contact us

We welcome any questions and suggestions. Use this form to contact us.

 

Ko Samui
Surat Thani
Thailand

(+66) 92-387-2157

Young adventurous voyages brought to you by the Country Crawl Team.  We specialize in immaculate journeys in Southeast Asia.

Blog

THE ANTIGUIDE TO BALI

Mary Njuguna

Maddison Brett is a true Bali expat. She has lived in Bali for nearly a decade. She enjoys writing, modeling and humor.

Maddison Brett is a true Bali expat. She has lived in Bali for nearly a decade. She enjoys writing, modeling and humor.

No matter where you are, whether sunbathing in Lee gian, drinking endless coffee cups in Bra-Wah or Sanoer, shredding in Kangoo or aligning your chakras in Hugh bud, yours is by far the most meaningful journey in the island of gods... Forget you're on holidays and act like a local, a white local, we surely know best...

  1. GOOGLE, GOOGLE, GOOGLE. To ensure a long lasting series of disappointing experiences not nearly as cool as the ones your friend’s instagramed last Easter or the photos you've pinned on your dream holiday board. Real life can't beat Facebook’s timeline and everybody knows that, fact.

  2. HASHTAG EVERYTHING. The ONLY way to build lasting memories of a trip, of the really important stuff, ya’ know? Like that unique ‪#moment‬ when you were in the middle of the ‪#ricefields‬ in that tiny little ‪#warung‬ with a 87yo ‪#young‬ ‪#woman‬ who has seen the rise and fall of the ‪#islandofgods‬ and you looked down and ‪#lol‬ at your ‪#balikopi‬ cause you realized you thought it was a ‪#tbt‬ but it was a ‪#tgif‬ instead, gosh!

  3. Join BALI'S FACEBOOK COMMUNITY PAGES, by far the best way known to humanity to "immerse" yourself in any environment, I mean how else would you know how to have fun in the island or find out about a place to eat traditional Russian pancakes in Indonesia? Forget about nasi goreng or any other local food, or even talking to people... they don’t really know the good stuff...

  4. EXPECT THE WEST IN THE EAST. It doesn't matter you've travelled for hours to another country with a completely different culture. Your white lower middle class suburb standards should be respected above any other culture including this country's own no matter what, specially all those unhealthy habits you've ran away from...

  5. DON'T WASTE TIME IN THE BUSH. We know, Bali is one of 18,000 islands forming the fourth biggest country in the planet with the largest population of Muslims and a cultural wealth of thousands of years, but nothing compares to sun setting your liver off in KU DE TA, Potato Head or Old Man’s.

  6. MISPRONOUNCE WORDS. Who cares if anyone gets offended? It's their fault for not making their language tourist-friendly, god knows respect for other cultures stops at the VOA counter in the Den-pah-zar airport.

  7. COMPLAIN... This will get you far up in the local social circles. I'm sure you will have no difficulty finding something between the gorgeous rice fields, the over kind locals, the perfect weather and the trilingual waitresses surely they could have thought of a better way to mix your margarita, right?

  8. DRINK. Not for hydration purposes, but in a chav holidaying in Ibiza kind of way... The best way to ensure you sleep and rest it out throughout your eight hours flight back and annoy everyone on the way, plus it's slightly cheaper than back home... Totally worth it!

  9. PLEASE OH PLEASE READ EVERY BLOG, POST AND ARTICLE ABOUT BALI. We “heart” writing witty pieces of our exciting/hipster/off-the-grid-lifestyle in our glossy local magazines. And in case you haven’t noticed, self reference is one of our best assets, so when you non-local people pay attention, it makes it almost as real as Monopoly money... Journalism at its best!

  10. LEARN THE LANGUAGE. No we're not talking about Indonesian, by all means. The longer you are in Bali without speaking Indonesian the better, ask any expat! We mean our language where legend is synonym for person -any person, unreal is our way to say 'that happened' and one drink could be anything between three beers to a four days bender. Words like soul depend on its prefix; old soul is commonly used to define slightly under aged hot females that date older males whilst young soul defines the latter as well as immature people with issues facing basic responsibilities... Don't worry, you'll get the hang of it, x

  11. RISK HUMAN LIVES DRIVE A MOTORBIKE. Preferably a Scoopy. Despite the ludicrously cheap driver offer available, risking lives is a popular sport in the island of Gods. And when in Rome... why not joining the army of ill skilled slightly overweight Caucasian hung over first timers -oh well, second timers trying to get back to the villa in Kero Bow Khan from their surf in Ulu 's? And maybe provoke some sort of accident to spice up your trip? Balinese family on a bike 600 points or 1,500 if you are not insured.

