Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Full moon party

Here's the timeline of what happened on the 16th-17th:

10am: woke up
10:30am: swam in hotel pool
11:30am: showered
12pm: I can't believe I'm going to the full moon party tonight. Should I take the hotel's transport or find my own?
5pm: wow is it really the full moon party tonight?
6pm: still not sure how I'm going to get there but I better eat something so I had a tom yum soup
8pm: I decided to get the hotel transport and if I really want to stay past 7am I can find my own return boat later. Sunrise is at 6am though so if I stay til 7am I should be able to see everything.
8:30pm: I met some girls going to party at same time, and decided to take a short nap to prepare myself for an all nighter
10:00pm: woke up, put on just my shorts, tank top, and sandals. Took cash, camera, and insect repellent only and walked out to front area of hotel.
10:03pm: talked to the girls who were also waiting for the taxi bus
10:15pm: taxi bus came, we got in and it headed for the boat departure point. We *thought* it was headed for the pier

10:25pm: bus stopped on random st. They told us to get out and walk toward the water. At the end of the street we saw a table for check in and then behind it there were about 300 people waiting to get on a boat. At this point I thought "oh the boat must be massive for this many people to go at once" but then I walked down toward the water and figured out that there's no pier there, so the boat can't be that big. *ominous music starts playing in the background*

10:55pm: first boat arrived. It was a 35 person motorboat. Seriously. And there were only 4 of them. So only 140ish people got to go that round out of 400 probably that were there at that time. I then realized why there were 400 people standing there for the "11pm boat". It was because they were the leftovers from the "8pm boat" and "9pm boat" and "10pm boat." It takes 20 minutes one way for these speedboats + loading + unloading time. People going both directions because some people were already leaving the party. So basically the 140 that got on are the ones that have been waiting for the longest time and were willing to walk into the water to get to the motorboats first. Some people were swimming to the boats just to get on. I wasn't going to do that because I didn't want salt water on my skin all night and I had my camera on me as well.

11:05pm: boats left with 140 people. 260 people were left behind annoyed and disappointed. I decided to get a Heineken while I wait. I was not mad because that's what I expect from Thailand. If there isn't a scam happening at all times there's something wrong. Basically the company just wanted money so they completely over booked every hour of the boat without any regard as to when people would get on.

11:15pm: I got bored so I started jibber jabbering with other people also waiting on the beach.
11:45pm: I finished my first beer so I grabbed another one. A large one this time.
11:55pm: I felt buzzed and great. I was sitting down enjoying my new beer when the boats arrived again.

12:05am: 2 boats left again with 70 people fighting like ants to get on them. The scene reminded me of what it would probably feel like to be an illegal immigrant trying to get smuggled into another country. I had a good chuckle at the thought that maybe these Thai were trying to teach these 1st world people a history lesson. The other 2 boats needed "refueling." They parked onto the beach near the gas hose and people who are getting pissed tried to get on from the sides but the boat crew held them off by pushing them back down. At this point, the 12pm people had now started arriving on busses, so there were about 300+ people on the beach again.

12:30am: 2 other boats left with 70 people. Again it was like watching drowning ants trying to get on a leaf floating down the river beside them.
1am: 2 boats came back and took 70 more people. I'm still sitting on beach enjoying my time looking at the stars and chitchatting with other people who don't care what time we got there
1:30am: 2 more boats came, still didn't get on. I start yawning because it's nearly 2am already and I'm just sitting there

2am: 2 more boats came and some people got pissed and left so I got on one of these without having to fight anyone for position. The thai guys on the boat gave me a life jacket and told me to sit down somewhere. It struck me as funny that they gave us life jackets. Like they needed to follow the safety rules or something after all the bs they put us through earlier. There's probably some kind of legal law that says that if one of us drowns because we weren't given life jackets then the government will lop their balls off.

2:15am: during our cruise over to Koh Phangan I was thinking to myself how much I feel like I'm being smuggled because I'm sitting in a seat where I can't even see any scenery. I tried to stand up and look but one of the workers told me to sit down, probably for my safety. The boat sped along at 70km/ hour or so and it was dark with no lights. I got the feeling that maybe they were taking us to the middle of the ocean and then planning to make us drown one by one.

2:30am: the boat made it to Haad Rin. Sighs of relief are breathed by 35 strangers who barely know each other.

2:40am: I've disembarked the boat and nobody has told me where to go so I started following the crowd to wherever it was headed. It could have been lemmings falling off a cliff, I had no idea what was going on. I was just following people through the streets. Apparently I had landed on the west beach and needed to make it to the east beach but I didn't know that at the time. There were people trying to get on the boats heading back because they were done partying and wanted to go home. (The party had officially started at 8pm)

2:48am: I stopped at a felafel place to eat something. I was super hungry.

