He’s always talked about the Full Moon Parties and after about a year contemplating about this, we bought the tickets, reserved the dates and off we went!
This is us, traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Koh Phangan for the very first time. We started our journey at 6.00am and it went a little something like this:
Hopped on the Skybus from 1Utama terminal to LCCT, super convenient because 1Utama is about 15 minutes away from home
Arrived at LCCT to check in our luggage and other processes
Had breakfast at Coffee Bean LCCT and managed to check off a couple of emails before boarding
Boarded the plane and we’re off to Koh Phangan!
Plane finally took off after a 20 minutes or so delay
— Thailand local time (1 hour behind Malaysia time) —
Landed in Surat Thani airport and took forever to go through immigration even though there were 3 different lines
Finally made it through immigration only to realize our luggage was missing. Which also meant that we had nothing because we didn’t hand carry anything except for whatever we were wearing, our laptops and phones for the entire 6-day trip
The AirAsia staff led us to file a complaint about the missing luggage and couldn’t confirm the location of our luggage (we were hoping so badly it didn’t get stolen) till 2 hours later. Left without any luggage or alternative, we went about our way to locate the ferry service to bring us to Koh Phangan
Thankfully, the counter was located at the exit of the airport and we managed to purchase our tickets with ease, with a bus waiting outside
Bus ticket from Surat Thani airport + ferry fare from Donsak to Thongsala = 500baht per person
View the complete schedule for ferries here
Hopped on the bus feeling upset and worried over lost luggage, supply of clothes, toiletries and other necessities
The journey took about 1.5 hours from the airport and when we stepped off, we came to realize that we boarded a tour bus who kindly made a detour to drop the two of us off near the ferry port where golf buggy was waiting to take us to the ferry port. We were very impressed with the arrangement and despite being clueless about how and where to go before we make it to Koh Phangan, it seems that there’s always someone there to lead the way for us
At the ferry port, there’s only one convenience store and one restaurant (thankfully, because we hadn’t had anything to eat since breakfast at LCCT) along with a beautiful view, which we had some time to explore since the ferry only comes at 4.00pm
Lunch – Thanks for curling my spring onion to make it pretty!
And here’s where we board the ferry
So the ferry I had in mind was a large one like the one in Brisbane, but it turns out that we boarded an even larger ferry that not only carries passengers but also tons of lorries, trucks and cars that are headed to Koh Phangan
Choose to sit outside (quite sunny) or inside where it’s air-conditioned. Don’t worry about food as there’s a convenience store onboard and cup noodles seem to be the favourite among locals and tourists
The front of the ferry is less noisy and less sunny, which also gives you a lovely view of the sunset
We got really excited after some two hours of traveling on the ferry and spotted an island nearby, only to be told by one of the locals that it’s Koh Samui and Koh Phangan is still another away. Yup, it takes a total of 3 whole hours to travel to the island! The good news is, there’s 3G while you’re on board (I was roaming on Maxis for RM33 a day with unlimited data coverage)
Once we arrived, we were once again lost about what to do and decided to follow the crowd – turned out to be a wise decision as we were led to a taxi area. I’ve read that it would cost each person 100baht to travel from Thongsala to Haad Rin (That’s where we’re staying and that’s where the full moon party takes place) but again, the taxi I had in mind was those comfortable Toyotas I experienced in Bangkok or a tuk-tuk only to discover their version of a taxi is a Hilux with a modified back area that seats 10 persons with a hood on top where all the luggages go
The journey to Haad Rin was a rather bumpy one as we travel up and down hills with sharp turnings on a two-way single lane road, quite similar to what we experienced in Bali with the only difference being the vehicle that was transporting us
We finally arrived at Haad Rin, didn’t take us long to locate our hotel, which was located in the middle of the beach front road. Checked-in, informed the hotel about our missing luggage and they checked with AirAsia for us to find out that it was sent back to KL. It’ll take another two days to get back to us since AirAsia only flies to Surat Thani every other day
Nevertheless, we were relieved and went to our room to freshen up before getting some food. The room was a fairly good size, with free WiFi throughout the hotel, free breakfast every morning from 9am till 11am, complimentary use of locker facilities, swimming pool and they’ll also loan you beach towels for zero cost when you head to the beach
Checked out the scene along beach front road, grabbed a Nutella pancake (was actually more like roti canai with Nutella) and took care of the first order of business: Buy clothes and toiletries for the next two days for the both of us. The shop next to our hotel were more pricey than most stores, however I did manage to get two bikinis for 199baht each
Pharmacies are a plenty in Koh Phangan and they also sell toiletries in travel sizes, which made it super convenient for us! This means we can probably finish most of it, if not all by the end of our trip without having to bring home extra weight
Once that was settled, we went to the beach and decided on a seafood BBQ platter dinner of fish, squid and prawns. Probably the most costly meal we had throughout the entire trip but we just wanted to sit, relax, eat a good meal (although we had far more delicious meals throughout the trip later on) after the entire day spent traveling
Retired for the night after a short walk on the beach post-dinner and while it wasn’t full moon party yet, there were already quite a number of tourists on the beach and some already begun their partying. I was awaken many times in the wee hours of the morning by our neighbours who have just ended their night/morning sharing their party stories as proof
More about Koh Phangan in the next post!