Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Buckets And Fake Alcohol

Cautionary Advice...

The vast majority of people who visit Koh Phangan have an excellent time, but there are a few risks and concerns to look out for which could potentially ruin your visit.  The Haad Rin Guide Book contains a chapter covering some of these potential risks, including 'Buckets' and 'Fake Alcohol'...


The infamous buckets of the Full Moon Party.
It’s not a regular occurrence, but backpackers have had their drinks spiked at Full Moon Parties and at other times, and the easiest drink to spike is a bucket, so if you are drinking buckets make a point of watching out for each other.  If you get separated from your friends then it's wise to stay off the buckets until you find each other again.

Aside from the small risk of getting spiked, buckets can be quite lethal anyway.  If you've never experienced buckets before, it's therefore wise to take things easy on your first night (or avoid them altogether), and ensure your friends keep an eye on you, as I've seen even hardened drinkers misjudge their tolerance levels and end up spending most of their night ill and being sick.

Fake alcohol:

Simple steps to avoid fake alcohol.
As you arrive in Haad Rin there are signs cautioning visitors on the steps to take to avoid fake alcohol and avoid refilled bottles.  There have been deaths in Asia caused by homebrewed spirits, but the biggest problem in Haad Rin is empty bottles from genuine spirit brands being refilled with cheap and nasty spirits.

If you buy a bucket from a bucket stall the two main things to check for are:

1) Ensure that the bottle has a genuine unbroken seal.
2) Ensure that the bucket is mixed in front of you.

A backpacker mate of mine almost got sneakily given cheap vodka at a recent Full Moon Party.  After buying the bucket, the stall holder took the bucket behind the bucket stall and my suspicious mate spotted them swapping the bottles, so be careful and ask in advance if they mix the bucket in your sight to ensure you get the brand of spirits on display.

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You can find more safety information on Haad Rin in the 'Haad Rin Guide Book', which is available for kindle from Amazon.

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Twitter: @HaadRinGuide

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