I love the tropics. The weather is nearly always perfect. The sea is always warm. Away from the tourist traps the prices for things are cheap and the people are friendly. This holds true for Indonesia, Thailand, Southern India, tropical Africa, the Caribbean and the north coast of Colombia. There is something perfect about a tropical beach – white sand, massive coconut trees, never-ending beaches and warm nights.
The nights in the tropics are made for lovers. The stars come out in legion away from the glare of city lighting. They seem brighter and fill me with hope. Because of the shape of the earth the moon is closer at the tropics and so seems bigger. It is no doubt partly for this reason that moon madness has gripped the small tropical Thai island of Koh Phangan. Since the first Full Moon Party in Haad Rin in 1987 the numbers of people going to celebrate the completion of the moon has soared. Now up to 20,000 people attend the party. It’s a crazy event complete with lots of fire rope jumping, people drinking way too much and lots of loud music. It’s a celebration on a pagan scale that lets people let loose in a way the over-regulated societies of the West generally frown upon. I’ve been a couple of times. It was hard to get full moon party accommodation. It wasn’t hard to get some amazing photos of not only the moon but also the hedonistic antics of the revelers.
The music at the Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan is not always great. They don’t seem to bother with famous DJs, and they seem behind the times in their insistence on the primacy of trance music; but, nevertheless, what an event. I have never experienced anything like it. And just when you think the party is winding down people find new reserves of energy and head off to the Backyard Pub for another 12 hours of dancing and drinking.