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Posts Tagged ‘new year’s eve’

New Year’s marked the anniversaries of both Evan and me and Mimi and Matt, so this year we decided to attend one of the biggest parties in the world — the famous “full moon party” in Koh Phangan!

Technically, this wasn’t a full moon celebration since there wasn’t a full moon in the sky, but it had all of the fixings of one — everything from body paint, house music and booze buckets to happy shakes, twinkling lights and fire. Lots and LOTS of fire!

After a rocky, sick-inducing ferry ride and stint in a cab, we made it to Haad Rin Beach, where the party took place. We paid our minimal entrance fee before crossing through the gate and heading straight for the body paint.

I wanted space-themed pictures on my arms (suns, moons, stars) while I had free reign with Mimi’s arms. We didn’t go crazy with the paint, but did enough so that we could have fun pointing at it under black lights later.

We walked down an alley full of vendors before reaching the sandy beach — and little could prepare me for what we were about to experience.

We entered the beach alongside a huge club shaped and lit-up like a pirate ship, which was blasting music that spilled out onto the sand and floated toward the crashing waves. To the right, we saw a massive sandy dance floor with elevated “stages” for club goers to shake it on, and signs three stories tall, awaiting a kindle so they could burst into flames and impress the partiers with their various messages.

In the far distance, beyond rows of palm trees and nestled into a rocky cliff, was an area known as mellow mountain. It consisted of three or four different bars on various levels of the hill, all serving up drinks, loud beats and happy shakes.

We ventured up mellow mountain on a few occasions during the night. I particularly liked the few bars that offered over sized pillows to sit or lay on, surrounded by floor tables. It was a nice place to relax if you had too much trance for the time being.

The mountain was lit up by twinkling, spinning, sparkling lights of every color. The result of this rainbow was that it looked more like an attraction out of Disneyland than anything else. That was the first of many times I felt that way — it was like Vegas, a playground for adults where inhibitions dropped and craziness was rampant. The out-of-this-world experience reminded me of going to places like Coachella <3 — one night cut off from the world, where the only thing that mattered was music, friends, dancing and having a great time.

On the opposite side of the pirate ship (as the club was dubbed by our group), the beach was lined with clubs blasting out intense beats, vendors selling street food and alcohol buckets, and performers amazing crowds with various forms of fiery entertainment. Since we had noshed on delicious street grub before coming to Koh Phangan, we didn’t eat at the party until much later into the evening.

The “buckets” sold on the beach came with a flask of alcohol and a chaser, ranging from soda to red bull. I wasn’t too interested in drinking since I felt a bit nauseous during a portion of the party, but I did build a sand fort with the empty bucket once one was polished off in the group :) I have sand building skills, what can I say? A few people marveled at it as they walked by.

We got wrapped up in watching one man twirling fire batons for awhile (he was amazing) before heading to the far end of the beach to watch people jumping a blazing rope.

Little did we know, these weren’t professionals at all — they were common drunkards from the bash! To say we were shocked that inebriated people would willingly subject themselves to burns at the hands of the fire rope (and the idiots who kept dousing the rope with alcohol) is an understatement.

Another party favor that didn’t sit well with me were the giant fireworks that the vendors sold to stumbling party goers. These people would buy explosives the size of my arm, then fumble around for a few minutes before figuring out how to blast the thing into space! They were beautiful but being shot off waaaaay too close to crowds of people. Call me a stick in the mud, but having my arm blown off by a firework doesn’t sound like much fun.

Although, the firework display that the professionals shot off at midnight was absolutely stunning and mesmerizing.

The majority of the crowd at the party were a few years younger than us — maybe 22-23 or so. A lot of people traveled from Europe or Australia to attend, but we didn’t run into that many more Americans.

The beach provided a perfect place for an event like this — loud and crowded in front of the clubs where you wanted to groove and get sweaty with hoardes of people, but quiet and serene in other areas of the beach, where you just wanted to lay in the sand, look at the swaying palm trees and listen to the waves crash. The large scale of the venue made these contrasts possible, which I was grateful for.

There were moments I didn’t want to get off the dance floor…

…and moments where I wanted to plop down in the sand and just observe.

We abandoned the beach close to 4 AM, when the crowds broke up and the beach was littered with trash and bottles. We got back to the ferry station at 5, only to learn that the first boat didn’t head back to Koh Samui until 7. No matter — we set up shop in the station, rested a bit and were able to see a phenomenal sunrise as we headed home.

All in all, a fabulous experience — utter madness at times, one of the craziest nights ever, but I loved every bit of it. I am so happy that I finally got to see the shenanigans on Haad Rin up close, as I have wanted to for years. I have probably gotten my fill of the full moon party (gasp…getting old) but am so glad that this is one I can put in the memory books.

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As LCD Soundsystem would say, This is Happening.

For our Christmas break, we’re heading to the beaches of Thailand with two of our very best friends on the entire planet for a week of partying, sun, sand and surf.

Oh, and we’re staying at the most fabulous hotel I’ve ever seen.

Did I mention we’re going to one of the biggest and best parties in the world for New Year’s Eve?

Living the dream…I can’t wait to see Mimi and Matt’s faces !!!

Why can’t Christmas ever come early?

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