  12. SHOW YOUR CULTURE. And I don't mean saying please and thank you, more like offending trilingual waitresses on a USD 100 monthly salary with a 50 cents tip. God forbid you from "over tipping" in Bali or paying reasonable and fair wages to your staff, the whole (white) economy is based on a well-known model called greed. Don't. Mess. It. Up.

  13. START A BUSINESS. Why not? Surely the place could do with one more leech sucking up its resources and abusing its population. There is always a niche in the need of your inexistent skills and your poor talents. Plus your phone has a camera... Photo shoot!

  14. SMOKE. Forget about health and all that rubbish, it's cheap! Just like with inmates, cigarettes are used for protection when socializing with other gangs, ahem, cultures. If some pregnant chick with a cough asks you to put it away quote the second amendment and tell them to bolt... how dares she to question your freedom of choice? Just watch out for the Mexicans.

  15. TELL YOUR STORY. Remember it is not a lie just because it isn't true. Every inmate has the right to erase their past and rewrite their story... And if you find it difficult to make up your new island self just stay quiet, you will find everyone likes to tell you all they've done and how now nobody really works but enjoy life... aren't we just divine?

  16. LOOK GOOD. One rule everyone respects in this island is we don't accept the ugly kind. It is not ill intended or ignoble, it’s just a reality and a life choice. You can be the cruelest, nastiest lacking in kindness perv that ever set foot on the face of the earth but if you're good looking, we can overlook the aforementioned plethora of unimportant human values and welcome you to our circles... A great addition to boost our instagram following ‪#balibabes‬

  17. EXPRESS YOURSELF. Especially in a public form, start your own blog about coffee places and bali lifestyle, God knows this place needs more of those. Or better yet, find an empty wall and splash it with some "street art" in a language nobody understands except from nesting dolls and represents nothing relevant to the community that looks at it... your oh-so-sought 15 minutes of fame in a can!

  18. MINGLE. You might have to readjust a little, all in the sake of peer validation and acceptance. Like in jail different cliques offer different benefits. Surfers will get your back in the water and shoot you a brew down the watering hole, yogis will open your third eye and show you the perks of commuting to Hugh Bud and drinking your own pee, designers can give you a discount valid only at their two seasons old sale rack, restaurants will make you feel like a million rupiah and buy you one coffee and photographers will take beautiful photos of you... naked of course, everybody knows nipple sight is a fashion standard, so strip down!

  19. MOVE IN! It doesn't matter you've only been here for six days and spent ten of those drunk, it was meant.to.be, this is YOUR island and all your new bestest friends evah need you here! Come and help the economy by hiring drivers, gardeners, cooks and a pemban -two or three... Your own Downton Bali for a pence is one Visa guy away!

15 Must Attend Parties in Koh Phangan, Thailand

Mary Njuguna

Located in the gulf of Thailand, Ko Phangan is THE party island.  It’s world famous for its parties that see an influx of young international tourists and DJ’s every year. Parties in Phangan follow the moon cycle and mostly run till sunrise.  Whether high or low season, night or day, there is always a dance party. Therefore, here at Country Crawl, we have put together a comprehensive list of all the parties to attend while in Phangan. Don’t stop dancing party people!

1.    Full Moon Party:

The full moon party is on Haad Rin sunrise beach. Before full moon day, the beach is filled with a range of activities. Join in on organized football matches, ride a jet ski, go topless, show off your body, people watch or gossip with the men who look like they’ve jumped out of a ‘300’ hundred movie, or the women sculpted like statues. On full moon festival week, massive towers of speakers and a sea of neon colored people transform the beach. The energy is high and music varies from hip-hop, mainstream, drum and bass, techno, deep house, trance, psy-trance and reggae.

Full Moon Party Koh Phangan.jpg

When: Every Full Moon

Fee: 100THB

Recommended Accommodation: Same Same GuestHouse

Tip: Make a meeting point at a bucket vendor so you don’t lose your friends in the crowd!

