Partying in Thailand Expectation vs. Reality

So you’re considering a trip to Thailand, you’ve all seen the pictures, heard the stories of full moon parties and tropical islands. 20,000 young adults rocking up at a beach, partying the night away with buckets in hand. There are two things I wanna establish before I go into more detail;

Firstly, this is not a post on how to stay safe whilst partying in Thailand, if your friends and family can trust you to travel to Thailand you surely have some sense and can make logical decisions. I’m not saying I won’t provide any tips or warnings but yenno I’m not gonna tell you to not to jump in the flaming skipping rope because that’s your own risk to make and it’s also highly entertaining to watch.

Secondly, I had an absolute ball partying in Thailand, it lived up to every single expectation I had previously imagined and I quickly found myself living up to the stereotype of a South East Asia backpacker.

In full moon party style we began the night with pre drinks and lots and lots of fluorescent paint which ended up on everything in my backpack and the bed sheets where we were staying. Attire consisted of neon clothing, sunglasses, bum bags, hats or you could opt for cheesy matching t-shirts for your gang.

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Partying on a beach is just so much more chill, no claustrophobia or being squashed up against a club wall. In custom to backpacker traditions we enjoyed many a bucket, this is just what you imagine, a child’s bucket, as in a bucket and spade, filled with alcohol, soft drinks and of course, the Thai version of red bull which is about 40 million times stronger. Some people actually think they have been spiked when the red bull kicks in but as a regular vodka redbull drinker at home the feeling wasn’t too unknown. I heard a lot of recommendations to stay away from the dreaded bucket, to be careful what you drink, maybe stick four or five straws in there. We really had no problem at all with them, like if you are trying to get drunk what better way to spend 200 Thai baht? I don’t really know if it is wrong to say this but you’ve travelled hundreds of miles across the globe to celebrate the world famous full moon party, you’re here in the flesh, maybe the only time you’ll experience this. If you wanna get drunk, get drunk, sort all your shit out before you start drinking, in reality there are 20,000 other people on that beach doing the same thing as you and everyone is looking out for each other. I personally know I wouldn’t enjoy my time so much if I was stood in the corner refusing drinks because I was worried some part of the night was gonna go wrong.

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Put all your valuables behind reception, full moon party means 99.9% of hotel/ hostels are empty for the night which is very convenient for anyone who wants to rob a few bits and pieces. Don’t leave anything in your room that you could not continue your trip without.

So where are the best party locations in Thailand? This is different for everyone but the two places I had the best time where Koh Phi Phi and Koh Pha Ngan *all the ‘off the beaten track backpackers sigh in unison.* I really don’t feel the need to spend all my time in the places where the least amount of tourists have gone, seeking out new things. Don’t get me wrong, this is fun too. But really I went to Thailand with the intentions of having the same experience thousands of backpackers do every week, like surely there’s a reason these places are the most popular, why skip them?

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How our evenings went down was like thiss. Our favourite bar on the island of Koh Pha Ngan, and where I would recommend was the ‘drop in’ bar, cheap drinks,  amazing music and an all-round great atmosphere, also out of the 30+ people I was partying with no one got anything stolen. Although, probably one of my funniest memories here was when a huge storm started raging outside, the sea began to swallow up the sand where we were dancing and suddenly there were 1000+ people squashed into the indoor section of the club which was now suffering a black out. It was hilarious, everyone was soaked, and there was no music so we had to opt for singing instead. Probably the only time the reality of partying in Thailand did not live up to my expectations, and yet I was far from disappointed. FYI the power did come back eventually and we partied til the early hours.

And, what better way to recover from a nasty hangover than relaxing in a hammock all day, endless banana pancakes and maybe even a Thai massage?

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