, eating greasy food, watching movies and enjoying the beach! 

Saturday - 14/06

Putt Putt and Ferry to Koh Samui

Before leaving the island we thought we needed to do at least one physical activity - so mini-golf it was! It may have only been a 12 hole course but it was very technical and we often had to limit the number of attempts at which to sink the ball at each hole (it was mainly Joy who benefited from this rule).


                Working those irons! 

Final hole

Tallying up the score

Moley celebrating his victory!!!!

We did get a little engrossed in our game and lost track of time and nearly missed our ferry to Koh Samui.  

Successfully arriving at the dock in Koh Samui

And greeted by a stunning sunset!

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