The Dancing Elephants of Koh Phangan

When it comes to the Full Moon Party, your squad is undeniably the most important thing. I’m talking make-or-break kind of thing. Trust me, I lost my squad within a few minutes of getting to the Full Moon Party and my time alone was not fun at all. Once I reunited with my squad, the night did a complete 180 and escalated into unheard of levels of lit-ness.

The first step into having a good time with your squad is assembling your squad. For solo travelers, picking a good hostel is crucial to the assembly of your squad. The hostel and its staff are not necessarily in charge, but if you have a good hostel with good people and good vibes, coupled with a strong social atmosphere, then you should have no problem making friends.

I was riding solo when I arrived in Koh Phangan. A brutal bus journey that had a schedule that could only be described as nonsensical knocked me out. It left at 7 PM, played a terrible action movie that no one wanted to watch, keeping everyone awake until past 10 PM. Finally, as everyone was drifting off to sleep, they kicked everyone off the bus at 11 PM to have dinner. We set off again an hour later, only to be woken up at 2 AM to drop off the passengers going to Koh Tao. We arrived at what we thought was the port at 5 AM, only to be left waiting for a few hours before being picked up by another bus, then a boat, then a songthaew, and only then finally arriving at Dancing Elephant Hostel in the early afternoon.

Needless to say, I was exhausted and not in the mood to do anything but sleep. Socializing was the last thing on my mind. Thankfully, Davin was not having any of that antisocial attitude. After checking in, I had been introduced to all of the other guests that were lounging around. It was just casual introductions, so it wasn’t like weird or forced, but it was definitely more than I would have mustered on my own.

For the Full Moon Party, I couldn’t dream up a possible better location than Dancing Elephant Hostel. It is just a couple of minutes walking distance from Haad-Rin Beach, putting it at the doorstep of one of the world’s most famous parties. Despite its close location, it is just far enough away and tucked into a little side street so that you aren’t dealing with crazy crowds of random partygoers. Dancing Elephant is undoubtedly a perfect place to pregame for any party, with a live DJ most nights, inexpensive drinks, and a long street where everyone will spend the night dancing away on.

Most hostel reviews or recommendations will talk about the actual facilities and the pricing and all of that boring, serious stuff. I’ll just recap my final night in Koh Phangan with my crew of wild dancing elephants.

Koh Phangan is undeniably a massive party island, and even on the quieter nights when the famous parties aren’t going on, there is a lot of debauchery happening somewhere on the island.

Our last night together as dancing elephants took us to the Lighthouse Party, which was basically just another club near the beach. Despite its name, there were no actual lighthouses involved. The massive crowds that had torn their way through Koh Phangan during Full Moon night had all but dwindled down to just a few stragglers. Our own squad had gone from a group of around fifty people to a meager dozen or so.

We ended up sitting on a rock after spending a couple of hours at the party that we had been preparing ourselves for that night.  Rather than go crazy dancing to house music with a bunch of strangers, we all congregated next to the sea on a giant rock, reflecting on how amazing our time together had been. We watched yet another moon go down and yet another sun rise as we sat on that rock talking about anything and everything, grasping onto our final moments together but never focusing on the inevitable goodbyes that would tear us apart just a few hours later.

That’s the kind of community and bond that Dancing Elephant fosters. You come in as complete strangers and as cliched as it may sound, you truly do leave as a family.


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3 thoughts on “The Dancing Elephants of Koh Phangan

  1. Yep, I was so impressed by the vibe and community of Dancing Elephant after having had very different experiences in some party hostels recently. I’m sorry I missed that last night at Lighthouse but we had a similar good one the night before when you guys were all resting 😛. Can’t wait to come back for a whole week for Christmas and new year!

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