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Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents: Koh Phangan


The second episode of the new show Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents: Thailand aired on BBC3 at 21.00 on 21st January, 2014. For those who have never seen the show it is based on the idea of young lads going on holiday and drinking and getting up to no good while they are secretly spied upon by their parents. Previously seasons have used Ibiza, Kavos, Ayia Napa as well other ‘party spots’. This episode is filmed on the party island of Koh Phangan, home of the original Full Moon Party. The two groups of lads appear by the end of the show as complete idiots on the loose, and Koh Phangan comes off just as badly.

Embarrassing for the parents

The show was embarrassing for the young Brits, for their parents and showed Koh Phangan in a biased way. Within 2 nights of partying in Haad Rin, one of the boys pays 1,000 Thai Baht to sleep with a prostitute who turns out to be a ladyboy. Another lad drinks so much he has to be hospitalised. His mother hiding in Baan Tai cries her heart out and finds it impossible to stay hidden – she rushes to the hospital to hug her son.

The other group of lads do a Muay Thai session followed by the Half Moon Party. At this party they give up on the girl chasing and focus on dancing, drinking buckets and inhaling balloons of laughing gas.

A Negative Portrayal of Koh Phangan

The programme does show some photography of beautiful beaches, the Chinese Temple and jungle scenery; and it does highlight some interesting things to do on the island such as practice Muay Thai and have a Thai massage. However, the over-riding impression is that Koh Phangan is a place like Ibiza or Kavos. It is a place with a wild nightlife full of young people drinking lots and lots of cheap booze and getting off with each other.

The Real Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan is one of the first places I went in Thailand. I have the complete opposite impression of the island. It is a place of remote beaches, stunning scenery and hippies smoking too much and talking too much. Hedonism of another type perhaps, but much more restrained and less embarrassing.

Haad Rin and Baan Tai does attract the party crowd but this is just one small corner of the island. Within 20 minutes you can drive or catch a boat to a beach that is so different it could be on a different island.

Sadly, this is exactly what many people say about Ibiza. It seems that once a place has a reputation as a party place, it can’t shake it. No doubt the money motive has a lot to do with this.

Next read about the 10 Best Mid Range Full Moon Party Hotels