Thailand’s Full Moon Party at Haad Rin Beach in Koh Phangan has become a bucket-list event for party-mad travellers from all over the world. That said – if you’re going to attend one festivity during your time in Thailand, this is the one.
Fluorescent paint, fire dancers and a magical atmosphere to match, there’s never a dull moment on this beach. So if this sounds like your kind of night, here’s how to do the Full Moon Party the right way.
The Full Moon Party
It may be hard to believe but Thailand’s Full Moon Party hasn’t always been the world-famous event it is today. Before the hordes of tourists hit Thailand’s shores, it was more of a low-key affair which saw a small ground of people huddled around a bonfire appreciating the monthly spectacle – the full moon.
Nowadays, the party is quite the opposite, and by that we mean 20,000 people covered in neon body paint dancing the night away to electro beats under the stars.
After its popularity, other destinations have followed suit, with their very own versions of the Full Moon Party, but Thailand’s still holds the crown for being the original party spot.
When it takes place
Suggested through the name, the Full Moon Party takes place every month on the night of the fullest moon. However, if for some reason you can’t make it, there’s also a half-moon, quarter-moon and a special New Year’s Eve party if you happen to be there on the 31st December.
When to go
It’s always a good idea to plan your trip around the Full Moon Party, by that we mean making sure you give yourself a few days on the island before the day of the event. This way, you won’t be left feeling tired from all the travelling and you’ll be able to enjoy the party to its fullest.
In terms of weather, Thailand has a monsoon season, which means frequent showers are likely. This usually lasts from June to October, so we suggest travelling outside of these months if you want to avoid any chances of rainfall.
What to take
It’s best not to take any valuables to the party if you’re worried about losing them. If you must take anything of worth, we suggest investing in a bumbag. This will be your partying saviour as you can clip your most prized possessions around your waist.
This is also a great place to store money, and you’ll need to take a fair bit of cash with you as you’ll need to pay for most things on the island including the toilets. Plus, prices tend to be a little pricier here compared to the rest of Thailand.
The best time to go
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Thailand’s Full Moon Party starts around sunset and lasts until the afternoon of the following day. But if you want to kick things off early there are plenty of bars close to the beach and pre-party events where you can head first before hitting the main event.
However, if you prefer to go to the party a bit later, the sand doesn’t start to fill up until around 9pm and quieten down again until 3am. Who knows, if you arrive later you might even get to witness Thailand’s stunning sunrise.
You can get to the Full Moon Party from all parts of Thailand, but with no airport on the island, there’s only one way to reach Koh Phangan, and that’s by ferry. Koh Samui and Koh Tao are the closest resorts – around 40 minutes across the water.
However, with a huge amount of hotels in Thailand’s popular Krabi, Khao Lak, Phuket and Bangkok resorts, you can catch a bus or plane to Koh Samui as well. Trust us – this event is worth the distance.
You don’t need to worry about getting back either because boats run through the night, so you certainly won’t be left stranded. Plus, speedboats are regular so booking one on the day shouldn’t be a problem, but if you want to be on the safe side booking in advance is an option too.
If the journey is too long, those staying further away can always book accommodation in Koh Phangan for one night only, just be aware that hotels on the island are in high-demand so we advise booking in advance.
Until recently it was free to enter the Full Moon Party, but now it comes with a 100 baht charge – which is about £2. There are a number of entry points when you get there, so getting in shouldn’t be a problem.
Dress for the occasion
The Full Moon Party encourages party-goers to dress up for the event, typically in something neon. You’ll find stalls selling ‘Full Moon Party’ tops when you get there, or if you want to go prepared there’s plenty of shops across Thailand where you can pick them up beforehand.
If you don’t get chance to grab something neon, don’t worry, you can always get into the spirit of things with some UV body paint. With shops dotted around Haad Rin alongside body paint artists and accessories in the form of head gear and jewellery – it won’t be long before you fit in with the theme of things.
With drinks being served on the beach it’s also a good idea to wear shoes which cover the majority of your feet, so sandals rather than flip-flops.
Now, you’ve got all the essential information – make the Full Moon Party part of your Thailand experience and take a look at our fantastic Scene holidays.