Why I lost faith in humanity after going to a full moon party

Imagine the wildest, most bitchin’ night ever at your favourite club. Take that party, add another 30,000 people, and let them loose all over a never-ending tropical beach. Sprinkle a few flame dancers, slides, and burning skipping ropes. Subtract the price of alcohol, and double the quantity. Finally, subtract everyone’s tops. Now you have a Full Moon Party.

A lot of horror stories get thrown around, but both FMP’s I’ve been to have been absolutely amazing nights. I only felt bad for the people around me, who discovered just how uncoordinated dancing can get. However, a certain experience cut my faith in humanity right down the middle. It wasn’t during the party, or even the hangover, but catching a boat.

Quick geography lesson, most people fly to Koh Samui then make their way to the smaller island of Koh Phangan by boat for the FMP. After the party, there are thousands of people who need to get back to Koh Samui. This creates a huge demand for ferries after the FMP, but nothing prepared me for just how hard getting on one of them was going to be.

It felt like it was the last boat out of a war-torn dystopia. There were babies crying, people shoving, staff yelling, “I don’t want anyone to die!” There were hundreds of us waiting on the pier for hours in the rain with all our bags; it was far from a comfortable experience. But just how aggressive people got was a stellar contrast to how friendly they were at the FMP a few nights back.

The same people that would happily share a bucket of moonshine with you while dancing the night away won’t think twice about rolling over your toes with their oversize suitcase to secure their place on the boat, while denying yours. Everyone’s attitude towards each other on the boat was best summed up by something I overheard a lady say to her partner: “People are so fucking retarded.”

All my life I’ve tried to see the best in people. I assume they are friendly and polite, unless proven otherwise. I think generally, people really do mean well. If one of those angry passengers had seen someone fall into the water, no doubt they’d have tried to help, alerted the crew etc. But take away their comforts and make it either you or them, that’s when things get interesting.

If you are not sure whether you would become an angry passenger or not, ask yourself this: either your mum, or 100 people you’ve never met have to die. Which would you choose?


Five things you’d be silly to miss in Bali

I got off a plane over a month ago to some blistering humidity and torrential rain. The first thing I thought was, “shit, here we go.” Sometimes I love getting the wrong first impression.

Fast forward to my final few days and I still feel like I need more time. If you are planning a trip to this diverse island, allow me to share my absolute must-do’s.

1. Death by Chocolate at Wacko’s – Seminyak

People who follow the trend of avoiding Kuta like the plague may miss out on the best beach clubs and restaurants on the island. The obvious standout is Wacko’s, an affordable but mind-blowing burger joint in Seminyak. The food, especially burgers, will keep you coming back, (we went there five times…) but what will change your life is the death by chocolate.


Yes that’s melted chocolate dripping down the side…

This is not a mere drink. It’s a milkshake experience. Topped with a mini trumpet, pretzels, M&M’s and a roasted marshmallow, I’ve only seen Korean soap operas more dramatic. Don’t order one willy-nilly, I still had half a burger left before I began to struggle. It’s a milkshake that demands respect and mental preparation, because you’ll simply never have a better one.

2. Cliffside sunset in Uluwatu

Bali’s south is a welcome change of pace compared to the hustle and bustle of Kuta. Famous for never-ending surf breaks and crystal clear waters, this area is a relaxed yet vibrant slice of paradise.

If you’re a confident surfer, you won’t need me to encourage you to paddle out in Uluwatu. It’s like the Mecca of surf. If you’re not up to scratch and don’t want any from the sharp reef, watching other surfers from a cliffside restaurant is an experience in itself. You’ll feel like you’re endorsing a Mexican beer, as there’s just nowhere else you’d rather be.


From where you’d rather watch dudes own themselves on bigass waves

3. Swimming at Green Bowl Beach

Bukit has some of the prettiest beaches on the island, they just aren’t necessarily the best to swim in. The land sits on top of high cliffs so you’re always a long staircase away from the water, and the sharp coral at most beaches in the area makes swimming a nightmare. So picking the right spot is essential.


“The question is: who are you?” – Rafiki 

Green Bowl stands out for a number of reasons: the staircase down is mostly covered in precious shade, and is inhabited by quiet wee monkeys, making for a memorable walk down. Also, once you hit the beach you’ll find picturesque, cyan water which you won’t slash your feet in because it’s sandy.  A large cave provides shelter over the beach, giving a comfortable place to dry off after your swim.


Just mentally preparing myself for the walk back up the stairs

Quiet, beautiful, and underrated, it’s like the sexy book-worm no one asked to the ball. Don’t miss the chance!

4. Laughing at clueless tourists in the Monkey Forest

The monkeys at Green Bowl were quiet, kept to themselves, and seemed pretty well behaved. The spoilt little shits that infest the famous Ubud Monkey Forest could learn a thing or two from them. Aggressive, greedy, and overfed, these hairy devils are not ones to turn your back to.


“I’m king of the rock, and there ain’t nothing you girls can do about it.”

What makes this forest worth seeing is simply observing everybody else. Most tourists will buy bunches of bananas to hand out, which inspires a combination of thievery, trickery, acrobatics, extortion, and invasion of personal space that is utterly hilarious when it’s not happening to you. No doubt you’ll leave with a story structured like “OMG we saw this monkey do XYZ because this stupid tourist did ABC.”


This is right before six monkeys jumped him and sold his sunnies on trademe

If you want to do the laughing and not be laughed at, wear closed shoes, don’t buy bananas, and for God’s sake don’t bring any food in. Because in the wise words of the employees, “sometimes monkey naughty.”

5. Going north to dive around a shipwreck

The drive to the north of Bali is just gorgeous; steamy mountains, dense jungle, wildlife just chilling. The drive alone is reason enough to hit the road, but you’ll also find a totally unique opportunity at the end of it.


Overlooking Bedoegoel, an hour from the north coast of Bali

My history is pretty sketchy, but a few years ago these dudes got all angry and started killing people. Then other people came to kill them. Some killing happened on ships. One of those ships didn’t float so good and now sits about 20 meters off Bali’s northeast coast. You are a set of flippers away from a once in a lifetime chance to dive down and explore a massive shipwreck over 70 years old.

The USAT Liberty is now home to thousands of wee Nemo’s and Dory’s, turtles, and divers. Just over $20 NZD will get you a full dive set to explore properly, however we saw plenty with just a snorkel mask. It’s an eerily beautiful thing to see so close to the shore – a once magnificent vessel of war reduced to fish-food. Don’t be deterred by the long (once again, beautiful) drive. Set aside a day and enjoy this completely different experience.


“Unda da sea” (…Yes that is my 3rd Disney-related caption. I had a great childhood.)

From monkeys to milkshakes, Bali is a lot more than a sweaty rave for shroomed-up douchebags. A perfect mix of tourist comforts, local customs, and stunning beauty makes this an island with its own special character. One so dramatic it deserves a spot in a Korean drama. #repeatmymetaphors