3am: I made it to the east beach area! People were totally wasted. There were people straddling each other and making out on the beach. Girls in bikinis tricked out on buckets of alcohol on vacation, seriously do I need to say more? It looked like a cheap adult magazine. People ordering alcohol. People dancing to different music in different areas. People passed out on the sand sleeping until morning. Most people were in their swimsuits. The beach was unofficially divided into sections based on which of these activities were predominantly going on. I walked around for about an hour trying to get an idea of how things were working and then decided it was time to get a drink.

4am: I walked up to a booth and ordered a Smirnoff bucket. If you recall, in the states smirnoff is like the worst vodka you can buy. In Thailand it's usually the best you'll find at a bar. I paid $10 for a small plastic bucket of a 350ml of vodka, a can of diet coke, some ice, and a thai red bull. The reason I say thai red bull is because this was no ordinary red bull. I've heard it's somewhere between 10 to 50 times as strong as our red bull. I yawned as I ordered my bucket. That was my last yawn until 8:30am.

4:30am: I felt this overwhelming urge to dance like there's no tomorrow, so I did. I started busting it up in the middle of the crowds, bucket in hand. I tried to finish that thing as fast as possible because it was getting annoying to hold and it was cramping my style. (It was annoying to hold)

5:30: I found an area where they let anyone come up and juggle fire batons or swing fireballs on chains. Nothing like watching drunk people burn themselves trying to show off for the crowd.
6am: sun started coming up. The beach became brighter and the full results of what had happened that night we're becoming visible. The bodies on the sand were an interesting sight. People passed out while dancing or drinking. I got a couple pictures of the damage. I limited myself to 1 bucket that night because I was alone and didn't want to possibly wake up dead or with my camera missing. I was afraid to pass out on the sand as well. Who knows what would happen?
6:30am: people were starting to leave and file out so I headed toward the boats again to wait in line.
7am: I boarded one of my boats and headed back across the water. It was interesting to still be awake after the sun has come up, yet still be in the belly of a boat that is driven by people you don't know nor speak to and they just keep telling you to sit down everytime you stand up to make sure you're still in Thailand.
7:30am: arrived back in Koh Samui and got off the boat. Walked up to the street to see which taxi bus I get to ride to get back to my hotel.
7:45am: I ask somebody to take a picture of my glorious moment of standing in a random Thai street with my previous day's clothes on and having been awake all night. In the process of taking that picture I met 2 english girls who were part of the scenery when one of them asks me, "did you just take a picture with my butt?" and of course I responded with "yes" like any normal person would.

7:50am: I was just about getting into conversation with these girls when one of ladies who works on the boat staff drove up in her car and told me she would take me home herself because the bus was taking too long, so eagerly I hopped on. Looking back at it now I regret not staying long enough to get the contact info of the 2 english girls. They were fun to talk to but I was a bit out of it and really had to go to the bathroom. All I remember is that one of them is a 3rd year at Manchester U.

8am: we arrived at our hotel. I had the bright idea that I was going to swim in the pool before showering (apparently still under the influence of the redbull)
8:10am: I jumped into the pool and immediately had the thought of "this is boring. I'm going to shower and go to bed. Why am I in a pool right now?"
8:30am: after showering I finally yawned and fell into bed.
1:30pm: I woke up and decided to do my motorcycle tour around Koh Samui, feeling very awake even though I'd only slept 5 hours


Blogger Ben said...

dude that sounds like an awesome experience and yeah you should've capitalize on the English girls...that sounds like tha tone Leo Dicapp movie about them being in Thailand, did nothing but partying (smoking and drinking).

August 21, 2008 at 2:26 PM  
Blogger Jimmy said...

I just recently went to the area on the east coast in the An Thong National Marine Park where the book "the beach" was written about. The movie was taken on the west coast at Ko Phi Phi, which I didn't have a chance to visit.

September 2, 2008 at 3:03 AM  
Anonymous lisa said...

hi jim, i think this is your best blog to date. don't know how you were able to remember every single detail in your drunken state. if it were me, i would be one of the ones passed out on the beach haha.

September 8, 2008 at 11:05 AM  
Blogger Jimmy said...

I don't actually remember every single detail. Everything is very close to the truth but I could be wrong a time or something like that. I just made sure the feel of the post was just like what I experienced.

September 9, 2008 at 8:14 AM  

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