Koh Phangan Full Moon Party has become a world-famous institution, but its ancestral home remains the crescent cove of Haad Rin Beach on the southernmost tip of Phangan Island in Thailand. More than 12 powerful sound systems turn the 800-metre beach into possibly the most popular open-air nightclub in the world once a month, with a lively festival-like atmosphere, great music and huge quantities of alcohol. This one-of-a-kind event is routinely listed on bucket lists as one of the essential experiences in Thailand which absolutely must be seen to be believed.
As many as 30,000 party people gather on the famous strip of sand to party in the glow of the Earth’s nearest celestial neighbour, right through the night and into the dawn. Due to the cost of cleaning up after such carnage, the local community implemented a 100 baht entry fee to access the beach on the night of Koh Phangan Full Moon Party.
Koh Phangan Full Moon Party dates for 2018
- Tuesday 02 January 2018
- Wednesday 31 January 2018
- Friday 02 March 2018
- Saturday 31 March 2018
- Sunday 29 April 2018
- Wednesday 30 May 2018
- Wednesday 27 June 2018
- Sunday 29 July 2018
- Sunday 26 August 2018
- Monday 24 September 2018
- Thursday 25 October 2018
- Thursday 22 November 2018
- Saturday 22 December 2018
- Tuesday 25 December 2018
- Monday 31 December 2018
You can see local and international DJs at the many bars and stages set up on the shoreline, playing anything from dubstep to drum and bass, house to hip-hop, techno to trance and reggae to rock and pop classics. Generally speaking, the beach bars standing on the side of the beach closest to Haad Rin Town play party pop (this is also where you will find the huge flaming swing that anyone is welcome to try) and, as you walk down the beach, the music becomes heavier with more underground dance tracks and heavier bass. It is traditional to paint yourself up in neon bodypaint and there are plenty of UV strip lights around making bodies sparkle and glow through the night.
The beverage of choice is, of course, the ‘bucket’. This consists of a bottle of hard liquor (usually either whiskey, vodka or local sugarcane rum like Sangsom or Hong Thong), a bottle of Red Bull and some ice, occasionally also including mixers to water it down a little. Intended for sharing, the colourful plastic buckets usually have half a dozen straws sticking out them for you and your friends to enjoy them together. They cost about 200-300 baht each and are available almost everywhere.
Koh Phangan Full Moon Party kicks off quite early in the evening, but it is highly recommended to arrive late – about 22:00 at the earliest – if you want to have any hope of making it through to the morning. This is when most people will start turning up and the party will really get into high gear, with fire shows, glow sticks and glow-in-the-dark body paint.
If you need a break from the intense partying, just head to the restaurants in Haad Rin a block back from the beach. There are even designated areas where those who have passed out drunk are gathered together and watched over by police for their own safety and security.
Get Ready to Party
If you are planning to enjoy a Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan, there are certain preparations you should arrange ahead of time. Most of them are pretty obvious:
We recommend that you book a hotel as close to Haad Rin as possible to make it easier for you to get home afterwards. It is possible to stay elsewhere on the island and even on Koh Samui, but closer is always better. Note that the best/closest hotels start getting booked to capacity about a week before the party, so it is best to prepare well in advance.
- Details of your accommodation
Taxis to more remote hotels on Koh Phangan operate throughout the night and boats are available to take you to Koh Samui if you choose to stay there, but trying to explain where you’re staying to the driver when you’ve had a few too many buckets of booze can be a challenge. Snag a few business cards at the front desk of your hotel to make life a lot easier.
- A COPY of your passport
You are legally obliged to carry ID with you in Thailand, but you should definitely not take your actual passport to a Full Moon Party. Leave that locked in your room and just take a photocopy.
Aside from the fact that it’s more fun to party with company, it’s helpful to have people you trust around you so that you can look out for each other.
- Flip flops
It doesn’t take too long for the soft sand of Haad Rin to become littered with broken plastic and glass, both of which can make a mess of unprotected feet. Make sure your footwear is cheap and easily replaceable, though, so that losing it is not a big problem.
There’s a lot of booze and a lot of people partying. Stuff happens – it’s generally best to be prepared for it.
The more hydrated you are, the longer you’ll be able to party and the less painful the hangover will be. It is highly advisable to drink plenty of water before and during the Full Moon Party – perhaps even a small bottle of the stuff between each booze bucket.
With the likelihood of getting black-out drunk quite high and pickpockets known to work the crowd, you should carry as little of value on you as possible. You will naturally need some cash to buy drinks, though, with about 3,000 baht being more than adequate, even if are a big drinker. Make sure it is in small denominations and that you have enough set aside for the taxi back to your hotel.
Most people who go to a Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan have a great and entirely safe time, particularly if they take appropriate precautions. Generally speaking, behaving with the same caution you would exercise if you were going for a night out in your home town should be enough, though there are a few additional hazards to be aware of.
- With such alcohol-fuelled pandemonium, there are bound to be accidents. Health & Safety precautions are almost non-existent at Full Moon Parties, but there are first aid stations along the beach and several pharmacies in town.
- Police search incoming traffic for illegal drugs. Several Hawaiian-shirted police officers wander through the crowd looking for drug offenders, so do not be foolish and ask for trouble. Buckets are powerful enough.
- Speedboats ferrying revellers over from Koh Samui can be dangerously overcrowded, so make sure to wear a lifejacket. For preference, stay in a hotel on Koh Phangan.
- Do not take valuables along, if it can be helped. If you absolutely have to then carry them in tight-fitting clothing as pickpockets are not unknown at these events.
- It gets hot surprisingly quickly after sunrise, so be prepared with sun lotion and protective clothing.
- It is extremely inadvisable to accept any food, drink or other ingestible items offered to you by a stranger.
- If the full moon happens to coincide with a Buddhist holy day, the party will be postponed, usually only by one day. All such holy days are completely dry, with no alcohol sales anywhere in the country.
More about the Full Moon Party
Great Hotel Nearby
The COAST Resort (adult only 16+)
The Coast Resort Koh Phangan is located on the island of Haad Rin Nai, more commonly known as the Sunset Beach in Koh Phangan and is at a distance of 10 km from Thongsala Pier.The resort is just a ten minutes walk from the famous Full Moon Party that is held at the Sunrise Beach in Haad Rin.Several other locations can be easily reached from the resort using the help of tour desk and shuttle service available for the guests at the resort.The Coast Resort has a total of 78 rooms, all designed with modern and futuristic styles and equipped with all the necessary amenities.Air conditioning, smoke detectors and closets are available in all units. Read More...
Great Hotel nearby
Cocohut Village Resort
Cocohut Village Beach Resort & Spa is on beautiful and quiet Leela Beach, about a five-minute walk to Had Rin, better known as the Full Moon Party Beach, Koh Phangan.Actually there is more to this island than just the wild parties as guests can make the most out of their holiday with many water activities and by exploring around the almost unspoiled island.The resort offers a variety of room choices fit for most people budgets and free WiFi in the room such as Beach Front Pool Villas (stylishly furnished and fully equipped with an outdoor bubbling Jacuzzi), Sea View Suites (situated on the double-storey building located on the beach), Junior Pool Villas (a few steps to main pool and the beach), Pool Access Villas (king-sized bed with one living room) and the Hillside Bungalows (set on the hillside with stunning views). Read More...
Koh Phangan Full Moon Party
- Location: Haad Rin Beach