A natural disaster? Perhaps an earthquake? Not quite… it’s the monthly Koh Phangan Full Moon Party!
The Koh Phangan Full Moon Party on the island of Koh Phangan, Thailand maybe the largest and most infamous party on the planet.
“Upwards of 30,000 party goers — some wearing only body paint — hit the beach on Haad Rin to party till sunrise and beyond.” says Leah Cooper of travel website Destination Clubbing.
Some travelers call this party scene cliché, others feel the party has turned too commercial since it began in 1985. But experiencing one of Thailand’s Full Moon Parties in all of their craziness is considered a rite of passage in Southeast Asia.
Here’s some tips for attending the Koh Phangan Full Moon Party:
- Party dates are adjusted for Buddhist holidays so don’t assume that the party is on the night of the actual full moon.
- Unless you book days in advance, finding accommodation during this busy season is nearly impossible, and prices can triple during this period. Many people choose to stay on Koh Samui, then ferry to the party.
- Find a hotel away from Sunrise Beach if you want a quiet night of sleep!
- Transportation can be booked in packages, which can save you money.
- Most of the party action and hotels are centered around Haad Rin Nok or “Sunrise Beach.”
Do not take anything to the party that you can’t afford to lose, including money, cameras, and expensive sunglasses.
Before leaving your hotel room secure your valuables with reception. Theft is common during the Full Moon Party because very few people remain at home.
Remember that drugs are still illegal in Thailand! The police have cracked down on Full Moon Parties employing plain-clothed police to patrol the party.
Stay out of the water! Most of the deaths that have occurred are due to drowning. Calls for help cannot be heard above the party noise.
Beware of spiked drinks! The famous Thai bucket is often shared and you can end up drinking one that contains a date rape drug.
The Koh Phangan Full Moon Party occurs during Thailand’s busy season, between November and April with peak attendance for New Year’s Eve.