One of the world’s most famous nights of booze, music, and tripping-the-light-fantastic is the Full Moon Party in Thailand’s Koh Pangan island— specifically in the crescent-shaped Haad Rin beach, which coincides, quite obviously, with the month’s most beautiful and mesmerizing full moon.
How they got the party started
It all started with a bunch of foreign tourists who had an epiphany, most probably a drunken one, that Koh Pangan was blessed with the most awe-inspiring full moon. And what better way to celebrate this wonder than to throw a full-blown full-moon party. The rest, as they say, is history.
Nowadays, approximately 20,000 people visit the beaches of Haad Rin in order to partake in this quasi-cultural phenomenon, which in some ways can also be considered as an initiation of sorts to the fun, but at times seedy, world of bohemian beach lifestyle.
The Full Moon Party kicks off at dusk and revs all the way until sunrise. Audiophiles are given a wide array of musical choices from trance, drum and bass, house, reggae, techno, and even pop. Sightseers have a lot to take in as well since the beach is saturated with all sorts of visual delights from lamps and lanterns of all shapes and sizes, fireworks displays, and various performers form fire-eaters to fire dancers, and even jugglers. And who would forget about the booze, offered in mind-blowing varieties all in reasonable prices?
The key to exhaust what the Full Moon Party has to offer is to let all inhibitions go and be hell bent on having a memorable beachside revelry.
Keeping the night safe
The Full Moon party can get a bit too rough and rowdy. Imagine the mixture of frenetic crowd by the hundreds, booze by the buckets, and music amplified and beckoning, and what you understandably get is a potential recipe for a rueful-morning-after. That can be avoided, though, by doing some of these precautionary tips.
- Have enough money—3000 baht is more than sufficient, to cover not only booze but potential emergencies. Make sure to store portions of your party allowance inside different pockets. Call it the staggered money-safekeeping method.
- Thai law may require an identification card, especially from foreigners, so make sure to have a copy of your id during the party. There are safety lockers for rent in various Haad Rin establishments such as hotels and travel agencies, and you can utilize this service to safeguard your valuables such as your original ids, passport, and the likes.
- As much as possible, attend the party in the company of trusted friends. If you are on a solo backpacking adventure, at least find some trustworthy acquaintances before braving the full moon frenzy.
- Wear comfortable clothes. Pay special attention to your footwear. There can be lots of broken bottles on the beach so it’s crucial to don slippers or sandals with reliable soles.
- Do not bring unnecessary gadgets which you may potentially lose in the midst of intoxicated dancing.
- Should you bring a bag, make sure to pick one which you can easily strap on your shoulder and hug in front of your chest. Hand bags are definitely a bad idea.
- Be proactive. Bring a pack of condoms lest the night gets all too steamy and crabby if you get what I mean.
- Do not buy drugs. You can never, ever, anticipate a buy-bust operation from power-tripping Thai police in plain clothes.
2012’s Party Calendar
As early as two weeks before each month’s Full Moon Party, the island of Koh Pangan offers all types of pre-Full Moon events and activities. From sporting events like Beach Football, Volleyball, and Thai Boxing, to pool parties, the extensive list of things-to-do creates no room for island ennui. Therefore it is recommended to be on the island weeks or at least days prior to the Full Moon event. Also, it is best for tourists to book accommodations within the island since transportation can be a bit of a nuisance for those who stay in the neighboring islands such as Koh Samui—such arrangement will require you to rent a boat to-and-from Koh Pangan for the party. Meanwhile, those with accommodations within the island can either rent a taxi or walk—depending on their hotel’s proximity to the venue, to the Haad Rin beach.
This year’s remaining Full Moon parties are scheduled on September 30, October 30, November 28, and December 25, 28, and 31.
About The Author: Amy J. is a wannabe globetrotter who works at High Class Travel New York, a businessclassairlineconsolidator. She has also learned a thing or two from her hard-partying ways and is now a mellower soul who usually calls it a night after a couple of drinks.