After we woke up from our power nap I was feeling much worse than before, I was extremely tired and felt like I had a fever. Wished I had a thermometer or some medicine, but of course it never crossed my mind that I might be in need of these while spending time on the beach…
I felt awful I didn’t know what was going on. I tried to sleep and I had the weirdest dreams. The cough sounded like a broken engine struggling to start up. I was so bloody scared I caught Malaria. . .
It all started after a couple of days of arriving in Bangkok, one day I woke up with a horrible cough, and I mean really bad-as if I was a smoker for 50 years. It was painful in my chest and it felt like my lungs were about to jump out of me, I was shivering, I had the chills, the next thing I know I became really hot, covered in sweats, I went to the bathroom to wet a towel in order to cool myself down with. A moment later I was freezing again and I started to feel sick. So I spent my morning on both: going in and out of my sleeping bag feeling like burning in flames or shaking from cold, or wrapping myself with a wet towel followed by running back and forth to the bathroom to vomit. I felt awful I didn’t know what was going on. I tried to sleep and I had the weirdest dreams. The cough sounded like a broken engine struggling to start up. I was so bloody scared I caught Malaria…Then I remembered my friends telling me before the trip, to pack the “malaria pills”. It was too late, but again I didn’t wanna believe I caught Malaria after a few days in Thailand, and are there even any mosquitos in here? In that huge smelly, smoggy city like that?! I didn’t think I got bitten by any…
Excluding Malaria, I remembered I had a burger the night before (not a fan of those, but that made a perfect after drinking food at 5am.) So I started considering food poisoning from some dodgy meat that the Thai probably didn’t know how to cook, and here I am swimming in my own sweat and melting down. I’ve managed to snooze. When I woke up it felt like I woke up from a dream, I didn’t remember much and I didn’t feel like talking I was just existing-barely. I was very hungry so we decided to go out and get something to eat.
-Bad idea, very bad idea.
The moment I appeared on the busy street of Khao San Road my head was spinning. Looking at hundreds of people passing by, made me very dizzy, the smell of the street food made me sick and I didn’t wanna be the one vomiting in the middle of the street, although I wouldn’t be the first and the last one as it was a party street and that road had witnessed more than one vomit before. I just didn’t wanna be the vomiting attraction in the middle of the day. I got some watermelon and a mango (it seemed like the safest option) and headed back to the hostel. Next day I didn’t feel as bad, but the cough didn’t go away at all.
Let’s get back to the island now. So we woke up around 10-11pm. It was time to get ready to join the party. We didn’t wear anything special nor painted our bodies. I put a hairband made of flowers on my head and that was it. We were advised to wear proper shoes as there will be broken glass on the beach.
There were taxis leaving every 20 minutes from the place we were staying at. They looked like little pick up trucks and could take as many people as it fits, some of them were just standing on a step in the back of the vehicle and holding on to the rails. I found that crazy as most of the attendants were already under the influence so that was not the safest way. But that was sober me/fever talking. There was a huge traffic jam as thousands of people were headed to the same destination, I think we arrived in about 40 minutes. The entry to the full moon party was free but we paid a small fee (a couple of dollars ) in order to get the full moon party souvenir bracelet, which of course I lost in the first 10 minutes.
Yes, here you don’t get a glass for your drink, you get a plastic bucket like the one you would buy for a kid to take to the beach. It comes with a small bottle of alcohol and a soft drink, mix all ingredients, stick a few straws and voilà! Now you have 5 people swigging from your drink.
As we made our way to the beach we had to squeeze through the gigantic and crazy crowd of neon people, jumping around and drinking buckets. Yes, here you don’t get a glass for your drink, you get a plastic bucket like the one you would buy for a kid to take to the beach. It comes with a small bottle of alcohol and a soft drink, mix all ingredients, stick a few straws and voilà! Now you have 5 people swigging from your drink.
neon people everywhere, neon people dancing, neon people drinking, neon people limbo dancing underneath burning bar, neon people just lying pissed on the sand. It was a one big neon chaos.
We also have been told that this popular way of drinking is most of the time spiked, so we came prepared 🙂 We brought our own flask and were sipping from that throughout the event. When we made it to the beach we were amazed by the amount of people attending the party. We couldn’t see anything else but neon people everywhere, neon peoeple dancing, neon peoeple drinking, neon peoeple limbo dancing underneath a burning bar, neon peoeple just lying pissed on the sand. It was a ONE BIG NEON CHAOS.
The beach was so long that we didn’t know which direction to go, plus we were really overwhelmed by all this craziness so we just stood still for a moment taking it all in. We made a move and as we were passing by, we couldn’t believe how crazy were all these people, jumping through fires, riding some crazy slides which would send them in the air and then they were landing hard on the sand, it was just painful to watch it. The music was pumping, everyone was just dancing and drinking.
