Thailand: magical fairies under the full moon

These days most of what you read about the full moon party on Koh Phangan, Thailand is that it’s strayed too far from its roots. I’ve read more about the dangers involved and tips on how to stay safe than I have about the fun, party on the beach aspect. At the big parties, yes, you should take precautions to avoid injury and yes, you should be worried about pick-pockets and yes, some of those infamous buckets contain more than just alcohol. It’s particularly sad that the negative aspects of the party seem to come largely from the locals: spiked buckets and fire games built with intention to injure. For those who can see past that and who take the time to explore the island, they’ll find the hippie vibe is still alive and well. I haven’t seen another island in Thailand that has the same energy as Koh Phangan and it’s an amazing energy.


Hold my hand

Rent a scooter to explore the island and you’ll find quiet, white-sand beaches, spiritual healing centres, nude beaches, chilled out bars with phenomenal views and safe places to get high. With all this to offer, the island still attracts beautiful souls. You just have to open your heart and look around. I met so many wonderful people in my five days of exploring the island. They showed up unexpectedly, shared the love and then parted ways. No expectations, no needs, just love.


Thanks to the fairy who helped me find new flip-flops on the beach after I lost a shoe

I used to think that I didn’t have any hippie in me, but I was wrong. It’s there and it’s been awakened and I just need to figure out how to share the love more myself. Spread the love and the love will come back to you. Thank you to all the beautiful fairies who said hello, offered love and showed me the way.

South East Asia: the ever elusive magical rainbow sunset

It has now been twice in my lifetime that I’ve seen gorgeous sunsets on beautiful beaches that really blew my mind and I’ve failed to capture both on film. In both situations, I arrived on a new beach in South East Asia and went for a walk on the beach after a long day of traveling. As I walked, the sun started to set and the sky started to turn red . .

I’m enjoying the end of a long day and anticipating tomorrow’s day of relaxation when all of a sudden the sunset decides to get real on me. The sky is no longer simply a deepening red on the horizon of blue. Now it’s developed a full rainbow array of colors: from indigo purple to true blue, grassy green to golden yellow, radiant orange to ruby red. It’s surpassing all expectations I ever had for a beautiful sunset.

This always happened in the last few minutes of the sun dipping below the horizon and all I could ever do was stop and enjoy it from where I stood. It was always my first day on the beach and I didn’t have my camera on me. Between the knowledge that if I made a run for my camera I’d surely miss the best part and the expectation that sunsets must be this beautiful in paradise every night, I just enjoyed the moments and planned to capture the next day’s repeat performance on film.

This has happened to me twice. Once on Otres beach in Cambodia and once on Koh Pu beach in Thailand and in both cases I was not treated to the same beautiful sunset again during the reminder of my stay!


A beautiful sunset, but I've seen better

There is something magical about a sunset so beautiful. Both beaches followed them up with gorgeous relaxing days and calm cool evenings, both beaches will forever be in my memory as real life paradises and both beaches have made my short list of places to revisit. I’ve yet to capture a sunset that magical on film, but I hope to someday. South East Asia is truly a magical place.

What magical moments have you experienced in Asia?