Everything you need to know about Thailand’s Full Moon Party

In the 1980s, the Thai islands became more popular tourist and backpacking destinations, ultimately leading to electricity being brought to the island of Koh Samui. This didn’t sit well with those who came to the island for an “escape” from civilization and tourism, so they left Koh Samui for Koh Phangan, which at the time was quiet, secluded and relatively unknown.  

What started as a humble gathering of tourists in a single bungalow quickly spiralled into what is now known as the biggest and craziest beach party in the world. 

Imagine being on the most stunningly beautiful beach you’ve ever seen. Now imagine that on this very same beach there are thousands of people around you filling the air with colossal enthusiasm and excitement over the fact that you’ve all actually made it to one of the world’s biggest and wildest parties. Throw in a few of the island’s famous bucket drinks, talented fire dancers, loud music of every genre, and dancing under the full moon until the sun rises (don’t forget, you’re still on a beautiful beach). 

“Full Moon Party” became a buzzword that everyone heard and dreamt about. Today, around 30,000 people trickle in to Koh Phangan’s ethereal beaches every month to enjoy anywhere from one night to one week of dancing, drinking and unadulterated indulgence and decadence that likely won’t be remembered. 😉 

Where is the Full Moon Party?

Koh Phangan, Thailand
Koh Phangan, Thailand

Full Moon Parties take place on Sunrise Beach (Hat Rin Nok) in the Haad Rin (also known as Hat Rin) beach area of Koh Phangan, an island in southeast Thailand. You can find out all the different ways to get to Koh Phangan here.

When is the Full Moon Party?

Although these parties are in celebration of every month’s new moon, it is very possible that it could take place the night before or after. Why? The Buddhist calendar is lunar, so the full moon party dates are modified around any and all Buddhist holidays.

Who is it for?

Families should probably opt for different islands if traveling around the Full Moon Party time of the month. Those who have their hearts set on visiting Koh Phangan are recommended to arrange their trip not at the time of the party so as to avoid the chaos that ensues during the week leading up to the party. That being said, if you are young and like to party it up all night long, then the Full Moon Party is for you.

Where to stay

Sleeping on the beach in Thailand

Accommodations should be your priority. With 20-30,000 travellers swarming to the island each month, availability decreases just as quickly as the prices rise. Some partygoers even prefer to stay on Koh Samui and take the 20-30 minute ferry to Koh Phangan instead. You can do the same from Koh Tao as well, though the ride is a tad bit longer. For a detailed explanation about additional ways to get to Koh Phangan and Koh Samui, you’ll probably want to read this blog.

If you prefer to party all night and simply nap on the beach, there are, believe it or not, designated sleeping areas. Be sure to sleep only within the taped areas and not elsewhere in order to avoid unnecessary bumps and bruises.

What to wear

Neon painting at the Full Moon Party

Bright colored and/or neon shorts, shirts and bathing suits. The rule of thumb is: the more skin you show, the more body paint you can cover yourself with.

How to get in

Full Moon Party, Koh Phangan, Thailand

There is an entry fee of 100 baht (approximately $3.00, £2.50 or €2.90) and that’s it! No tickets need to be purchased in advance, making entrance not only a bargain, but also seamless.

How to stay safe

Fire show at the Full Moon Party, Koh Phangan, Thailand

You will be dancing, it will be hot and you will be drinking. Stay hydrated! Drink lots of water! This will also ease the inevitable pain you will be feeling in the morning.

The tides are affected by the moon and thus creates strong currents. If you are under the influence, don’t go swimming. Just don’t do it. 

Don’t bring anything of value with you. 

Bucket drinks are very popular here. Keep an eye on yours.

Take note of where the nearest clinics are.

Although easily accessible, drugs are very illegal in Thailand. We aren’t going to tell you what you should and should not do to… you know what is best for you. However, what we will reiterate is that Thai law allows for the death penalty for anyone caught carrying, transporting or using drugs.

Thailand’s Full Moon Parties are wild and are a true once in a lifetime experience that is impossible to put into words. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to watch the beach transform from a heavenly masterpiece to a depraved, adult playground.

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