Full review on Bangkok Songkran, Full Moon Party and Jungle Experience in Koh Prangan
How’s Songkran like in Bangkok?
After a month of resting at my home in Hong Kong since my backpacking trip, I redeemed the last bit of my Asia Miles and got myself a ticket to Thailand mainly for scuba diving. Songkran and the rest of the experience were a bonus to me.
Arriving at Bangkok
I took the first flight out of Hong Kong and arrived at Bangkok in the morning. Met up with my French-British friend and we went exploring the old town of Bangkok.
We took the boat at the watergate bridge which costs 9Baht one way. We got off at the last stop and walked a bit to the Grand Palace and some other palaces.
Songkran in Bangkok
Songkran in Bangkok lasts for 3 days unlike other cities which are only 1 day. The major ‘arena’ is held in Silom where water guns, icy water and buckets of water were thrown at you WITHOUT MERCY.
We ended up taking a ‘beer break’ at Silom Soi 2 where it is known as ‘gay street’.
Things to bring to Songkran
For sure, you won’t be able to stay dry.
Here’s my advice:
- A waterproof bag for essentials like wallet
- A waterproof case for camera or a gopro
- Wear swimsuit underneath and some quick dry clothes on
- Sunglasses / Goggles (I did see a guy wearing a swimming goggles…)
If you don’t have a waterproof bag, just make sure your valuables are in a sealed plastic bag.
Is it possible to stay dry?
If you are not in the touristic area, it is possible. I stayed at Chong Nongsi which is considered a business district where nobody was pouring water…
Or just hop on a cab then you will be safe!!
Scuba Diving in Koh Tao
I purchased a bundle ticket (bus and ferry) from Lomprayah. I took the air conditioned night bus at Khao San Road and arriving at the pier about 5am. Once we arrived, we have to ‘check-in’ to get on the air conditioned ferry which the staff will give you a ‘sticker’.
Almost a year since my last dive, to avoid taking a refresher course, I decided to have a few fun dives in Koh Tao but I ended up only having one. The dive sites are destroyed by the tourists…Visibility is not good enough. Not much aqua life either. I also did a clean up dive which I picked up lots of trash. It’s so disturbing to see bags of trash were picked up by us.
Koh Tao is the cheapest place to get open water and advanced open water license. White people on the island are more than the locals!!! For experienced divers, go somewhere else to dive.
Leaving Koh Tao with disappointment, I did a last minute trip to Koh Prangan to experience the Full Moon Party and the Jungle Experience.
Jungle Experience in Koh Prangan
Most of the nice lodging were completely booked out or became very expensive, plus I need to get myself a room instead of a dorm bed as I need to sleep in peace, I booked a room at Peach Guesthouse – definitely not recommended.
Since I was there, I might as well experience as much as I can. Jungle Experience charges a high admission price of 800 baht which I considered as a rip off. You have to get a ‘taxi’ which costs another 100 baht to the jungle, one way. The music they played were some ‘boring same beat’ techno which had no energy. My new found friend and I were just…not impressed by the music and decided to leave earlier. Some other travelers found the same and commented it’s the worst party they had ever been to! Another 100Baht back to town…
Full Moon Party in Koh Prangan
Full Moon Party will be held on every full moon day according to lunar calendar in Haad Rin Beach, Koh Prangan and it is the original one in Thailand. There’s no entrance fee, you only need to pay for drinks.
It’s again full of backpackers / foreigners on the entire island. On the day of full moon, people will wear ‘full moon theme’ costume, put on neon paints, start drinking in the afternoon, and party until dawn.
I wouldn’t say full moon party is a must-do activity when you are in Thailand. But if you happen to go to Koh Prangan, it’s no harm to have this experience!
Tips for partying in Koh Prangan
- Don’t bring your phone and any valuables. I didn’t bring mine. Many phones are stolen during the party!
- Wear proper shoes. Many glass bottles are all over the beach…
- Don’t bring too much money. You can bring drinks to the party. Most people buy their drinks at 7-11!
- Stay somewhere close to Haad Rin Beach but not next to the beach.
- Leave your key at the reception. PLEASE.
- It’s not a must to stay 3 nights during full moon party. This is not true.
- If you need to leave on the next day of the full moon party and back to Bangkok for example, book your ferry tickets early!!! I had to fly from Surat Thani to Bangkok…