Damien on… Getting SHOT At The Full Moon Party
…will not happen.
Every Full Moon, dancers converge from all over the World to boogie the night away on Haad Rin Beach, Ko Pha-Ngan. And as a Brit retired to Thailand more than eleven years now – many visits to Haad Rin’s monthly knees-up have failed to kill ME.
This country is like Ireland (the whole island) in the Seventies – all SORTS of aggro in the Separatist bit (Ireland: the North – here: the “Deep South”) – but perfectly peaceful elsewhere.
To get to Ko [island] Pha-Ngan, only requires you to go as far south as Surat Thani – which is WAY short of the “troubled” area. And the two sides of the dispute only target each other, keeping the aggro in their own backyard. It has RARELY spilled into Hat Yai (the “capital of the south”) and that is still WAY south of Surat Thani.
And, unlike with Bali, it has NEVER affected the trains, clubs, beaches (including Haad Rin) Bangkok, Pattaya – or ANY tourist areas. The main reason being Thailand is sh*t scared of bad publicity affecting the tourist trade and thus has TIGHT SECURITY in those areas.
Furthermore, Bangkok has been free from political problems since the Red Shirt demos of a couple of years back (if you want, you can avoid wearing plain yellow and red shirts – but as an obvious tourist, you would be okay anyway).
Elsewhere, the Preah Vihear Temple area on the Cambodian border has been a site of squabbles for years, with little squads of soldiers occasionally getting bored and popping off a round at the other side. But that is a LONG way from anywhere you will be going.
And as for the recent shooting ON Haad Rin; a Brit got stroppy with some Thai kids and discovered to his cost that Thais love American “action” movies and think guns are cool – a mistake the culprit will have MANY YEARS to reflect on, in one of Thailand’s SERIOUSLY nasty jails.
But it is best not to argue with the locals, just in case.
However, such happenings here are VERY RARE. This is the first such incident at the Full Moon Party – where around TWENTY THOUSAND tourists go to boogie EVERY MONTH – and they now hold “Half Moon” and “Dark Moon” parties too (although those are somewhat less well patronised).
Thus, over the last thirty years, around FIVE MILLION tourists have attended one of these shindigs – and so far, this guy is the ONLY one to have left in a BODY-BAG (apart from drunks who wander into the sea for a wazz and get LOST).
Furthermore, the music that started it all – TRANCE – can still be heard at Vinyl, Zoom and the Boom-Boom Bar. So GO for it!
For more, see my attempt at capturing the essence of this phenomenon, at… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hriep_-tWrk