If you are young, energetic, like partying until sunrise, getting drunk on cheap booze and dancing to incredibly loud music, then the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan will definitely be for you!
During every full moon, thousands of young, party loving backpackers travel from, not just Koh Samui but all over the world, to the town of Haad Rin on the neighbouring island of Koh Phangan for a night of chaotic partying and hedonism at the world famous Full Moon Party.
The origins of The Full Moon Party are somewhat unclear but the event is thought to have started when a group of friends wanted to celebrate the natural beauty of the full moon with a small party on Haad Rin beach. In the early 1990’s, Sunrise Bungalows, which are located right on the beach at Haad Rin, started to host the party as a monthly event. Nearly twenty years later the Full Moon Party has grown into in a mile long beach party, which is one of the largest and most legendary on the whole planet.
Over the years, as the Full Moon Party has evolved, the event has changed. Today, it is not so much a party but more like a big rave, similar to other dance events around the world such as Creamfields, Global Gathering or Glade; the main difference being the Full Moon Party happens for one night only, right on the beach.
The music played at the Full Moon Party is also similar to these other events so expect hard house, dance, drum and bass, plenty of electronic beats and a bit of hip-hop thrown in for good measure; all of which are played at ear splitting levels.
On top of the banging music and masses of people, also thrown into the mix are fire shows, jugglers and plenty of booze. For some this helps to create the most amazing party atmosphere, but be warned, things are nothing short of chaotic!
As for the booze, the Full Moon Party is home to the famous drinks known as ‘buckets’. These basically consist of a bottle of cheap Thai whisky, a bottle of Thai Red Bull or another energy drink, a can of Coke or Sprite and plenty of ice, which are all then poured into the small bucket to create one pretty powerful drink.
Health and Safety
Generally the atmosphere at the Full Moon Party is fun and friendly, despite being chaotic at times. However, going to the Full Moon Party, as with any other large music event or festival, isn’t without its dangers.
Unfortunately, instances of theft, drug taking and irresponsible drinking are all too common. Therefore, it is advisable not to take anything of any value to the Full Moon Party and care should also be taken when drinking ‘buckets’ due to the alcohol and caffeine content of these types of drinks.
Because Thai Red Bull is so much stronger (sometimes up to 20 times as strong) than similar drinks which are available in other countries; people are often not aware of the stress this can put their body under. This can cause the body to react badly and at worse, can even cause a heart attack.
Also, if you visit the Full Moon Party it is important that you never accept drinks from strangers as you have no idea what might be in it. Also, NEVER take illegal drugs at the Full Moon Party or anywhere else in Thailand, as the authorities here have very strict laws when it comes to illegal drugs and if you are caught taking or selling them, you could be looking at a lengthy prison sentence.
Finally, if you do intend to drink buckets at the Full Moon Party, then make sure you drink plenty of water as dehydration amongst party goers is also another major problem.
Travelling to the Full Moon Party from Koh Samui
Many young people, who visit the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan, stay on Koh Samui and travel over to the party on the evening of the event itself. Travelling to Koh Phangan from Koh Samui is fairly straightforward, with the journey taking about 45 minutes by boat.
On the night of the Full Moon Party there are extra boat services put to on to transport people between the two islands. Most of these boats tend to leave Samui from the pier at Bang Rak (Big Buddha Beach) or from Maenam.
To purchase a ticket for one of these boats, the easiest option is to visit one of the islands many tour operators who will be able to sell you a ticket. However, you should be aware that sometimes, more tickets are sold for these boats than there are actual seats available. This can lead to long queues forming as people wait to board a boat. On some occasions, it has even led to the boats being dangerously overcrowded.
Tickets can cost anywhere in the region of 500 and 1000 Baht, with prices varying depending on the type of boat you travel on or if you buy the ticket as part of a package deal.
Sweeney Todd’s Tour and Travel Agency, in Bophut are a well run and reliable agency who should be able to help you with your travel arrangements to Koh Phangan. Here are their contact details:
Sweeney Todd’s Tour and Travel Agency
Address: 33/2 Moot Bophut, Koh Samui, 84320
Tel: 088 4480546
Other ‘Moon’ Parties
Due to the popularity of the Full Moon Party, recent years has seen the emergence of other ‘moon’ themed parties on both Koh Samui and Koh Phangan. The Half Moon Party and Black Moon Party are now regular fixtures in the party calendar.
Samui’s Black Moon Party, are held when there is an absence of the moon in the lunar calendar. The party itself is held at Chaweng Lake View, which has a capacity for approximately 4000 people. Some of the world’s leading DJ’s have played at the Black Moon Party, including Brandon Block, Judge Jules and Timo Maas.