Fire Dancing in Koh Tao

Thailand is many things, "boring" is not one of them. All one needs to do it take a stroll down a beach at night to be mesmerized by the multitude of fire-related "sports" that touristy areas have to offer. Whether it be poi, staffs, limbo sticks or giant skipping ropes, there is something mystical, indeed almost magical when these items are set ablaze and used to entertain nightly beach-goers with their magnetic draw. The poi was likely first developed by Maori tribesmen as a training device to keep wrists nimble and strong and probably not intended to dazzle inebriated and sober tourists on a nightly basis, but, here we are. Regardless of where this tradition began or who was the first to light the instruments on fire, there is no denying the entertainment value of watching such skilled performers dance effortlessly through routines and seemingly defy several laws of physics (like not lighting the audience on fire). Perhaps just as entertaining as watching the practiced performers is watching the throng of drunk travellers who feel that the feats they have just witnessed are within their sphere of expertise as well attempt the tasks. Alcohol tends to enhance dexterity, judgement, and coordination - three attributes that are required when working with fire - so naturally this leads to positive results. Many of which are visible noticeable in the form of burns on the dive boats the following day. It would seem, at first glance, that frizzy hair, a stuporous gait, glazed eyes, and a flaming limbo stick or jump rope wouldn't mix, but let me assure you, they mix extremely well... at least the ocean is nearby!

Fire Dancer on Koh Tao