What Is The Full Moon Party?
Thailand's most infamous beach party has been running for nearly three decades and is still the most full-out, bumping wild party anywhere in SE Asia. The party that started out as a campfire and a few beers and joints on the beach has evolved into a festival of boozy buckets, fire shows, glow paint, drugs and EDM music. Why the name full moon party? You guessed it didn’t you - it takes place during the full moon of each month.
The main event, the Full Moon party that everyone talks about, rages on Haad Rin Beach in the south of the island of Koh Phangan. It’s become so popular that Half Moon, Quarter Moon, and Black Moon parties are thrown on some of Koh Phangan’s other beaches to keep up with the demand. Basically, the island is a constant party.
The true Full Moon Party is the experience you want to make if you can. With crowds reaching up to 40,000, the dancing, drinking, and adrenaline (illicit chemical or not) fueled night won’t end until the sun comes up and is something we hope you won’t forget.
Here’s what you need to know to make sure your Full Moon Party experience is epic.
When To Go
The Party typically falls somewhere in the middle of the month but Buddhist holidays will sometimes change the schedule of the party if they happen to fall on the same day. Find a full list of dates for the upcoming parties here.
The atmosphere is about fun, carefree, youthful indulgences. The music is loud, the drinks flow heavily, and painted, intoxicated people are abundant. The party is about having fun and has a decent reputation for being about just that. Always make sure to look after yourself though. Drinks spikers, thieves and sometimes sexual deviants try to ruin the night.
Places to Crash
You may have heard it before, if you want to stay in Haad Rin you have to get there early. Minimum 3 days early. The chance of showing up the day of the party and getting accommodation is just not going to happen. Many of the hotels and guest houses make a mandatory stay of 3-5 nights during this time, so arriving early makes sense. Get a place, lay low and explore the island until the big party - or just party for an entire week - your call really, just get there early.
There will be drugs. Illegal drugs, punishable by a prison sentence in Thailand, are common at full moon parties. Undercover police are known to walk the beaches offering drugs to party-goers and then arresting them when a transaction is made. Most police don’t really want to put you in prison for taking a pill or smoking a joint. What they do want is a bribe. If you do decide to take drugs, know the risks and be ready to spend a good amount of money $500-$1500 USD to get out of the situation or face being arrested.