This was our last stop in Thailand because sadly, we couldn't make it to Ko Tao (next time!) but saying goodbye to Thailand in Ko Phangan meant we'd be leaving with a Half-Moon-Party-bang!
They take kids' plastic buckets, slap on an Absolut Vodka logo on it, and call it a cup. This is the kind of madness I was expecting in Ko Phangan. Although there was a lot of that, and some more 40-people-piling-into-the-back-of a tuk-truck nonsense, the people here were surprisingly chill and awesome! It was a much bigger island than Ko Phi Phi and it seemed like there was a lot more to see than what we were able to grasp in a short time, you also have to drive to get anywhere so it made it a bit more difficult to get around. Nonetheless, here are some highlights:
Our hostel hosts told us we didn't even go to the most beautiful beaches on the island, but even the sub-par beaches were gorgeous! One of the lazy hangover days in Phangan was pleasantly spent paddle boarding by a beautiful sunset in Baan Tai beach. The paddleboard guys even let us sneak in some extra time on the board since business was slow that day :)
- Half Moon Party
Instead of going for the more famous "full moon party" takes place on the beach, we opted for the half moon party instead, which takes place in the jungle inland from Ban Tai and is the "perfect amount of crowded" as opposed to the full moon debauchery. Before the party, everyone has pre-drinks at the hostels while getting covered in glow-in-the-dark paint for the event! I of course, was a glow-in-the-dark partycat.
- Sunset at AmstArdam Bar
We kept hearing about this "AmstArdam Bar" wherever we went so we felt like we had to go to see what all the hype was about. Turns out, it's a really cool relaxed terrace bar with an incredible view of the silky blue waters that surround this little piece of paradise. You're encouraged to order smoothies and watch the sunset softly envelop you in its colorful arms. We entered with a few friends and left as a family. So many great stories were told and many laughs were had. I remember wishing I could capture the moment in my memory forever.
- Guy's Bar adventure
Friday night kicked off with buckets of drinks in Haad Rin beach. We had heard about a mysterious Guy's Bar and we heard it was only open on Fridays so we were eager to find where it was. Upon asking around, we were pointed towards a the water.. "We have to ride a boat to get there?".. So we hop on a boat and zip off into the night. When I say "into the night" I mean pitch black darkness. We all looked up to gaze at the most amazing sky I've ever seen. The constellations got lost in all the mss of stars we saw on that boat. Then, with a thump, we were dropped off at a dark jungle-y shore. Not knowing where to go from there (there seemed to be no defined path or signs), we peered into the jungle and saw a few lights in the distance. As we headed toward the lights through the branches and mud, we started to hear the faint beat of some hippy-electro-dance music growing louder and louder until, there it was. We found it. Guy's Bar. We danced off into the night until the sun started peering through the branches and the boat came back to take us home. Staring off into the sunrise we knew it was another goodbye (to Thailand) but we're not done yet! next up: Bali!