Full Moon is fast approaching so it is time to get prepared for what’s in store! Once a month, under a full moon sky, thousands of revellers descend on to the idyllic island of Koh Phangan for its infamous Full Moon Party. A party like no other, it is crucial to prepare your body and mind for the experience of a lifetime. Here we have compiled some top tips into a Full Moon Party Survival Guide:
GET IN THE SPIRIT
Where else in the world can you dance until dawn with 50,000 other party goers, dressed in neon and body paint, drinking cheap alcohol out of buckets? Ok, maybe a few places, but while many have tried to replicate Koh Phangan’s Full Moon Party, none have come close to matching what Phangan has to offer. Embrace the energy of the full moon and feel the love of the island.
Although it may feel strange wearing shoes on the beach, it feels even more strange to have a piece of glass stuck in your foot. Many bars serve bottles of beer which end up broken on the beach, so to avoid that dreaded trip to the clinic it best to keep your feet covered!
LEAVE YOUR VALUABLES LOCKED AWAY
While we hate to admit it, there are people who will steal your belongings when given the opportunity. It’s also very easy to lose your phone, wallet, camera, dignity, when you are enjoying your second vodka redbull bucket. Take the money that you plan on spending and leave your passports, credit cards, etc. locked away at your hostel.
Entry to the Full Moon Party is 100 baht if you’re not staying in Haad Rin and a taxi to/from Ban Tai or Thongsala costs 100 baht each way. Buckets average between 150 – 350 baht and beers are typically 70 – 100 baht. To save a bit of money, buy your body paint from the local shops and DIY, or you are looking at spending between 200 – 500 baht to get someone else to do it for you.
DON’T DRINK THE ALCOHOL SOLD ON THE BEACH
Avoid this alcohol at all costs! Not only is most of it ‘fake’ alcohol that can make you extremely ill, but the hangovers the next day are beyond brutal. Trust me on this one. If you want to enjoy your night, buy your drinks from one of the bars on the main road (they also sell buckets) or grab your own bucket and bottle of alcohol from 7/11.
SAY NO TO PLASTIC STRAWS
When possible, please say no to plastic straws. Bucket vendors have a terrible habit of loading buckets up with 5+ straws which end up getting washed into the ocean the next day. They do a great job at cleaning the beach following the party but when you can, please be conscious of the mess you are leaving behind. They do have trash bins across the beach, so use them!
KEEP YOUR FRIENDS CLOSE
And if you don’t have friends, make some! The Full Moon is best celebrated with the ones you love, embracing the energy that comes from the moon being full and the joyous celebration of being young, wild and in Thailand. It is also advisable for safety reasons, so arrange a meeting point and make sure everyone’s got a way to contact one another just in case. I always advise visitors to purchase a Thai sim card (300 baht with credit) so if you do end up getting lost and unable to get wifi you can make a phone call.
EXPERIENCE THE ISLAND
Koh Phangan has been my home for three years so I may be a bit biased in saying that this island is one of the most stunning and magical islands in Thailand. The Full Moon party isn’t for everyone, so make sure you utilise your time here and really embrace the island and all it has to offer. Visit the beaches in the north, feed your inner adrenaline junkie by visiting The Challenge or Slip n Fly, party all night at one of KP’s most incredible party venues at the Jungle Experience (the night before the Full Moon Party), take a yoga class, go for a day trip around the island, or perhaps stay in the festive spirit with a booze cruise! There is so much on offer here so don’t leave without experiencing at least some of it! A word of warning though, once you experience the magic of the island you may never want to leave!
This should go without saying, but you would be surprised at how many people I’ve witnessed being ‘that tourist’. You know the one I mean, the loud, drunk, rude one who thinks it is funny to make fun of the locals or demand discounts on absolutely everything (I’ve even seen people ask for discounts on a 50 baht Pad Thai…). Remember that you are a guest on this island and in this beautiful country, so relax and go with the flow. The island is very different to places like Bangkok; it is very uncommon for tourists to get ripped off by travel offices and taxi drivers, but if you are ever in doubt about the price of anything ask the staff at your hostel, they know best.
DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE
You wouldn’t do it at home, so don’t do it here. Please. We see way too many accidents on the island each month and you really don’t want to be having bandage tan lines now do you? But not just the minor scrapes, we have seen far too many fatalities from reckless driving so save yourself (literally) and get a taxi when you plan on drinking. That being said, if you’ve never driven a scooter before KP is NOT the place to learn. Ever heard of a Koh Phangan tattoo? It’s not the kind you want to get. I would also advise sober drivers to stay off the roads as they are extremely dangerous on Full Moon Party night.
BOOK YOUR HOTELS/HOSTELS IN ADVANCE
Accommodations book out super early for the Full Moon party week with many places having a 3 – 5 night minimum stay. This is normal and honestly, you’re going to want those extra days to take part in all the activities. Don’t expect to get off the boat and find a place. You could be walking for hours in the heat and that’s never fun. Or you could end up sleeping on the beach (which I do not recommend at all by the way)! Have a large group? Why not take advantage of Phangan’s stunning villas that can sleep up to 8 guests.
It may go without saying that your head may feel a little bit sore after the party so make sure to relax the next day, have a fresh coconut (filled with electrolytes, these babies will save you), treat yourself to a massage and jam out by the pool. Look after yourself the next day so you can get on with your travels in a fit and fighting state.
HAVE THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE
This may be your first and last ever Full Moon Party so make the most of it! For an even better experience book a Full Moon Party Package which will include your accommodation at a guaranteed amazing hostel, plus activities to get you out and about the island. You can check ours out here.