Ko Pha Ngan shows it’s true (neon) colours, Thailand

March 17, 2010 at 8:08 am 1 comment

It’s hard to believe that only a few hours ago Sunrise Beach in Haad Rin was the picture of paradise – white sand as fine as flour and clear aquamarine water arching their smooth backs across the bay. Now though, the sound of gentle lapping has been replaced by the shrill screams of electro music from one corner vying for wave space with the thump thump of heavy bass from another. From a distance it looks as if the dark shadows are moving as one, thrusting hips, chests and heads in time to the deafening beat of the music. As you move closer though, the scene comes into focus and the chaos emerges.

The first thing you notice is the fire. Blazing on huge ‘Amazing Thailand’ signs, leaping from the hands of jugglers, illuminating the sky in floating paper lanterns, swinging from the wrists of poi dancers and flying in the graceful cirles of a flaming jump rope, fire is everywhere.

The second thing you notice is the colours – neon orange, green, red, yellow, pink and blue smeared across young chests, stomachs, legs, arms and faces. Paint filling every available inch of skin in swirls, spots, hand-prints and for the more artistic party-goers, minute drawings. To the left is a guy with a huge glowing smiley face on his back dancing with a girl who has a flaming phoenix delicately painted across her chest. To the right, three guys who have taken glow paint to another level, covering themselves from the tips of their hair to the ends of their toes in a single colour – shorts included.

Somewhere in the bedlam are three English people, a Welshman, two Maltese, two Norwegians and a couple of Irish. Following an extended finger painting session (and a dash of vodka)  they are covered in everything from tribal warpaints to empress dots and full body rose vines. They have also found themselves in possesion of a strange plaid trilby (when asked about it later one of the Maltese said “I don’t know what happened. One minute I was buying a bucket from a lady  in a hat and the next I was walking away with it on my head…”) Two of the English, having spotted something shiny or a new country in need of invasion, have wandered away. Meanwhile their countryman is working hard on international relations, wooing one Norwegian while holding back the other’s hair and embracing the Welshman who is weak with relief and sobbing “I was afraid I’d never see you again, don’t ever leave me!” into his shoulder. What a pillar of society.

In an attempt to stay sober” the Maltese have taken to hiking around the beach at half hour intervals and following their lead, one of the Irish who has, up until this point been a picture of innocence, keeps breaking rank and sprinting wildly into the crowd. Exasperated, the other Irish, still not yet recovered from his last mad dash, chases after her.

Over the course of the night Full Moon revellers will contradict the three most basic rules their mothers taught them – don’t play with fire; paint is for paper, not people; and never drink anything from a bucket. They’ll  burn the ends of their hair and singe their eyebrows while jumping rope. They’ll fall asleep on the sand while their friends dance around them. They’ll climb to the top of Mushroom Mountain to get that little bit higher. Some of them will think it’s okay to graduate from peeing to pooing in the sea. Many of them will hold back someone’s hair (a friend’s, a stranger’s) while they take a second look at the three vodka buckets they downed in ten minutes. Almost everyone will go home with a dozen more friends than they came with. The lucky ones will go home with a stranger. In the future, everyone will reminisce on that beautiful night when the moon was full, the air was thick with sex and amphetamines and they danced their young, tanned asses off until the sun rose and the sea was filled with coloured buckets bobbing in the waves.

Note: No Mam, we didn’t do drugs. Or set ourselves on fire.

More pictures from Ko Pha Ngan are available in the gallery


Entry filed under: Travel. Tags: , , , , , .

No time for boredom, Chiang Mai, Thailand And now a word from our sponsors…

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Hazel 'I'm a better driver than the both of you' Hayes  |  March 22, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Oh My GOD!!!

    Gary has a tan!?

    And no, I’m not changing my name on these comments. I feel it will remind Gary what a shit driver he is. And that that is beneficial to us all…globally…as a people…


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