Now that we are in our 30s, we’re hardly on the lookout for all night dance parties. As we head down to the beaches of Thailand we begin to hear whispers about the next full moon party. We start to think that perhaps we should go. It manages to fit perfectly with our plans, in fact we would have to change our plans if we wanted to avoid it. We worry we’re too old. But if we don’t go now, we probably never will. Besides were on holidays, nobody is that old on holidays.
We start reading about the full moon parties on the Internet. There are hundreds of pages giving useful advice, but most of it relates to how you can make sure you’re still out partying at 7am. Apparently in order to do so one shouldn’t have one’s first bucket until midnight. We start to realise we’re too old when we decide the only way we would still be out partying at 7am is if we wake up at 5am and go to the party then. (Those who know us will be surprised to hear that we can wake up and function at 5am, but for some reason in Asia were early risers. I suspect we just never adapt to the time zone).
It seems silly not to go, and it’s off season so we manage to book some last minute accommodation, so there’s no turning back now. Even though there are lots of parties on the days before and after the full moon party, we decide that one will be plenty for us. In a burst of energy we spend the day of the party on a boat tour, including a very strenuous trek. This isn’t, I assume, how most people prepare to party. The streets are full of people selling neon paint and special party wear, Keelie gets a flower headband, but that is our only nod to the dress code. We’re rebels like that. We decide we can’t possibly head to the party sober, so we have some beers purchased at 7/11 in our room while listening to Thai pop (which is not nearly as cool as k-pop, but we do come across this awesome song by DJ Thaitanium).
We make our way down to the beach and wander past all the different stages and entertainment, it doesn’t seem that busy. Were enthralled by a long, thick rope being swung by a Thai man at either end, the rope has been set alight. There are actually people, tourists, lined up to participate to take a turn to try and skip with this. It momentarily goes okay, but inevitably someone can’t keep up, resulting in singes or burns or catching fire (we only saw someone catch on fire once, but evidently he did not realise he was on fire. Luckily for him his friend noticed and put him out).
Forsaking all rules about not having your first bucket until midnight, we pick one of the stalls along the beach and get a vodka/red bull bucket (because how else are we going to stay awake?). We find ourselves a spot on the sand where we can take in everything that is happening. Most people are wandering around, looking bewildered. There are a lot of people peeing in the ocean. Surely this is changing the salt content for the worst. There is, of course, the occasional person who is so drunk that they cannot stand. Some of them are lucky enough to have good friends, some are not.
There is something about dancing on sand, in a cool breeze that just feels right. This is how all nightclubs should be. Effectively that is what a full moon party is, a lot of nightclubs in a row, where everyone has come for a big night. We end the night having drinks at a bar overlooking the whole party, somehow thousands of people are here. We didn’t make it until 7am, but we did have a wonderful night under the stars, not feeling too old.