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The Mushroom Shakes of Koh Phangan, Thailand

The Mushroom Shakes of Koh Phangan, Thailand

Kailey Wright

As seen with the third installment of the Hangover movie franchise, Thailand is seen as a good place to have a good time. Thailand is party central. With loose drug laws and exploitation of risqué behavior, it’s a place where people from all over the globe come to let themselves go. Although in 2011, the youngest (and coincidentally the first woman) prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, intended to strengthen Thailand’s drug policy, the campaign has amounted to no more than a joke.

Koh Phangan is a gorgeous paradise on Earth. It’s most definitely one of Thailand’s greatest treasures. Primarily a tourist destination, but heaven for the locals, Koh Phangan has a mountain interior that hugs the coastline of the crystal clear blue waters of the Gulf of Thailand. The island is filled with barely disturbed natural wildlife features. It has a full, thick, and lush rain forest, stuffed with diverse vegetation, including the tall, beautiful coconut trees.

If it isn’t the breathtaking scenery that draws in the hundreds of people wanting a good time, it’s the attractions. Koh Phangan offers tourists elegant resorts, where (for the right price) patrons could get themselves a personal butler and be treated like royalty. For the travelers desiring an experience that holds spiritual value, the island is also the home of many Buddhist temples, where guests can meditate amongst the Enlightened and understand the true meanings of the words: retreat and rest.

Even still, all the beauty and tranquility Koh Phangan has available to tourists doesn’t usurp the strength and audacity of its drug culture. Drug use and provocative behavior is no secret to the locals and is advertised for profit. Many people go to the island monthly to experience the wild partying welcomed at the Full Moon Party where thousands gather for drugs and debauchery.

Despite the Thailand drug laws, weed, LSD, meth, and mushrooms are openly advertised for purchase at low costs. Referred to as “Happy Shakes” or “Magic Shakes,” these drinks contain healthy amounts of hallucinogenic mushrooms meant to alter and enhance the partying environment. Natives and foreigners alike ingest the psychedelic mushrooms as they grow nearly all over the island.

The mushrooms in question are the Psilocybe samuiensis. They contain psilocin and psilocybin, two active ingredients commonly found in hallucinogenic fungi. These mushrooms clearly alter the state of a person when consumed and are classified as illegal drugs, but they are consumed without discretion. Signs advertising the shakes are littered all over Koh Phangan and are available in most bars there, or even alongside the road in a shack.

One of the most well-known bars in Koh Phangan that is famous for having the best mushroom milkshakes is called the “Mellow Mountain.” A “Magic Milkshake” there will cost about 500 Thai Baht, so in US dollars, that will run you roughly $15.

Depending on the type and from which vendor, the color varies, but the consistency is usually thick and grainy. Once imbibed, the drink has been said to change your state of reality, making the world more colorful, but distorted.

View Comment (1)
  • Characterizing Thailand’s drug laws as being “loose” in an article directed at tourists is both wrong and irresponsible. Penalties for breaking these laws are extremely harsh. A single trip to a full moon party with a group of tourists doesn’t expose you to these realities.

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