Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Party Island of Koh Pangan in Thailand


The white fine sand was our rendezvous for our late afternoon beer sesh. The crowd was basically consisted of your typical youthful beach place; half-naked men strolling along the shore, almost naked women trying to catch up with the men and naked sun-kissed women who seemed to not care at all. It was a relaxing day to booze up at Haad Rin Beach in Koh Pangan, up until sunset, when the serenity was cut short and the original party island of Thailand totally transformed into a huge moshpit of all-you-could-think-of-in-a-party. This wasn’t my idea, at all.

Koh Pangan Thailand
Haad Rin Beach, Koh Pangan, Thailand
It was the third week of our Beach Hop Asia 2016 summer backpacking trip. Me and my buddy met up with the gang at the airport of Kuala Lumpur and headed towards the legit party island as they say. It wasn’t my idea as I usually detest such events, but being with the almost complete gang on our first ever overseas trip made me agree to it. So off we went to zombieland where people set off to get smashed and probably get laid.

Koh Pangan Thailand
Beach. Sand. Hotties.
Arriving at Surat Thani Airport, we were welcomed with huge placards of bus and boat transfers to some of the islands on the southern part of Thailand. The different islands (ko/koh) are popular amongst tourists and hopping on and off to it were a common thing. I ain’t good with itineraries so I left the decision part to them on the islands to explore; we’re eight in the group by the way.

We scored a bus+boat rides for THB500 which made everything easier. We boarded on a double-decker bus and the smooth 2-hour ride lulled us to sleep. After arriving at Thong Sala Pier, we were asked to wait for a few minutes before boarding the boat which we used for a quick run for food. At five in the afternoon, we left for Koh Pangan and endured the 3-hour ferry ride.

Ferry Koh Pangan Thailand
Ferry Boat to Koh Pangan
The boat was filled with 99% tourists, if not for the Thai crew, it would probably be the biggest delegation of United Nations invading the islands of Thailand. Food and beverage (including beer) were served onboard which made it a party boat as some chose to start the first layer of their tan at the open part of it. Toilets were amazingly clean and the air-conditioning system was perfectly fine.

Ferry Koh Pangan Thailand
Where's my backpack again?
We arrived at Koh Pangan at eight in the evening. Famished, we dashed out of the boat, not minding the hordes of tuk tuk drivers, and went straight to a night hawker food market nearby and enjoyed cheap Thai food for dinner. After which, we haggled for a songthaew ride (THB85 each) to the most happening place on the island, Haad Rin.

Koh Pangan Thailand
Downtown Koh Pangan
My buddies scored a good deal from an online booking site at Funny Moon Hostel (check for discounted rates). We were welcomed by the nice host upon arrival and ushered us to our room. The dorm room was shared with two English girls (yes, teeners) who were also there to party. The hostel had four rooms with two shared toilet and baths. Its close proximity to the beach made it the perfect choice for the group.

Funny Moon Hostel Koh Pangan Thailand
Funny Moon Hostel on your right
Accommodation in Koh Pangan soars up during Full Moon every month because of, well, the Full Moon Party. Surprisingly though, there are other “parties” that were thought up after the success of the original one which made it a party place all-year round.

We arrived on the night of the Full Moon Party hence, Pre-Full Moon Parties spread out like disease on the beach. I, for one, didn’t know what to expect so I just tagged along wherever they went. The night was filled with loud music, booze, drugs, sex and more. I despised it a bit but enjoyed being with my friends. I couldn’t imagine how the real party would turn out after experiencing this one.

A video posted by blissfulguro (@blissfulguro) on

I went to bed earlier than everyone else after finishing few bottles of Leo Beer, cheapest at THB60. For them, the party has just commenced.

We woke up at around noon when someone mentioned food. Apparently, we slept too long after the shindig. We strolled around the area to look for a place to eat and I was surprised how deserted the place was. It was interesting though that just like the boat a day before, Haad Rin was filled with tourists that I couldn’t find any locals aside from the vendors around. It felt weird.

Koh Pangan Thailand

Koh Pangan Thailand

After a plateful of Chicken Fried Rice (my buddies opted to have Pad Thai but I like my rice meal more), we went back to our room and they continued the slumber. I headed towards the hostel’s entryway and had some coffee while I people-watched. At around three in the afternoon I forced everyone to get up to check out the beach.

Koh Pangan Thailand Pad Thai
Pad Thai
Koh Pangan Thailand Chicken Fried Rice
Chicken Fried Rice
Oh, the beach.

Haad Rin Beach was lovely. The long-tail boats lined up on one end as people enjoyed basking under the intense heat of the sun. There were sun-worshippers of all sorts (naked and not) and I was starting to feel the beach vibe again (me missin’ it after weeks of traveling to Melaka, Langkawi and Penang).

Haad Rin Beach Koh Pangan Thailand
Naked Beach, kids' edition
Haad Rin Beach Koh Pangan Thailand

We downed a number of beer bottles and relaxed while there’s still time to do so.

Chang Beer
Beach = Booze
Haad Rin Beach Koh Pangan Thailand

We went back to the hostel after sunset and prepped up for the night’s event. Our gracious host prepared some body paints for us to use for it was the hip thing for the said party.

The Full Moon Party was a blast, literally. But there were some things that made me decide that it would also be my last (I will dedicate a separate post for it).

The breaking of dawn signaled our departure. Sleepless and hungry, we dragged our bags to a taxi that collected us from the hostel. We scored a good deal for the transfer from Koh Pangan to Krabi for THB550 on one of the travel agencies around. Our 33-hour gig in the most happening island in Thailand was over and we needed to hop on to another one while battling with the aftermath of the party that will be my last. We slept all throughout the boat ride that we didn’t notice the bed bugs from the cushioned seats feasting on our bodies.  

Koh Pangan To Krabi Ferry
Bed bug-infested ferry
Koh Pangan, especially Haad Rin Beach, is beautiful. Too beautiful that people want to experience everything all at the same time. Too beautiful that now I understand why people try to hide paradise from people like them. I never wanted such a happy place to be ruined like this, ever.





2 comments:

  1. Koh Pha Ngan is a perfect rendezvous for travelers who really loves beaches. Don't forget to include Koh Tao in your Thailand travel next time.

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    1. Yes we will Faye! I've heard so many wonderful stories on Koh Tao. Thanks! :)

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