Southern Thailand – Full Moon Party

Warning: This post is Picture heavy, as I don’t think words can adequately describe what one encounters at the full moon party or it’s preceding days.

“We feel sorry for people that don’t drink because when you get up in the morning that’s as good as you’re gonna feel for the rest of the day.”

– Frank Sinatra


While traveling long term, you get used to certain less than optimal states of being. You get used to being dirty. You get used to being woken up many times by roosters crowing, or the neighbors doing the mattress mambo. When in Southern Thailand, go ahead and add one more to the list – Waking up hungover as hell. I mean, I haven’t felt so shitty waking up since I spent three nights in Bangkok (I actually wrote a post about it and then deleted it, it was that bad).

So why were we in Thailand and why were feeling like Amy Winehouse on a good day? Three words – Full Moon Party. (But as we’re no slouches,we’re not doing just one party, we’re doing three)

Party #1 – Reunion

Through Kismet, Fate, and by the nature of the full moon only occurring twice per month, we were to reunite with four of our friends we had made while traveling. The first – Steve and Maddie, who run a great travel blog – I’m not Home, we met in the Andaman Islands in India. Our paths diverged for 4 months and here we were, ready to reunite – excellent! The next couple were Chris and Helen, two amazing kids from Germany we met in Laos, kept meeting up with in Cambodia, and tons in Vietnam. We love those guys, even though we feel they secretly say things about us when they’re talking in German and laughing.

Hah Hah Hah Americans

Brittany and I started the night off with a bucket. this is what normal people consider a strong start, but then it gets even stronger when after tasting the bucket that tasted like straight whisky, the guy asks if you’d like MORE alcohol in it, and you both enthusiastically shout Yes!! When we saw them, Chris and I reenacted all those movies where the two long separated lovers reunite and run at each other, embrace and spin around in each others arms. After the reunion and Brittany’s apologies to everyone who saw that, we traded war stories from our month apart, and began our usual oneupmanship with bucket drinking. By the time Steve and Maddie joined us, we were all shmammered.


We are the future. Be afraid.



Shortly after this picture was taken, Chris and Helen died. Well, as close to death while still having a pulse as I could ever imagine. They became immobile, started both puking where they sat, and became nearly unresponsive. I have no doubt their buckets were spiked with something, as we’ve seen them drink enough to make their German ancestry blush, without ever a problem. Somehow I managed to get them both home, returned to Brittany Steve and Maddie and figured calling it a night at that point was a good idea.

What a proud German drinker looks like

Party #2 – Jungle Experience

Morning after the reunion was notably terrible, but not unexpected. Hangovers, splitting heads, stomachs still reeling from the witches cauldrons that were imbibed the night prior. Two red curries and a Gatorade were the prescription and with that we prepared for the nights festivities. The jungle experience was weird, but weird in a good way. It was a much trippier environment.

Unaltered Image

First off all, you have to walk for about 10 minutes through a path with very very (very) tall trees on either side of you, making you feel small and insignificant. The jungle is very dark, the footing is usually loose and muddy, as rain has fallen aplenty. You wander, wondering if you’re even in the right place, I wonder aloud if this isn’t just the perfect spot for a mugging, and then you turn the corner. The lights, the music, the decorations, they all greet you with a welcoming energy. A large sign overhead proclaims “No fighting. Anyone fighting will be thrown out” Peace and love here only I suppose.

Trippy Place

Booze are expensive, so bring your own if you’re going to come. But there was fire dancing, good music from the DJs, lots of body painting, and in general just a lot of kids dancing and having fun in a low key environment. Chris and Helen couldn’t make it as they were still dead from the night before, but we met up with Steve and Maddie and had a lot of fun, minus the part where some girl wanted to fight Brittany and took a swing at me. Oh English girls. So all in all, a fun night with a couple hundred friends.

Also, Brittany and I took care of some guy from Qatar who was passed out on the ground and completely out of it, and he had no idea how to get to his hostel. We gave him lots of water, road all the way to the other side of the island to get him home, and then road back to ours. I started to question whether being responsible at these sorts of events means I’m getting too old for them. Then I squashed that thought, realized we’re freakin’ awesome and mentally prepared myself for the Full Moon Party.

DJ Booth



New Friends and Old Friends

Things get weird with a full moon

Party #3 – Full Moon Party

Take every frat party you never wanted to be at, throw in a metric ton of jersey shore, and a pinch….make that an almost unrestricted flow….. of drugs, and you have the shirtless sweaty hormone driven powder keg that Cancun could only one day hope to grow up to be. The way I look at it, Vang Vieng was a brotherhood, you survived, you experienced each new bar each new challenge together. At the end of the day all that mattered was you made it out alive, usually with a group of friends you didn’t even start with.

Vang Vieng – Crazy on a smaller, happier scale

The full moon party is a shirtless exercise in poor crowd control driven by the overwhelming principle of booty scarcity. Every early 20s (if that) kid who’s away from home for the first time, hopped up on 10 bottles of redbull and cheap Thai whisky (if not other inebriants) is desperately looking for (cover your eyes mom) something to put his  dick in (Open your eyes mom). You can see it in the faces, in the energy of the crowd, it’s something primal and animalistic, something unfriendly, it’s Spring Break meets Lord of the Flies.

Hey Brah, Sweet Party! Yeah Brah

Don’t get me wrong, it was a lot of fun, but its definitely the party equivalent of a crystal meth bender. There are about 10 different stages, each playing a different type of music. Each with a different type of people out front. Every step you take you must watch out for broken glass (as everyone just tosses their glass beer bottles on the ground – awesome) or broken people (as these great friends seem to just leave their friends passed out face first in the sand, or stack buckets and bottles on them).

Every guy is voiding his bladder by pissing directly into the sea. Every REALLY drunk girl thinks its a great idea to go swimming in that very sea.

Who wants to party ladies?

There is dancing on tables. There is falling off of tables. In fact, there seems to be more falling than dancing, and I wonder why people continue to climb up on them…from atop my own table.

The night continues on.


And on.

and on.

In fact, with all the red bull you drink, you never have any concept of time elapsing.

You never get tired.

You just keep dancing.

Eventually, we put him down

Its only when the alcohol starts to thin out the weak members of the herd that you begin to realize how late it is. You gather whats left of your friends, you buy horrible overpriced drunk munchies and you head home.

We survived. Sunrise never looked so sweet.

I’ll tell you, honestly, it’s an experience. I’d recommend you do it, go, have fun. Get drunk, wreck yourself, wreck someone else. Take funny pictures, take funny videos. Play with fire – literally (jump the flaming rope), play with fire – figuratively (challenge a 20 year old to a drinking contest). But you had better believe that by the time I have children, and they are old enough to use the internet, I’ll have long deleted this entry from the blog and will be forbidding them from ever stepping foot on Koh Phegnan and most likely, the entirety of Thailand.

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Comments (4)

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  1. Sarah says:

    I love reading your posts, but I can’t but help wonder if Brittany has discovered a way to use steam cells to make you both new livers when you come home! Miss you two!

  2. Brittany says:

    Miss you too Sarah! And trust me, Orange helped us prepare our livers for this trip. If it weren’t for them we probably wouldn’t have survived thus far :)

  3. Perfect, Sean – and what fantabulous photos!

  4. susan says:

    wow..glad I read this AFTER I got home from Bali, or you, Mr. Sean would have received a lecture..now, cover your eyes! 😛
    love you

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