What is the Full Moon Party in Thailand?
The full moon party supposedly started back in the 1970's. Over the years it got bigger and bigger through word of mouth. Now-a-days it has grown to a full blown rage with drinking, drugs, dancing, and tons of sex. You will see fire dancers, drink literal buckets of alcohol, and most likely cover yourself in glow in the dark paint.
Where is the Full Moon Party held?
The Full Moon Party is held on Koh Pha-Ngan and more specifically in Haad Rin.
When is the Full Moon Party?
The Full Moon Party every month during the full moon - duh. If your travel plans don't line up with the full moon don't worry. Because of the commercialization over the years, there is also a half moon, quarter moon, and new moon party. Basically, every night is huge party in Koh Pha-Nhan.
Where to stay for the Full Moon Party
You can stay anywhere on the island but if you want to be close try to book somewhere near Haad Rin. This is where the actual party is held. You will want to book your stays as far in advance as you can. Also, understand that most accommodating have a minimum night requirement. If you want to wing it last minute you HAVE to get to the island at least 3 days before to find any sort of lodging.
A word about booking in advance.... Any thing online is way overpriced. Since it also comes with a minimum night policy, your best bet is to arrive early and then find somewhere to stay.
If Haad Rin is entirely booked, your next option is Ban Tai beach. A short inexpensive cab ride will take you to and from your hotel and the party. DON'T book a hotel on the northern part of the island. This is very far away and super expensive to travel back and forth.
How to get to the Full Moon Party
Ferries are the only way to access the island. Leave from Surat Thani on the mainland or from the nearby island of Koh Samui. The ferries drop you at the main pier called Thong Sala. From there you will take a short cab ride to Haad Rin. Expect the ferry to cost around 600 baht and the cab 100 baht.
What to bring with you to the Full Moon Party
Theft runs rampant at the party so try and bring as little with you as possible. I would even suggest leaving your phone at home. Cash for drinks, a room key, really that is all you need.
The actual Full Moon Party
The party begins a couple of days before the full moon. Like I said, every day is a party on this island. Once the full moon hits the beach starts to get crowded around 9 pm. It peaks around midnight. It doesn't really ever end...
Mostly everyone drinks buckets...aka a literally plastic bucket filled with coke, red bull, and alcohol. There will be fire dancers on the beach, people selling glow in the dark paint, and lots and lots of drinking, drugs, and dancing. Don't be surprised if you see a couple of people having sex.
There is also usually a jump rope....on fire. Yeah - the full moon party is crazy.
Tips to help you survive the Full Moon Party
- Buy beer at the 7-11 or buy buckets away from the beach. They will be much cheaper.
- Don't buy drugs on the beach - it is full of undercover cops looking to take a bribe
- Be careful not to drink too many buckets. They are super strong and heavily concealed by the soda and red bull
- It's still Thailand, which means it will be hot - drink a lot of water!!
- Wear shoes - broken bottles liter the beach by the end of the night
- Bathrooms cost money - expect to pay 10-15 baht per use
- Stay away from the water...people have been peeing in it all night
Not to sound like your mother, but please drink responsibly. While this is a once in a lifetime party for most of us, you may want to remember it the next day.
One final thing... even though researching ahead of time is great, I definitely recommend bringing a guidebook along with you. I always use Lonely Planet's pocket guides since they fit in my ...... pocket.
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