When exploring Asia last year, one of us (Stuart), really wanted to experience the Full Moon Party. I felt indifferent about it, so I was happy to go with the flow and see what it was all about. I ended up having a great time and enjoyed it far more than I thought I would! Below are some tips to help you have the best party experience
1. Book Accommodation
Koh Phangan gets extremely busy when the Full Moon is on, which means that hotels get booked up and the prices rise with popularity. If you know you’re definitely going to be there, make sure to book in advance to ensure you have somewhere to stay. A lot of places will have a minimum stay, but if you find somewhere cheap enough you can just leave early, like we did. The party is on Haad Rin Beach, so it’s best to look for accommodation within walking distance or a short journey from the beach.
2. Arrive a Couple of Days Earlier
Getting to Koh Phangan requires some planning. From Bangkok, you need fly to Koh Samui; this is the coolest airport, but the island itself is extremely touristy. I recommend spending little time in Koh Samui before catching the ferry to Koh Phangan. Arriving early allows for any delays in your travel itinerary and gives you a chance to suss out the island and, in particular, Haad Rin Beach.
3. Get in to the Spirit
Half of the fun is the build-up. Make sure you have a relaxing day and pick up supplies for the night ahead. Almost every shop will be selling Full Moon merchandise and neon clothing. To really get into the party mood make sure you buy some bright clothes and body paint.
4. It’s a Marathon Not a Sprint
On a normal night out, I’m bedded by 2am, but I might start drinking around 7pm. If you want to see the Full Moon through to end, you don’t want to start drinking until later in the night. We started getting ready around 9pm, drinking at 10pm and we got to the Full Moon around midnight, where we stayed until 7am.
5. Take Minimal Belongings
There are thousands and thousands of people at this party, most of whom are quite drunk, so it’s the ideal situation for pick pockets. In advance, Christine and I bought bright shorts, which had a hidden zipped pocket, where we could keep a small amount of money. In the end I decided to bring my phone, but if you do decide to take anything make sure that you have somewhere secure to keep it.
6. Buy Buckets before the Beach
If you’ve seen any photos of the Full Moon before, I’m sure you noticed the buckets that people drink from – these are everywhere at the Full Moon. We ventured to Haad Rin Beach the night before the big party and decided to try one. They are on display with spirits and mixer, placed inside, unopened. Straight away I noticed that the bottles inside the buckets were branded, but that everything was being poured behind the scenes and that what was advertised was not what we were getting. However, if you buy your buckets before you get to the beach, they are cheaper, and you are more likely get what you’re paying for.
7. Don’t Jump the Rope
The whole evening is crazy and not just with the amount of people and the fact that you’re dancing on a beach until 7am. With everyone’s bright clothing and plenty of things on fire, it can appear very exciting, but don’t be fooled. There is a skipping rope, which is engulfed in flames and people jump it! Now, I can see why after a few drinks people might think this was a good idea, but believe me, when you see everyone the next day covered in bandages, you’ll be glad you were just a spectator!
8. Stay Hydrated
It’s a long night of dancing and drinking, so make sure, especially towards the second half of the night, that you keep hydrated. It will help you survive the party and hopefully the next day too!
9. Stay until the End
You’re at one of the most famous parties in the world, make sure to stay until the sun comes up, to ensure that you’ve completed the full, Full Moon experience.
10. Leave Koh Phangan
As much fun as the Full Moon is, get out of there the minute that it’s over. Koh Phangan is nice, but there are more beautiful islands to recover and relax on. We left for the ferry straight after the party and caught a boat to Koh Tao. We were exhausted when we got there, but it was made easier by our serene private pool. I couldn’t think of anything worse than another day of drunken British people, whilst nursing a hangover.
Don’t leave Koh Phangan without a cheese toastie from 7/11 – these will do wonders for your hangover! Eh Stuart?!