2.    Half Moon Party:

It’s twice a month in the Baan Tai Jungle. It lacks the social aspect of the beach but you can make friends while you pre game in your hostel and get a shared taxi together. Most hostels offer half moon pre party packages that include food, drinks and one way drop off for 100 THB. The stages are decorated with electronic lights and colorful festival banners. The music is electronic, techno and house. There is an entrance fee of 600 THB in the low season and 1000 THB in the high season, that gets you one free drink and audio CD. Enjoy a spectacular fire dancing show and hula-hoop performances. Explore the three stages and find drummers and saxophone players accompanying the sound of the DJ’s, creating art. It’s sure to be an epic night of drunken debauchery!

half moon party koh phangan.jpg

When: Every Half Moon

Fee: 600THB - 1,000THB (Seasonal)

Recommended Accommodation: Hacienda Beach Resort

Tip: Wear shoes.

3.    Jungle Experience:

A natural mountain stream running down the party zone welcomes you into the lush Baan Tai Jungle (directly across the street from the half moon venue). It’s a strictly underground gathering playing house & tech, ranging from deep house, tech house to progressive blaring out of the speakers. The visuals are stunning. Enjoy professional costume and body art by the Alien Sisters. There is also fire spinning and hula-hoop shows. Party like an animal.

Jungle Experience Koh Phangan.jpg

When: 1 day & 10 days before every Full Moon party.

Fee: 500THB

Recommended Accommodation: Hard Road Villa

Tip: Be creative with your costume.

4.    Sramanora Waterfall Party:

Also set in the stunning lush jungle of Baan Kai, Sramanora Waterfall Party has a breathtaking waterfall streaming down into a pool (swimming not advised). Colorful psychedelic paintings cover the stones all over ensuring you have a great trip. Electronic music blares from high quality speakers. Party with the people till sunrise or take a rest from a session of dancing at the comfy chill out zone or natural swimming pool. You are guaranteed the most beautiful visual and sound experience.

Sramanora Waterfall Party Koh Phangan.jpg

When: 2 times a month (2 days before & 1 day after full moon)

Fee: 500THB with a free drink after 10pm

Recommended Accommodation: Bancha Sramanora Resort

Tip: Carry mosquito spray.

5.    Black Moon Culture:

On a sandy beach in Baan Tai at Mac Bay Resort, peace, trance and dance are the three words that unite people. The décor is super duper trippy. Black, grey or psychedelic is the fashion style. Super decked up stages hosting resident and international DJ’s pump out the freshest progressive and psychedelic trance. You are assured a ticket to the moon at this magic mountain gathering.

Black Moon Party Koh Phangan.jpg

When: Every Black Moon

Fee: 600THB

Recommended Accommodation: Mac Bay Resort

Tip: Find a way to get to the moon.

6.    Ban Sabai:

Still looking for the after party? Can’t get enough dancing? Ban Sabai located on a beach in Ban Tai is where you’ll quench your thirst. Ban Sabai always plays trance music that keeps your feet moving and body vibrating with good high energy. Think high bpm. Dance from 9am to 2pm.

ban sabai koh phangan.jpg

When: Day after full/half/black moon parties

Fee: Free

Recommended Accommodation: Sea Love Bungalows

Tip: Carry a bikini for a cooling deep in the sea

7.    Guys Bar:

The setting is an outdoor venue on elevated ground in a coconut tree jungle. When you walk up the steps, you are welcomed by green, white, yellow and red flags sailing to the ocean breeze. Hammocks and beanbags are at your disposal. The highly respected resident DJ’s spin the best deep sexy and funky house. The dancers vibrate the dance floor that keeps getting hotter and hotter as the sun rises. The challenge is to keep dancing with the rising sun. Witness the Fitness. Hula-hoops and Chinese fans recommended.

Guys Bar Koh Phangan.jpg

When: Every Friday

Fee: 300THB

Recommended Accommodation: Big Blue Resort

Tip: Bring loads of sunscreen

8.    FuBar:

It’s a small cozy venue located on Haad Rin beach. The DJs seduce the passing crowd on the street with tech & house tunes. The bar gets quickly crowded. This doesn’t dissuade the party people. They still jam out to the tunes on the streets and the outskirts. It’s a great spot to people watch, especially on Full Moon night.

