Holed Up In Haad Rin

Last Tuesday was the night of the Full Moon Party here in Haad Rin. We wandered along late at night to see what this world-famous event was like. I must admit that we both feared it was going to be lots of really dodgy trance music, but we were pleasantly surprised.

People had been arriving on the island in droves for the past couple of days, and more arrived by speedboat from Samui on the night of the party.

The whole of Sunrise beach was packed with thousands of people; many dancing, some just walking about or sitting on the sand talking and taking in the atmosphere. The scene was lit by lights from the bars and the bright light of the full moon.

A number of the bars and bungalow operations were providing the music which varied from the trance we expected through to hip-hop, drum’n’bass and even some rock. Everyone seemed really relaxed and happy and we didn’t see any of the drunken aggression usually associated with large events.

We sat on the beach for a while watching people having fun and did a tour of the beach to check out the music. As we were both knackered we didn’t go dancing but both agreed that if we make it back to KPN at some point we’d like to make more of the party.

The reason that we were so tired was that we’ve been going to the gym; the Jungle Gym to be precise. We started on the 18th and have been everyday apart from two (the first Sunday because we could hardly move for aching muscles, and the day after the Full Moon Party when the gym is closed).

The first session we had instruction from Mel, one of the gym staff, and the shock of doing exercise made me sick. Been fine since then though, and we’re both getting fitter. The gym doesn’t have that horrible competitiveness that you find in a lot of gyms at home; it’s much more friendly and relaxed with a variety of cats and dogs wandering about the equipment. They do Muay Thai (Thai boxing) training there too but we’re happy to watch that rather than participating.

Last Friday, after an early gym session we caught the boat over to Samui for the day. We had some shopping to do and fancied a day away from Koh Phangan. Vic bought herself a French course. We restocked on magazines (found the June edition of MacWorld and spent so much money in Boots that they gave us a free T-shirt!

We had to get the boat back at 6:30 and by then the sky was looking rather ominous with big black clouds heading our way. The boat wasn’t the usual Haad Rin Queen, but another one with, thankfully, a larger covered seating area. Not many people of the boat as we set off with the wind picking up. As we left the cover of Big Buddha beach the boat started to pitch and roll. This became more violent as the journey progressed and several people went outside to be sick. Watching the horizon through the doorway, there were a few times when the boat pitched so alarmingly that the sky disappeared altogether. Vic and I hung on grimly and were very relieved when we reached the safety of Haad Rin pier.

Apart from that it’s the endless tedium of “Get Up, Have Breakfast, Lounge About, Have Swim, Have Snack, Go To Gym, Have Dinner, More Lounging, Go To Bed”. Still, it’s life of a kind :)

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