Our arrival at Bottle Beach was full of mixed emotions – we were so happy to be going back to one of our favourite places in the world, but sad to be doing it without our group of friends that we had made during our Beach Travellers trip. Our ferry ride over from Ko Tao had been uneventful – the extra ta-wenty Baht we had paid for air-con in our little ferry had been a sweet luxury item.
In Thong Sala (the main town on Koh Phangan) we loaded up on supplies to take with us to Bottle Beach, where everything is a bit more expensive due to the fact it’s on a very remote beach that you can only get to by boat. We were loaded up with all kinds of goodies when we caught our ride across the island to Chalok-lum, the town on the North side of the island, and boarded a little long tail boat which would finally take us home! The staff greeted us as if we were long lost friends – “welcome home!” they said as we checked in and got settled. We had been dreaming of Bottle Beach for so long – it seemed surreal to finally be back there again in paradise.
We spent the afternoon with our friends who worked at the resort, practicing fire spinning with Cheeky my favourite bartender, trading stories and making plans for the full moon and our next few days. We met up with some German friends of ours who had taken our advice and decided to stay at the resort, and had a fun reunion night! The next day we waited for some more friends to arrive, and got ready for what would be the highlight of our time on Bottle – Full Moon!
The morning of full moon we climbed to the viewpoint to check out the amazing view from the top of one of the surrounding hills. Everywhere you looked from the top was unspoiled green beauty – there was very little in terms of developed resort land on that side of the island – it was so beautiful, pristine and untouched – took my breath away.
I had a completely different experience of full moon this time around – Chelsea and I got ready together and helped the other Beach Travellers group with their paint and party preparations. I felt like a pro – the nervous excitement I had from the first time was gone – I felt like I knew what was in store for us, but still was excited to watch the night unfold again!
We boarded the speedboat and the anticipation was the same – rounding the bend, hearing the pulsing music under the bright light of the full moon, and finally seeing the beach lit up and spread out before us as we landed and formed a human chain to get to our meeting spot. This time I had so many energy drinks at the beginning of the night, all I did was dance for about – oh – four hours until realizing I was starving and set out with a group of friends to find the amazing chicken place I had found last time. We found it and ate yummy chicken schnitzels whole watching the mayhem unfold around us. I managed to walk all the way down the beach this time to the very last bar, listening to all the different music on offer as we walked by snapping pictures of the drunk, passed out, and generally outrageous people surrounding us. Eventually we figured out that the spot our group was hanging out at had the best music, so we made our way back to our rendezvous point and danced the night away, watching the sun come up together.
The day after was a bit of a write-off, on account of us staying up all night to do the full moon thing. We luckily had a fantastic pool and some great friends to entertain us, so there was no shortage of laughs to keep us going into the evening. During my second time around at Bottle, I felt like time had stopped – I had everything I needed with me and nothing to do but just simply enjoy and relax. During our last night I bar tended behind the bar with the staff, wearing my staff shirt of course!
Our last night was bittersweet, because we just had so much fun with each other but we knew it had to end, too soon. We stayed up all night as our ferry was ridiculously early and we had to catch a 3:30(am!) ride to the other side of the island to catch it. It was a long, bumpy, pitch dark ride on bad roads in the early morning, taking us away from our Thai family and friends and onwards onto separate journeys….my solo adventure was about to get real.
- Bottle Beach, Koh Phangan (travelshutter.net)
- Part Two – Ten Things I Learned While Travelling in SE Asia (fearlessadventure.wordpress.com)
- Epic Travel to BKK and Goodbye Chelsea! (fearlessadventure.wordpress.com)