FuBar Koh Phangan.jpg

When: Monday sessions (…till sunrise)

Fee: Free

Recommended Accommodation: FuBar Hostel

Tip: Come early to get a cozy spot.

9.    Eden Garden:

Eden garden gets you back to nature. It is located on a rock in Haad Yuan beach. It overlooks the beautiful lush jungle. Dance barefoot on the smooth wooden dance floor to tunes from the well respected resident DJ’s. Eden Garden gets a refreshing and cooling breeze since its right next to the ocean. Open air dance floor!

Eden Garden Koh Phangan.jpg

When: Every Saturday (…till sunrise)

Fee: Free

Recommended Accommodation: Ocean Rock Bungalows

Tip: Buy the USB (contains the local DJ sets) sold at the bar

10.    Sand Castle:

Sandcastle is situated in Haad Rin beach. It has a good feel to it in comparison to its sister bars in Haad Rin. It’s a place to see and be seen. The atmosphere is comfortable with hanging hammock chairs and a large dance floor facing the bar and the DJ. There are a variety of international and resident DJ’s who drop the freshest tech house.

sandcastle koh phangan.jpg

When: Tuesday Nights (…till sunrise)

Fee: Depends on the DJ (300 – 500THB)

Recommended Accommodation: Moon Paradise Bungalows

Tip: Wear shoes

11.    Back Yard:

This party happens once a month. It’s the after full moon party that brings all the locals around the island and full moon survivors together. The setting is on a sunset cliff overlooking the blue turquoise waters. Happy dancers rock the wooden dance floor to arguably the best sound system on the Island.

back yard party koh phangan.jpg

When: Day after full moon party

Fee: Free

Recommended Accommodation: Leela Beach Bungalows

Tip: Show up for sunset session till late

12.    Simi Rom:

On a rocky cliff with a massive wooden dance floor, Simi Rom has a wall of speakers on the left and right of the DJ pumping out the best house & tech. A light show is projected on a cliff rock formation behind the DJ. You won’t miss the name of the current performing artist. The ocean breeze cools you down. The crashing waves dance to the rhythm of the beat. Sit on a rock and watch the sunrise with old and new friends alike.

simirom party koh phangan.jpg

When: Day after full moon (..till sunrise)

Fee: Free

Recommended Accommodation: Tommy Resort

Tip: Party starts at mid night

13.    Loi Lay:

It’s a fabulous tech house venue on a floating boat. Life jackets included! A bamboo wooden bridge begs you to enter Loi Lay. Rock the boat as you dance along to the funkiest tunes from local and international DJ’s. The feeling is intimate as the DJ’s and dancers are quite close. The dance floor is wooden, small, but cozy. The bar is fully equipped.

Loi Lay boat party koh Phangan.jpg

When: Every Sunday

Fee: 200THB

Recommended Accommodation: Echo Beach Backpackers

Tip: House Mai Tais or Mojitos are the best!

14.    Lighthouse:

On the far left end of Lei la beach, lighthouse offers a magnificent view of Koh Samui Island. It is popular among the locals. The local and international DJ’s will move your body to tech & house music. Show off your moves in the house and catch your breath on the rocks. You can take in a beautiful sunrise, but watch out for the low flying planes heading to Samui.

Light House Koh Phangan.jpg

When: Every Thursday

Fee: 300 – 400THB

Recommended Accommodation: Cocohut Beach Resort and Spa

Tip: Find your spot near the speakers.

15.    Merkaba Beach Club:

It is tucked away in a secluded beach. A ten minutes ride from Haad Rin beach. As you descend the long staircase, you can hear the inviting sound of the deep house. Finally, the stairs lead into a large open space with a neon color changing swimming pool and a patch of glass to chill out and catch some rays. Ascend the second floor and you will find dancing people on a spacious covered dance floor. Well-respected local and international DJ’s drop some deep tunes tucked away in the mouth of a tiger. Keep ascending to the last level and you will find a chill out zone to hang with friends. Drinks here are reasonably priced (120 BHT). The speakers are spread out through the grounds and are of high quality.  You will literally hear the music from whichever corner you are tucked in. Party starts at noon till late.

Merkaba Beach Party Koh Phangan.jpg

When: Check Face book page for regular updates

Fee: Free

Recommended Accommodation: Coral Bungalow

Tip: Bike to the party