So I’m not really sure why, but for some reason we thought taking 3 overnight trains in less than a week was the best way to get around Thailand. But it happened, and let’s just say it’s something we will never forget. Sleepless nights hiding with our heads buried beneath our thin bed sheet in between killing the tiny cockroaches that would scurry by. So gross! By the time we finally made it to Koh Phangan we had been traveling for over 24 hours. A 15 hour train, a 10 hour layover day in Bangkok (time we spent booking visas and flights to Vietnam) another 13 overnight train, a 2 hour bus, and a 2 hour boat ride to the island. Simple right? Thankfully when we got there we were pleasantly surprised to find the lady at the travel agency had booked us two rooms at a beach resort. Complete with a pool, a hammock, and an ocean view. This made the long trip all worth while! After going for a walk down the beach we found that there were tons of other beach front places along the water all getting ready for the big Full moon party later that week. The party that month was special in particular because it was also combined with the Loy Krathong Festival of Lights, celebrated on the same evening. The days leading up to the festival we watched as the hotels began to fill up, lights flashing across the water from the pre-parties going on each night in anticipation. Luckily, Jess had the same mind set as I did of lying low and staying away from the party scene until the festival. (We are such grandmas I know haha) But honestly it was the best decision because while the majority of the island was getting wasted by the pool we were able to rent a scooter and explore the whole island; taking back roads through groves of palm trees, seeing elephants on the side of the road, and some of the most gorgeous sunsets I’ve ever seen. (Yes, even better than the famous Santorini sunsets in Oia). We made our way from the steep and windy roads in Haad Rin all the way up to Haad Salad on the North side of the island, with white sand beaches and palm trees growing all the way to the water’s edge. Just gorgeous. The best part was the scooters were only around $3.50 to rent for the day! Over those few days we were able to also make our way to the center of town to a local night market with the tastiest 35 Baht smoothies we’ve had! There were tons of street vendors there and we were able to leave uncomfortably full for under $4 every night. Just my style haha.
The 3rd night on the island was the much anticipated full moon party. Before we left, everyone at the resort gathered together on the beach to send off our lanterns and wishes into the night sky. It was really a neat experience. When the little lighting ceremony was over, we hopped in the back of a sketchy “cab” (which was really just a half covered truck bed with 12 people squished in the back) and headed to the festival hoping it would live up to it’s hype. Everyone was sporting some sort of neon clothing or face paint as a part of some unspoken dress code. We arrived at a beach covered with people and giant signs with words lit up in fire. DJs lined the beach and almost every vendor we walked by was selling mini toy buckets filled with mixed drinks. Just ridiculous haha. We ended up managing to stay late into the night arriving home just as the sun was rising. Exhausted we all slept till the middle of the following day wondering why we thought we were 18 years old again and could hang staying out all night. It was cool to experience and I’m glad I went but I don’t think I’d ever go again haha.
The last evening we decided to take the scooters up the coast to see our last sunset. We all sat there in silence just taking it all in as the red and orange sky faded to black, all there together but alone. Sometimes it takes those little moments of silence to put everything in perspective and just appreciate this whole crazy experience. Time to just sit and think about what a blessing it has been to have met such a solid group of girls to share this with that have become my family. Love you guys!