Now that the Full Moon Party was behind us, the time had come for our next decision: where to spend Christmas.
Originally we’d hoped to stopover in Ko Tao so Herb could get SCUBA certified, but as we already had plans to meet Stefan in Phuket on the 26th time was just too short.
So upon learning that Christmas on Phangan is even bigger than the full moon – and that our bungalow was holding a huge buffet-style dinner party – we decided just to extend. Besides, staying would give us the chance to hang out with Sarah, the Californian we met on our elephant tour, for a quick taste of what local life on a Thai Island might be like 🙂
We met up with Sarah at a bar called Rasta, an isolated little establishment buried deep in the jungle. Just finding the place was an adventure, and the bar itself felt like something out of a movie. In the bathroom, a tarantula the size of my hand crawled slowly up the wall. Thai hippies with dreadlocks down to their belts sat lazily smoking their joints, as Bob Marley looped endlessly in the background. It was definitely more like the Haadrin we’d seen early in the day than the alcohol-fueled insanity of night. In a word, chill. Very chill.
Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos as I felt a bit weird acting like a tourist in their local little hangout. We stayed for a few hours before ultimately deciding to grab a cab back into town, which, considering how deep in the jungle we were, was quite a bit harder than expected. Ah well, chalk it up to adventure 🙂
The following day’s Christmas banquet at Coral Bungalows was “just okay” – the food clearly budget-oriented – but the social vibe of the evening more than made up for it.
Just like during the Full Moon Party, every table was full, the black lights were on, music was blasting, and everyone was having fun. It was pretty much the standard Haadrin formula: paint yourself up and down as many buckets as you can before heading to the beach around midnight. We loved it.
For our last evening out in Haadrin, Herb and I started off with a Serbian stripper and her friend from New Zealand; they were heading in the direction of Mellow Mountain and invited us to tag along.
Mellow Mountain is Phangan’s destination for, how shall I put this, “questionable substances.” Not really our thing, but it was definitely interesting to see – the two of us watched and laughed as they downed a couple of hallucinogenic shakes and some fishy-looking cigarettes before eventually bidding them goodbye to join a group of our Danish friends – Weena, Simon, and Olmo (pictured here).
From then on it was “rinse and repeat” – one last shabam for our final night on the island. First thing the following morning we boarded a catamaran back to the mainland.
Onward to Phuket.