The Island of Koh Samui, about a one-hour flight from Bangkok, is known to be one of the most favored destinations for adventure-seeking tourists the world over.
I visited Koh Samui for New Year’s not long ago along with my girlfriend and other couples. New Year’s Eve was to host the world-famous Blue Moon beach party, which occurs on a neighboring island called Koh Phangan (pronounced Koh pang-ang).
Only one airline flies to Koh Samui island, and it has flights every 30 minutes. But don’t take that for granted that you will get seats. Activity on the island comes in lumps.
If you plan on being there around the time there is a Blue Moon party scheduled, it’s going to be difficult to get tickets. So book early. Otherwise, the other option is by bus and ferry – which is not convenient or cheap. Best avoid.
The airport at Koh Samui feels and looks like a resort! It’s complete with real date trees and wooden infrastructure. Very pleasant and inviting. The hotels allow you to book early by asking you to provide a credit card number or advance money transfer.
We got away without either by simply being nice on the phone. Communication is a major issue. Most people on the island don’t understand even basic English. The service is fantastic – hotels usually send cars to pick you up from the airport at no cost.
The activities available on the island are common to most beach resorts. Everything is cheap owing to the exchange rate. Let me focus more on the Blue Moon party. It happens on the neighboring island and there are only 2 ways of getting there – either by speed boat or by slow-moving ferry. The party typically starts at sunset and finishes at sunrise.
A ferry is a good option albeit it’s slower and less frequent. The speed boat takes you 20 minutes but is not convenient. Owing to the lack of a proper dock, the boat comes as close as it can to the shore of the beach and passengers have to jump onto the boat.
It’s dangerous owing to the tide and very inconvenient. It’s far worse on the return journey when you are quite buzzed and have to perform the same feat. In both my travels, someone got hurt.
Once you reach the island, just follow the crowd. It takes you to a 2 odd kilometer stretch of beach which is packed to the core with party-goers. Shacks take up almost every inch of lining and serve as the face of the market place hidden behind them.
Booze is cheap and is sold only by the bottle in a bucket with several straws. Every shack plays a different beat or genre of music so you are likely to find your taste somewhere along the beach.
The place is ideally suited for bachelors of single people. On several occasions, our girlfriends were hit on by men. It’s the norm there to try to get it on with any girl you see. We got into a couple of fights as well, which are a common occurrence. Strongly recommend coming here without women, if you are a man.
Cell phone reception is weak owing to a large number of people. There isn’t any facility to keep your belongings and this is a serious disadvantage. You will always be inconvenienced carrying your bag around and you don’t have a choice.
The party goes on till sunrise the next morning and there is no boat service between 2 am and 6 am. On the return journey, it can be quite a rush to get onto the speedboat.
On the whole, the party is quite wild and enjoyable, but strongly recommend doing it with a group of single people than couples. Definitely not a place for honeymooners of families.