There was even a bar that was making magic mushrooms milkshakes! I was shocked! Anyway half of those people were clearly drugged… I wasn’t feeling the best so the loud music and a huge crowd were just annoying me, I just wanted to go back to my sleeping bag, it didn’t seem like my kind of party anyway. Maybe if I was feeling better I would have had a different impression about it.
we had to sign a contract in case we make some damage to the thing and leave our passports instead, a little bit risky to give a stranger your only possible document for coming back to Europe
The next day we went out for a beautiful breakfast, surrounded by a beautiful weather, whilst sitting there sipping coffee, we had an idea of renting a moped (No, it was not a good idea) and going for a ride around the island. We asked people around and in no time there we were looking at two shiny mopeds ready to go. In order to rent those, we had to sign a contract in case we make some damage to the thing and leave our passports instead, a little bit risky to give a stranger your only possible document for coming back to Europe. Anyway we had no reasons not to trust thai people so just went with it. I have never ever driven a moped before, so the guy gave us a quick lesson, turned the key, pressed some buttons and we’ve had a trial ride. Everything was ok, except in Thailand they are driving on the left side of the road like in England. We asked for helmets, but the guy didn’t have them, so he told us to drive to the main road to his shop with mopeds and we could pick them up from there.
I started feeling pain on the left side of my ribcage, my entire body was a bit painful and stiff. It was raining like crazy by now. We lifted the moped and it was damaged only on the left side (like me). It was completely scratched…
We rode perfectly for like 600m to the main road, and that’s where the trouble started, it started to rain a little bit, we had to turn right onto the main road in order to get to the shop, it looked almost impossible with all the cars and hundreds of bikes driving through like crazy. We waited for the perfect moment to join the traffic, my friend went first and I left right after her, made through the first lane, and as I was about to place myself on another lane-I panicked, I’ve lost the control of the bike and I forgot how everything worked, so instead of breaking I pressed to accelerate (what an idiot) It was too late and I knew I was gonna crash… BANG! my moped hit the tall sidewalk and I just went flying of it, I landed on the left side of my body in some wooden stand with glass bottles filled up with petrol (they sell petrol like that). I loudly said “KURWA”, dusted myself, checked my body- I only had a scratched knee, found my shoes and I think I even organised the bottles that have fallen of the shelves, I was very lucky they didn’t break. Some people came running towards me asking if I was ok, I could see my friend on the other side of the road-unlike me she made it to the shop to get the helmets :). She quickly came to check on me, I seemed fine, had all the limbs attached, only after I cooled down a bit, I started feeling pain on the left side of my ribcage, my entire body was a bit painful and stiff. It was raining like crazy by now. We lifted the moped and it was damaged only on the left side (like me). It was completely scratched…
The guy who gave us the moped came running towards us, asked if I was ok and helped us take the moped to the other side of the road. Now we had to run through the list of damaged parts, that was included in the contract. I damaged half of the bike, he started counting- mirror, handle bar, the seat, all plastic parts and blah, blah, MANY more. Until he summed it up to 20000 thai baht…It was around 500€. I was devastated…so we started to bargain I said I don’t have that much money and I cannot pay it out. After a while he went down to 14000THB (400€). I said that for this amount of money he could probably buy a couple of perfectly fine mopeds…I knew I was getting ripped off, but I just wanted to leave that place as soon as possible, go to get drunk and forgot what the hell I have just done…We went to his office, and the only way I could pay, was with my debit card. He insists on having the cash, I said if you want me to pay, you accept the card, I don’t have cash. So his wife pulled out an ancient card machine reader and sticks my card in there, I was just praying they are not going to clear my account. First try- declined, second try- declined,
-You have no money on the card!
-Yes, I do! Try again.
Third try- card declined.
I wasn’t believing in all this, I had second thoughts that maybe they just charged me three times, but then again I remembered they are not bad people and they are very honest. So we had to look for another solution and find an ATM. He said there is nothing close by, but he can take me on a moped to one fuel station that has the ATM. I made huge eyes and said, oh no!, no!, no! not the moped again… But I had no choice, my friend wasn’t allowed to go with us, she was left there and kept as a hostage by his wife 🙂 They told us If we don’t pay, we will not get our passports back. I jumped on the moped with the thai man and off we go in a heavy rain. Every bump, every hole on the road or even just slight movements on the bike made me feel the pain of my ribs so much. Thanks to the universe and all of my guardian angels my card worked in the ATM, and I have managed to get all the money needed. Drove back, paid the debt, took our passports and went to get drunk in order to forget that crazy day…
Although adding my horrible mysterious cough to all that, plus carrying 15kg backpack- put me in so much pain everyday… for the next two months…
I was very thankful that nothing major happened to me, it was pure irony to have an accident on a way to get a helmet…Anyway it could have ended much worse than a scratched knee, bruises and a sore rib cage…Although adding my horrible mysterious cough to all that, plus carrying 15kg backpack- put me in so much pain everyday… for the next two months… Till the end of our trip we have heard stories and saw people who had major accidents or even deaths after riding mopeds on thai streets. It’s a very convenient way of sightseeing but also very dangerous as I found out on my own skin, most of the accidents happen by someone else’s fault.
We usually say “don’t try this at home” but I learnt my lesson and I can say:
“please, try it at home first, especially learning how to ride a moped!”
We’ve been told that a truck hit a girl riding a moped and she died, we have met a mummy-robot guy in a bar who had a moped accident, was wrapped in bandages from head to toes, and had so many splinters on him because of broken limbs so he seemed as he was moving like a robot, in order to look to one side, he had to turn his entire body, he couldn’t continue his travelling nor go home. There were people raising money because they travelled without insurance and had to pay hospital fees from their own pockets. We usually say “don’t try this at home” but I learnt my lesson and I can say “please, try it at home first” especially learning how to ride a moped! Wherever you travel, whether is a luxurious holidays or camping in a jungle please, please, please don’t go without insurance or extra money, your dream holiday can turn in a split second, to your worst nightmare!