The Full Moon Party is the arguably the biggest and best beach party on the face of the earth. As its name suggests, it takes during the full moon each month on the stunning southern Thai island of Koh Phangan. As many as 30,000 avid party goers rock up to the island for one night for a night of absolute party.
A lot of people had told me that the Full Moon party is one of many things that you have to do at least once when in Thailand. I had presumed that it wouldn’t really be my sort of scene; I had envisaged rowdy drunk people, vomit, drugs and brawls and broken glass. Although I did encounter some of that when I was there, I was pretty surprised when I ended up thoroughly enjoying it. My friend who who had caught a flight in from Germany managed to convince me to go and in the end I was happy that I did.
The next day it was finally time for the Full Moon Party. I had already had a bit of an insight into what Thailand’s beach parties entailed as I had previously checked out the party scene on both Phuket and Phi Phi islands. The Full Moon Party was pretty similar to what I had already experienced…but on acid!
There’s some pretty odd sounding alcohol for sale in the local shops; some of which we had never heard of before.
There’s even a designated ‘sleeping area’ which is fenced off and comes equipped with mats and blankets, so rest assured that if need a little kip any time during the night that you can. I think it’s a hilarious concept. As the night wore on, more and more party goers retired to the sleeping area.
There are a couple of bars with observation decks on either side of the beach. They are the best place to head if you want a better view of the whole beach.
Tips for surviving the Full Moon Party
Go with at least one friend that you know and trust. I wouldn’t really recommend going as a solo traveller. Although I had a great experience and never felt unsafe, the Full Moon Party has a bit of a reputation for the darker stuff that takes place so it’s important to be with at least someone who can ensure your safety. If you are smart and look after yourself then there is no reason why you would have any problems whilst there.
– This is a bit of a no-brainer but stay away from drugs! One of the things that the Full Moon party is infamous for is the fact that there are drugs kicking around. Thailand enforces the death penalty for drug use.
– Don’t go into the sea during or after the Full Moon party. Sadly throughout the night it gets used as one big communal urinal by drunken men. Gross I know. You’ve been warned!
– Don’t bring anything valuable with you. It’s a hotspot for pickpockets.
– Watch what you drink. As I mentioned earlier, there’s fake alcohol knocking around. Also I really wouldn’t accept any drinks from strangers. The Full Moon Party is an extremely overwhelming environment and it’s important to act with extra caution. If you leave your drink unattended even for a second then get rid of it and get a new one.
– Avoid the pyro-antics. It’s just not worth the risk. Every Full Moon Party people get burned as a result of the pyro-antics. Don’t be one of them!
– Decide on a meeting place with your friends. It’s so crowded that inevitably someone will get lost. This happened with a couple of people in our group who we would not have been able to find otherwise.
– Wear some decent footwear as there can be broken glass lurking in the sand.
– Don’t litter. Koh Phangan is a stunning island. Let’s keep it like that!
– Most accommodation, including hostels, usually goes up in price threefold around the time of the Full Moon party. It can also sell out completely during some of the busier months. Flights also tend to be more expensive during those times too so it’s something to keep in mind when budgeting for your trip.
– If you drink, pace yourself, especially if you are hoping to party on through the whole night. Be safe and look after yourself because in the end the only person who is really responsible for you is you!