Friday, 24 January 2014

Celebrating Jungle's 10 Year Anniversary

Jungle Experience is at the forefront of the underground party scene on the Thai islands - a visionary party leading the way in the Ban Taai jungle.  Jungle Experience is a trail blazer of the Koh Phangan Scene!

spectrum of lasers at jungle experience koh phanganJungle Experience 10yr Anniversary! 

Showtime at the Jungle yet again, but this time with bells on!  Spark Circus had been wowing the crowds since doors opening with LED hoop performers, stilt walkers and tandem fire twirlers working their art. 

Now, as midnight approached, I was at the side of the DJ booth for a stage show of light and sound.  Marco Loco was in the jaws of the DJ decks getting the crowd going wild - hands in the air! - as the smoke machine illuminated the spectrum of lasers tripping off into the night sky.

Below the DJ booth, at ground level, the circus theme of the evening was taking on an Asian twist: with Chinese dragon performers about to take to the stage to the beat of the ceremonial drum.  

Into costume, the drum begins… and dragon dance!!  Wild frenetic dragon dancing ensued, moving too quickly for the eye to take in, with Marco Loco going off behind the decks!!!  Bang the Drum and Dragon Dance!

jungle 10 yr anniversary fire sign At midnight, I rushed across the party to see the Jungle Experience 10 yr Anniversary sign going up in flames.  At the outer perimeter of the party, I was in prime position to see the fireworks trip off above the palms!  Behind the bar the girls were peering round to see the firework show above them, as the crowd looked to the sky in unison: hands in the air, whoop whoop!!  

Happy Birthday Jungle!!!

Jungle dancer Brea was shaking her thing in leopard print leggings.  Bikini-clad belly dancers were going wild on stage, while lasers went off amidst the leafy treetops of Jungle Experience.  The DJ booth was vibrating light and colour, the lasers pulsing electric rainbow spectrums into the sky. 

welcome to the jungle experience koh phangan
Ladies and gentlemen, Welcome to the Jungle
Ladies and gentlemen, Welcome to the Jungle.

 Anything goes at the Jungle!  There were young farang transvestites behind the bar, and fluorescent war-painted girls hanging in the trees.  Canadians paraded a full sized national flag around the party, as the Queen Luana and AiA sisters body-painted people on stage.  Jungle Man Brahm, 'Can I help?' on his Jungle T-shirt, offered a huge smiley welcome to one and all, and original Jungle energy surrounded us. 

On the outskirts of the party spectacular, Koh Phangan DJs Pablo Escobud, Type 1 and Jok were surveying the scene, as Jourdan Bordes' girlfriend - in blue wellies with pink soles - greeted me with a huge hug.  No, it wasn't raining: it was a fashion statement, as only Portia could state!  AiA was rocking a recycled plastic ruffled tutu with curled ribbons, like a Degas ballet dancer, devil ears in her hair, as the Alien Sisters painted their hair stylist's head in glitter paint.

It all goes on at the Jungle.

marco loco @  jungle experience party koh phangan
Marco Loco playing an extended set, just how he likes it
Playing an extended set, just how he likes it, Marco Loco was bringing on Lizzie Curious' Nine Toes remix - as the speakers to the side of the DJ booth seem to breathe fire!  Fire breathing dragons?  How about fire breathing speakers!  Now, that is some light and laser show, courtesy of The Beach House Sound & Light.  "What's the decibel level?"  I asked Koh Phangan Nomad Carlo at his station in the DJ booth.  A clear, crisp, deep 107-18 decibels. The perfect sound level, he tells me.

By 2am I'm catching up with Thai DJs Lai & Rom from the Dragon Bar on Full Moon Party beach. I'd heard Lai play at Voodoo and I'd liked his taste in Balearic deep house - Ibiza style, like Marco! - "Yes", says DJ Lai, "Music with energy!"...  

At the fire show, a white rabbit masked circus performer is spinning the fire poi like something out of a Jungle Experience Alice in Wonderland. Trippy!

The Burmese fire boys want a piece of the action too, and are soon taking to the floor to flaunt their full power fire spinning skills with full energy.  Tonight, everyone is bringing their top performance to the 10 year anniversary show! 

As the nearly Full Moon shines down on the Jungle, international superstar Marco Bailey takes to the decks. He lights the Jungle dance floor on fire with his uplifting techno professionalism - as in the DJ booth we are raging behind him, with champagne to celebrate:

Marco Bailey back at the Jungle, Marco Loco's birthday…  

International superstar Marco Bailey takes to the decks
… and Jungle Experience Koh Phangan's 10 Year Anniversary! 

Read about Jungle's decade long party history here: Ten Years Of Jungle Experience - Then & Now. Thanks to Thai Party For Me (who caught me at 4am in the Jungle having a noodle soup!) for the photography.  With love to the Jungle for an amazing ten years of parties, and looking forward to many more years to come!

Content © Mia Escobud 2014
Photography courtesy of Thai Party For Me

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