The Full Moon Party Guide

full moon party koh phangan

The Full Moon parties of Koh Phangan are a legendary draw for tourists all over the world. This heady mix of fluorescent colours, pounding music and drinks served in plastic buckets is considered a rite of passage for travellers in South East Asia. Each month 20-30,000 revellers flock to the crescent-shaped Haad Rin Beach to party under the light of the moon until sunrise. Here’s the Globehunters lowdown on the spectacular Full Moon Party, plus some handy tips on how to have the best night and next morning possible.

How to get there

Koh Phangan airport is currently under construction and due to open in 2014. Until then, the most popular way to get to Koh Phangan is to fly from Bangkok to the island of Koh Samui and then travel between the islands by boat. Demand for boats is high around the dates of Full Moon Parties so be sure to book a return ticket to and from Koh Phangan a few days in advance.

One cheaper option is to book cheap flights to Bangkok and then get an overnight bus/ferry combination down to Koh Phangan. The first leg of the journey takes you to Surat Thani by bus and then onto Koh Phangan by boat.

What to Expect

Fluorescent paint and lots of it! Koh Phangan’s tropical climate means the accepted dress code is multi-coloured body paint and swimwear. The most common way to drink is from an equally eye-catching plastic bucket – there are stalls selling alcoholic mixers in buckets of different sizes all along the beach. Another of the Full Moon party’s most iconic traits is the flaming skipping rope. Locals swing huge burning ropes over the sand for anyone brave enough (or drunk enough) to jump over.

Crowds will begin filling-up the beach from midday onwards on the day of the party. The party won’t really get going until after dark - it then continues until well after sunrise the next day.

The best bars

All along Haad Rin beach and in the surrounding area there are small luminescent bars playing a massive variety of music. One of the immediately noticeable options from the main entrance to the beach is The Cactus; it largely plays R n B and hip-hop and always draws a big, lively crowd.

The Orchid is the only Drum n Bass bar on the beach, which also plays breakbeat and hip-hop. Tommy Bar matches the Day-Glo attire of its occupants with attention grabbing fluorescent sculptures backed by house and techno. At the far north end of the beach, Mellow Mountain is a popular place to chill out if you want a break from the hectic party.

Buckets for sale in the backstreets around Haad Rin Beach

Full Moon Party Tips

Take enough cash

Koh Phagnan has plenty of cash points but it’s a good idea to prepare in advance and have enough cash to see you thorough to the next day - 3,000 Baht should be enough. Most party goers won’t have an abundance of pockets, but try to split the cash into two at least in case of pick pockets or bucket-inspired carelessness!

Don’t carry valuables unless you have to

Many travel agents in Haad Rin will provide lockers to store any valuables. Pickpocketing aside, given the chaotic nature of Full Moon Parties it’s best to avoid taking anything you don’t want to lose!

Agree somewhere to meet your friends

Like at any event with tens of thousands of people, it’s easy to get separated from your friends. Whilst part of the fun of a Full Moon Party is to meet new people from all over the world, losing the people you arrived with isn’t ideal. There are plenty of recognisable bars on the edge of the beach that serve as good meeting points.

Bring footwear

A pair of flip-flops may seem unnecessary on a sandy beach but as with any huge party there might be broken bottles and still-hot cigarette ends lying about. Also, the paths back to the dock are stony and not nearly as comfortable as the beach.

Plan accommodation in advance

Given that Thailand is such a backpacker magnet, turning up at a hostel without a reservation is pretty common practice. However, Full Moon Parties require some more advanced planning. Accommodation on Koh Phangan will be booked weeks in advance; if you’re intending on staying on the island the day after the party, plan this in advance or arrive three or four days early. Many people choose to stay on neighbouring Koh Samui and take a boat to and from the party.

Globehunters provide cheap flights to Bangkok with leading airlines. Flights to from the UK to Koh Samui via Bangkok are also available – call our expert travel guides on 020 3384 6000 for more details.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post. The Full Moon Party is the best beach party in the world