Every month, about 20,000 young travelers get together on a beach to dance and drink until the early hours of the morning. The beach is filled with drunk, rowdy people, and drugs are rampant. This party is infamous, and whenever I get questions from friends about Thailand, The Full Moon Party is usually included. Although The Full Moon Party wasn’t my personal favorite, I think that a lot of young people want to experience it and check the party off of their bucket list, so I will give you some of my advice and feedback.
The Full Moon Party
Full Moon Parties are held many places across Asia, but the main one takes place in Koh Phangan, Thailand,on the night of the full moon. Apparently this party started out with just a few hippies singing songs and smoking weed on the beach, but it has transformed into a massive, alcohol-fueled festival that can get pretty crazy.
If you are traveling alone, as I was, it is a good idea to stay in a hostel with dorms. You can book online in advance, or just show up about 4 days beforehand. Most places expect you to book at least four nights in addition to The Full Moon Party anyways, and expect prices to jump at this time as well. Never fear though, if you come in advance there are many parties leading up to Full Moon (Jungle Party, Waterfall Party, ect.) Make sure you pace yourself and don’t feel too burned out for the night of!
Another option would be to stay on Koh Samui and take a ferry over on the night of the party, but I would not recommend this as I have heard from many people it is a big hassle and can mean lots of waiting around.
How To Get There?
There is no airport on the island, so everyone comes by ferry, either from a surrounding island or from the mainland. If you are coming from Bangkok, many companies offer bus/boat packages that will take you straight to Koh Phangan.
Stay with a group. As a solo woman, I don’t usually think this is necessary, but The Full Moon Party is big, crazy, and very unregulated. Things can get out of control very easily and I think it’s smart to stay with people you know or have met previously at your hostel.
Watch your money and valuables. I had one friend get her phone stolen, and another get her purse stolen on the same night. I would recommend not bringing anything valuable out. Just bring the cash that you will need, your hostel address card, and a camera if you want to take pictures.
Avoid the fire and the ocean. I know, I know, when you’re drunk those blazing jump ropes look like so much fun. Just don’t do it. Is it really worth spending the rest of your vacation in bandages? As far as swimming goes, those waves can be pretty intense at night, and it’s never a smart idea to go swimming in the ocean while under the influence. Let’s use our common sense, guys!
Be Careful Of The Buckets. Buckets are great fun, but they come very strong. Many people share buckets, so it becomes almost impossible to track how much you have had to drink.
Party responsibly. Drugs are a big part of The Full Moon Party as well, but there are obvious risks. If you choose to partake, be aware that many Thai police are well aware of where they are sold, and choose to give foreigners the choice between Thai jail and a hefty bribe.
Overall, Full Moon Party can be a fun and unique experience, if done properly. Just don’t be dumb, and remember that it is a marathon, not a sprint. Pace yourself. But of course, you’re only young once. How many times in your life will you have the opportunity to paint your body neon, dance on stages, and stay up till the sun rises? Dance your heart out, sing till you lose your voice, and wake up covered in sand and last nights body paint. Just make sure you keep a (semi) clear head, and remember, you’re not invincible! (Although it can feel as if you are.)
Have fun and stay safe!