I can’t say that I have experienced the antics of Thailand’s signature Full Moon party’s on Koh Phangan Island as of yet, I can however give comment on the party scene on Koh Phi Phi Island, which I recently experienced first hand. There’s so much more to the island than beautiful beaches and good food. If you are looking to party, Phi Phi Island can most certainly accommodate to your desire.
There are all manner of ways to start a night out but on Phi Phi Island a popular option is with a couple of rounds of Muay Thai. It is Thailand after all. Whether you want to watch it or brave enough to partake in it, Thai boxing makes for some great pre-night out entertainment. Reggae Reggae bar is equipped with its own boxing ring in which amateur boxers can go at it. It’s exhilarating to watch and from what we saw, the fighters always show good sportsmanship and shake hands / hug / have a drink post face-off. The incentive for partaking is the lure of a free boozy bucket.
Speaking of buckets, standard measures go out the window when it comes to drinking. Thailand is almost as famous for its boozy buckets as it is for its beaches. Each bucket comes with a bottle of spirit and a mixer, which you pour into the bucket with some ice. If you don’t drink a lot like myself, then you can stick in a couple of straws in and share a bucket with your friends. You really don’t need to drink much, or even at all to get into the party vibe. The amazing surroundings are heady enough as it is.
There are a number of bars and clubs peppered across the island but the beach is where the real party is at. It’s illuminated by fire and dancing iridescent lights. The air is filled with a mixture of sweet shisha and burning petroleum. Tanned scantily-clad bodies graffitied with neon body paint dance the night away on the sand. Trippy music booms out from every direction. Nights out back at home won’t quite feel the same after experiencing it all.
Groups of people congregate around raucous fire antics – it’s the sort of stuff that would give any Health and Safety Standards officer a heart attack. In this case I am referring to flaming limbo. The limbo stick blazed so ferociously that the intense flames could be seen, heard and felt within the vicinity. The mesmerising display was one of the many things I witnessed on the island that had me thinking to myself “this so wouldn’t be allowed back at home!” As the night wore on, the flaming limbo got progressively lower and so did peoples inhibitions.
Muscular Thai guys carry willing partygoers under the flaming limbo in all manner of ‘imaginative’ ways and positions. Once you reach the haven of safety that awaits on the other side, someone pours a celebratory shot of I-don’t-know-what down your neck. A lot of people seemed to get quite addicted to the daring stunt and kept on going back for another limbo and necking more shots as a result. Inevitably, this meant that a lot of people were quarter past drunk in no time – but merry none-the-less.
I went under myself because personally I wouldn’t entrust some random guy on the beach to carry me under a flaming limbo. I’ve heard some tragic stories of people who have sustained burns from the pyro-antics of the Full Moon party. I suspect a lot of the people doing it were too drunk to care. Being on holiday doesn’t exempt you from risk, you do it at your own peril. You want to come back from a holiday with lasting memories not lasting scars!
The beach’s pyro-antics also include captivating fire throwing shows. The guys doing it clearly have years of experience and know exactly what they are doing and as a result they make it look so effortless. We literally spent hours sprawled out in the sand watching the mesmerising performances.
The party environment can be simply defined as electrifying. The whole beach has an omnipresent good vibe. It’s a congregation of people from all around the world in a stunning location, all there for one purpose… to have an amazing time. It’s an experience that I certainly won’t be forgetting in a hurry.