The Full Moon Party is not the stuff of dreams anymore, where only a handful of people have been to. In fact, Thailand’s in the middle of a massive tourism boom and it’s difficult to come across a person that’s been to Thailand and not been to the famous Full Moon Party. Every month over 30.000 people from all corners of the earth gathers on the tropical Island of Koh Phangan to attend the worlds most famous party. From loud bass music, beats dropping, neon colours, fire-rope skipping, buckets of Sang Sam, skinny dipping, mushroom mountain and all other crazy things, I can guarantee you’re in for a night of all things wonderful, crazy and downright weird.
Here I have come up with some tips to help you plan and prepare for your time on Koh Phangan and the Full Moon Party.
Every month there is a Full Moon Party, so of course first things first you need to know the dates of upcoming scheduled parties. The site fullmoonparty-thailand.com is a great place to find all the dates you will need to get planning your trip.
How to get there
From Bangkok, you can either take a train, bus or flight.
The train is a budget-friendly option, but a very long journey. You will need to buy individual tickets and take the overnight train down from Bangkok to Surant Thani and then take a bus or taxi from the train station to the port to then buy another ticket for the ferry. Whereas you could book a bus and ferry combination through a travel agent in Bangkok, with your ticket you will get the bus from Bangkok and the Ferry from the mainland port over to Koh Phanaghan. The tickets are affordable and there are no worries because everything is done for you within the ticket price, but the journey is long and usually overnight. You will be looking at about 10-14 hours on the bus and a following 1.5 hours on the ferry.
The quickest way to get there is to take a flight down to Koh Samui and then take a boat over to Koh Phangan. Look at Thai Airways, NokAir, LionAir or AirAsia for flights.
If you are staying nearby, but not quite on the beach itself, you can catch a Songtaew to the party or a motorbike taxi. They will be hanging around the beach area as well if you want to head back earlier.
Another option is that some people choose to stay on the neighbouring island of Koh Samui, and take a water taxi over to Haad Rin beach for the party. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend this because travelling over the water at night sounds a little sketchy but it’s is another option if you fancy it.
Make sure you book this in advance. The island is so full around the time of the party that it isn’t the place where you can just turn up at a place and get a place.
You need to decide where on the island you want to stay. You can stay right on Haad Rin Beach where the party is or you can stay in another area of the Island and come down to Haad Rin on the night.
If you are wanting to stay on the beach then I fully recommend Paradise Bungalows. Which stretches up from the beach and up the hill. They have a mix of superior rooms right on the beach, hillside bungalows about a 5-minute walk from the beach and dorms available. All rooms are fitted with AirCon, Free Wifi, clean sheets and Showers with Hot water.
They have a fully licensed bar, a popular restaurant serving Thai and Western dishes. They also have a large swimming pool with sun loungers for you to relax by throughout the day. The staff are very kind, helpful and energetic.
In fact, Paradise Bungalows is the home of the original full moon party. I fully recommend staying here but you will need to book in advance because it is the perfect location and it sells out fast. Prices vary depending on whether or not you go for the full moon party and how much in advance you book. Budget around 1500B a night.
Some General tips for the Full Moon Party.
Get the boring but necessary things over with first, but when there are more than 30.000 people wasted on a beach it doesn’t hurt you to be a little more aware. You will thank me for it later.
- Secure all your important documents and personal items that you would be lost without if the inevitable happens. It’s not unpopular for break-ins to happen during this period on the island. Get a locker and lock it all away. If your accommodation doesn’t have such a thing, then there are a lot of local businesses that have lockers in which you can rent out for the evening.
- Don’t take personal belongings on to the beach with you, especially cameras. If you take your phone, get a money back that you can hide under you t-shirt which you can store it in, as well as money.
- When getting drinks, you have 2 choices, you can buy the buckets with the small bottle and mixer that you make up yourself or there are lots of vendors along the beach selling cheaper buckets but ask the bartender to open a fresh bottle for you, just to be on the safe side.
- If you’re going to dare skip or hula with fire then be careful. As fun as it looks, and it is, but just remember that alcohol and fire is a recipe for disaster.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
It is kind of the unwritten rules that must wear all the colours and full moon slogans. If you don’t have anything with you in your backpack, Don’t threat it, everywhere sells everything you will need to look the part. You will even find discounted items in some shops for those of you on a budget. Just look for the lost little basket, usually on the floor outside the shop.
Wear trainers as well because I can guarantee flip-flops will get lost and they aren’t the best option when the beach can become full of broken glass.
Go OTT on the neon
Any neon you can get your hands on do it. Cover yourself in it, bring out your inner artist. It’s the full moon party and you HAVE to do it! Just don’t put the paint in those little tubes in your hair! It will not come out! Speaking on behalf of my friend that had done this and was walking around for months with an orange blotch of neon paint in her hair.
Be prepared for ALL the madness
You are going to see some sights. I’m not going to paint it like rainbow and unicorns but be prepared to literally see it all on that beach.
Going to the full moon party is an amazing experience, partying the night away on a paradise island with people from all corners of the world. It’s utter madness but an experience that you should get involved in if you ever go backpacking to Thailand.
I will always recommend that if you are in Thailand, you should definitely experience the Full Moon Party at least once.
Enjoy and have the time of your life.