Before I arrive in koh pangan – the island with the honour of hosting around 30,000 belligerent tourists once a month as they travel from around the world in a quest for utter nihilism. I would like to first touch upon Pattaya, a city two hours from Bangkok. Now, this city made the cut because I had a friend who wishes to remain unnamed, for fear it will sully his reputation as a decent human being, which will make a whole lot of sense shortly, who was staying there. And I thought I’d pop over to say hello. I guess my first clue that this city may not be for me was when each and every person I told of my next location looked at me in much the same way many regarded me when I told of my desire to travel Thailand alone. However, I must say this reaction was rather more justified. The powers that be in Pattaya have basically seen fit to remove all that is good and holy from Amsterdam, and leave only the red light district which has been pumped up and fleshed out to an obscene degree, it was Dam on steroids, where sex was ubiquitous, omniscient and blatant. Tourists of a certain gender and particular inclination come here in droves for a happy ending and even fairytale endings if they manage to nab themselves a Thai bride. And in Pattaya I am of the suspicion that if you will it, it is no dream. I wouldn’t say I was sad to leave this city, which as my friend commented will almost surely be the beginning of the end though certainly it was a fascinating experience.
Now, onto koh pangan, which absorbed what Pattaya rejected from our sinful European sister and then, thanks to the thai mafia who are handily able to circumvent actual laws, took it to the next level in the way only Asia could. For the right price there isn’t much you can’t get hold of here. We were even approached by a lovely British man offering us half price on pharmaceuticals – I’m embarrassed to say it took a little moment for the penny to drop. Basically, it’s the love child of Amsterdam and Magaluf – and you come here for one reason and one reason only.
Here, you learn to live a little like the characters on love island, by day you party and by night you talk about the events of the night before. It’s a somewhat bizzare existence, one I did rather enjoy, but also wondered at moments if my brain was shrinking ever so slightly. In the days leading up to the full moon there are parties every night, which meant, on beaches, in jungles there were lights, fires, illegal opiates and trance music and really what more could you want?
For me, the full moon party was a bit of a let down, if a fascinating experience. Walking along the beach front I could see droves of tourist lying on the sand tripping balls as well as others dragging themselves along the sand made heavy by alcohol and a lack of sleep. Obviously, there was also the mandatory dancing and general clubbing malarkey one could expect to find at this sort of event, with different stations featuring music from a range of genres. A style to suit every belligerent 20 year old trying to lose themselves. No Eminem though *sigh.*
I am currently on the way to Koa Toa and rather looking forward to some decent views (koh Pangan is a right shit hole, this picture is like the only nice view I took during a run away from my hostel) as well as some half way decent grub – if I have to eat any more sushi from 7/11 I fear I may turn into an actual piece of nigiri. It’s also the place I will be celebrating my birthday – the official mark of my quarter life crisis. Whoop.
So till next time folks. Keep it real.