Thoughts on Ko Phangan, Ko Samui, and Surat Thani

April 26th to May 2nd, 2018

Photo by Ragnar Vorel on Unsplash

This note is part of my travel series, Giant Leaps: a collection of my experiences from across the globe. You can view all of my trips on here.

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Things I Did

  • We flew from Hong Kong into Bangkok and from Bangkok to Surat Thani. We planned to stay a night in Surat Thani and then stay in Ko Samui for 3 nights (one of which going to the full moon party a boat ride away in Ko Phangan).
  • Surat Thani was honestly nothing special of a city and a bit dirty. I say this not having done the city “complete justice” as we only walked around for what I would say was a few hours. We really only used the time to eat a few delicious Thai meals and prepare for the chaos ahead. We walked around a cool night market that reminded me of Bangkok and that was pretty much it. We took a boat from Surat Thani to Ko Samui.
  • Our hotel was located right on the beach in Ko Samui. It was a really pretty place, with tremendous views and access to lots of food and drinks. It was also right next to a port which made it easy to get to the full moon party.
  • Our friends had booked a villa that was a bit further up in the mountains but honestly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. They had an infinity pool that we hung out at for a while.
  • Ko Samui has a lot going on, with tons of touristy fine-dining options and fun bars. We ate a lot once again!
  • The main event and main reason for this trip was to attend the notorious full moon party. If you are not familiar with the concept, the full moon party is an all-night beach party that happens once a month on Ko Phangan. Thousands of thousands of people on one beach all night (and morning). You take a boat there and leave by boat as well, few people actually sleep on the island. I can say that it absolutely lives up to expectations and is a must attend experience. I think chaos is the only word to describe the beach-side event…with fire jump ropes, water slides, buckets of alcohol, torches, and so many more public hazards. It is really the epitome of humanity (perhaps the ugly side) in one place. Pictures do not do the scenes justice but I will try to add context nonetheless:
  • I think our experience at the party was particularly unique. It started out completely pouring rain (from like 10pm to midnight) so we were cornered into a small bar. It eventually cleared up and got really crowded. I did the fire jump rope and burned my neck (probably a bad idea in hindsight). It was a lot of fun memories and definitely happy we went.
  • We spent the remaining night in recovery mode and just hung out by the beach. We then flew back to Hong Kong and called it a trip!

Takeaways

  • Southern Thailand has a lot to offer…I think it is a cool place to experience both nightlife as well as general relaxation. Also everything is very inexpensive so you can make the trip work if you can get a flight over.