The Full Moon Party is unlike anything you have ever experienced before, you definitely are never going to forget it. The fire spinning, buckets, dance music, beautiful beach and let’s not forget the 10,000 other travelers on the beach sharing the night with you. The right information is going to help you plan your time there and to have the best experience possible. This information will ultimately help you with planning your time in Thailand and attending the Full Moon Party.
You may have heard a great deal about this party, and that is because it is phenomenal in every sense of the word! What comes to your mind when you hear about it? Wild parties? Drunken people on the beach? People from all over the world in one place having fun until the sun comes up? All of the above are true, but there is so much more to the Full Moon Party that makes it one that is known around the world.
I have been to the event several times, and there are certain things you want to do and others you want to avoid in order to make it a very good experience. For example, you don’t want to get hurt and you don’t want to pay too much money for anything. You wanna stay cool, in form and close to your mates. You want to party responsibly so you can get up the next day and enjoy the sun rather than nursing a hangover in your accommodations.
How it all Started
The Full Moon Party began in 1987 and it has been an annual event ever since! It all started when some british backpackers decided to host a birthday party for a friend. The event took place on a night when there was a full moon. They had a wonderful time and agreed to return the next year to do it again. Soon, they were doing it every single month and more people started joining in on the fun each time.
The first of these parties was nothing more than a few individuals at a house along the beach. Some of the travelers were backpacking Thailand and told stories and others played music on their guitars. By the 1990s, the rave scene was introduced to the Full Moon Party and there were a variety of drugs that showed up too.
In the 2000s, you could find this party event on the various travel maps. The number of young people deciding to check it out continued to grow and grow. After the movie The Beach came out, people couldn’t get enough of the location where the party is held, known as Koh Phangan. It is amazing how much this event grows each year.
There is no denying the Full Moon Party is a festival with plenty of drinking, drug use, dancing, and even sex. There are numerous bars with their sound systems offering various types of music. Just keep moving down the beach until you find something you like the sound of. You can also buy alcohol from vendors located up and down the beach area.
Some of the shows offered include fire dancers who you will be very impressed by. There are booths selling various trinkets and the popular face paint that glows in the dark. You will see plenty of activities among people as you wonder around the beach. You will see people dancing, talking, fighting, having sex, and even passed out. You may find people looking for their shoes, purses, or their friends.
Don’t think for an instant that the commercial side of the Full Moon Party puts a damper on it in any way. There are very few fights either, even with 40,000 or more people all in one area. The overall atmosphere is very positive and most people are just looking for a good time.
When does it Happen
As you have likely gathered from the name, Full Moon Party occurs every night that there is a full moon. There are other parties too for the half moon and quarter moons so don’t worry. You will always find some type of party event along the beach at Koh Phangan.
Where to Stay
You want to stay at Haad Rin when you come for the Full Moon Party so you can be very close to it. You aren’t going to have to worry about getting too and front your destination. Another great place to stay is Ban Tai Beach. You will have to pay a taxi to take you to and from those accommodations, but it is a short distance. The accommodations are also very low priced. Don’t stay on the North side of the island though as that is going to be too far from the party taking place. You will spend far too much on a boat taxi to get back and forth. Of course if you are going with a travel group , this can be a lot easier, check us out If you are planning to go backpacking through Thailand.
In order to get such accommodations though, you need to show up at least four days before the full moon. As the date approaches, you will end up paying too much and staying much further away. Don’t assume you can just show up the day before and something will fall in place or you are going to be disappointed.
The cost depends on the type of accommodations you select such as a room or a dorm style set up. It also depends on the quality of those accommodations. By showing up early, you can pick something you like and feel comfortable with. You can also make sure it fits into your established budget. Prices will increase the closer you get to the full moon. It will also be double or triple around the holidays such as New Years.
To get very good deals, avoid booking your accommodations online. When you do so online, you will have to pay the most expensive rates. Many of them also have a minimum amount of nights you have to stay and it may be as many as 10! If you show up several days before, you can get a good place to stay for a reasonable price.
How to get to the Fun
Keep in mind, there isn’t an airport here so you must arrive via the ferry. You can do so through Surat Thani or from the island of Koh Samui. You will have to be dropped off at the pier and then take a taxi. Typically, you will find taxis and ferry service consistently around the Full Moon Party time. There are also buses running 24/7 from Bangkok to Koh Phangan and the price will also cover the ferry.
Starting the Party
People will start to come along from Koh Samui and Koh Tao. The locals seem to love the Full Moon Party just as much as the travelers. The party gets started early in the day, with plenty drinking and music to get people in the mood. However, the majority of the crowd won’t show up until later in the evening. The largest number of people will be there between 9 pm and midnight. Around 2 am, you will start to notice the crowd getting smaller.
Having an idea of the costs involved for the Full Moon Party will help you to relax. The good news is food is very affordable. You will find food offered at the beach by vendors to be your least expensive. Beer and cigarettes are also low cost. You can save money if you buy a bucket rather than individual drinks. The cost though will depend on the type of alcohol you decide to drink. You will need to pay to use the bathroom too, but it is low cost.
Surviving the Party Responsibly
Just about any type of drugs you can imagine are found at the Full Moon Party. They are illegal in Thailand so keep that in mind. You don’t want to be arrested and spend time in a jail with terrible conditions. Some of the individuals trying to sell drugs at the event will be undercover police. Even when you try to buy from a legitimate seller, there can be locals who will report it in order to get a cash reward for doing so.
Most of the law enforcement though isn’t going to arrest you or lock you up for using drugs at the Full Moon Party. Instead, they will take a bribe to avoid arresting you and doing the paperwork. How much? At least $1,000 in US dollars. If you do get into such a predicament, do all you can to negotiate the bribe price!
Don’t get into the jump rope events. This involves a rope that has been covered in gasoline. It will be lit on fire for those who wish to jump rope. This is a common activity where people who have had too much to drink tend to get burned. Then they are rushed to a hospital and that is the end of their fun for the event.
While buckets can save you money, they can also result in you consuming far too much alcohol in too little time. Try to save buckets for the later hours so you don’t pass out early that day and miss all of the fun. They do sell non- alcohol in the buckets such as Red Bull but too much of that will make you act like you have been taking hits of speed!
Drink plenty of water throughout the day and evening so you stay well hydrated. This will help you to feel your best all day long. Remember, the temperatures are very warm and there is high humidity in this area. Increase your water intake before you head to the Full Moon Party and drink it during the event. Drink water before bed too so you will be less likely to suffer from a hangover the next day.
Don’t go into the water at night due to the very strong waves. If you have been drinking, it is going to be harder for you to avoid dangerous situations in the water such as drowning. There are also plenty of people using the ocean as their personal toilet during the Full Moon Party so for your own sanitary health, just don’t go in there.
Don’t be tempted to spend the event without any shoes. It may feel great to have your feet in the sand. Yet there will be sharp objects including broken glass from beer bottles out there. People often injure their feet or have to go to the emergency room due to deep cuts. Wear comfortable shoes that are closed toed and offer you some support.
Limit your personal belongings and keep them close to you. It is best to just have the key to your accommodations, your phone, and a bit of money for buying your drinks. Leave jewelry and other items behind so they aren’t going to be lost or stolen.
Personal belongings: Theft is rife during the party. Bring as little as possible. Bring enough money for drinks and your room key. You don’t really need anything else. When you follow all of these tips, you will have an amazing time at the Full Moon Party. It will create stories you can share with your friends and memories to last a lifetime!