The Most Famous Beach Rave in The World
From the fire dancers, the flaming jump rope, the crazy people watching and the drugs sold all around you, this party is not to be missed.
Located on the famous Haad Rin Beach on the island of Ko Pha Ngan, the Full Moon Party is truly the most epic beach party you will ever attend.
Though this party is not for all, it is surely worth attending just to witness the enthusiasm of a Thailand party at its best.
So What Is So Special About The Full Moon Party?
The legend is that the Full Moon Party came about in the late 80’s when a few backpackers threw a birthday party for their friend during the full moon. The party was such a success that they came back to do it again the following year, and slowly the word spread and it became a monthly event.
Though it started out very small and similar to the parties held every Sunday night on Little Beach in Maui, Hawaii, the party has since grown to over 40,000 people attending each month.
Now it has become a rave-like festival, consisting of many drugs, sex, loud music and all sorts of fire-dancing entertainment.
But ironically, the party its self was pretty safe.
Though I’d made new friends that I attended the party with, I’m still a solo female traveler and run a safety risk where ever I go.
Throughout the night I did not witness one fight, argument or debauchery that is typically consistent with the raves in North America.
Here are some tips to ensure you have the BEST Full Moon Party experience possible:
Make friends on the Ferry Ride Over
Whether you’re coming from Surat Thani town or Ko Samui, everyone on the ferry is headed to the full moon party. The average ferry ride to Ko Pha Ngan is about 2.5 hours. This give plenty of opportunity to connect with some new people, take a few pictures and make friends for party.
I was traveling solo on this trip to Ko Pha Ngan, and made friends from Chile, Canada and Thailand, each of whom individually contributed to the amazing experience I had during my one week stay on the island.
They also had my back, and as a solo female traveler, we all know how important that can be.
Where to Stay
Directly on Haad Rin beach will be noisy, however just slightly back from the beach is pretty peaceful and secluded.
I stayed at the Palita Lodge on Haad Rin, and found it to be just close enough to the beach so I didn't have to walk very far all alone in the dark, and just far enough away to let the trade winds and ocean waves drown out the sounds of celebration.
The Lodge also offers a full menu of great food. I ended up eating most of my meals there as I didn't have to withdraw as many Baht to do so, and could add it to the room charge. The hotel was friendly and attentive, but do stick to their rule of no outside liquor allowed in the restaurant area (rare in Thailand).
DON’T Start Drinking Too Early
The goal of the full moon party is to last until dawn, and with all of the opportunities to catch a buzz around you, it’s definitely a challenge.
I wast past four people passed out in the middle of the beach sitting straight up, and it was only around 11pm.
The temptations are there but keep in mind: slow and steady wins the race.
Stay Calm and Drink Buckets
You’ll see this sign all over the Full Moon Party. The irony is that what’s provided in the bucket is hardly a product that keeps you calm.
What the &*%$ is a bucket, you ask? Essentially, it’s a half gallon sized bucket similar to the ones you make sand castles with, filled with a pint of your choice alcohol, a mixer and Thailand’s version of a Red Bull.
So what’s the big deal?
The big deal is this countries version of Red Bull; it’s made with Ephedra, the same substance used to make methamphetamine. Ephedra has been prohibited over the counter in North America for years, but Thailand still sells it rampantly.
The problem is this: You’re likely already dehydrated from the sunshine, humidity and alcohol. When you add their version of the Red Bull like substance to your cocktail, you’re actually cancelling out the conscious effects of the alcohol and adding entirely too much ‘speed’ to your system.
People have been known to overdose on both the alcohol and the “Red Bull” at this party simply because they can’t feel the struggle that is actually going on inside their body.
My best advice? Drink the buckets; limit yourself to three over the night and skip the ‘Red Bull’ altogether. Your adrenaline will already be pumping from the music and the energy at the party, you can maintain throughout the night on your own.
Hydrate As Often As Possible
You’re on the beach. It’s humid. You’re drinking alcohol. You’re probably still jet lagged, and we all know how dehydrating that can be. Believe me; you’ll thank me the next morning.
About the Drugs
So, you’re on vacation. You’re attending a beach rave. You want to get high, right? Wrong. All drugs are illegal in Thailand and penalties can get you thrown into a very unsettling prison.
Tourists often fall victim to the most frequent trap: someone offering to sell you drugs and turning right around and reporting you to the police for a quick baht. Though the police prefer not to throw you in jail for smoking a joint because of the hassle and paperwork, they sure will hold you and harass you while you negotiate a bribe as your get-out-of-jail-free card, potentially costing you thousands of US dollars.
If someone is walking around yelling free cocaine and ecstasy!…think about it people, who has such an abundance of drugs they just give it away to thousands of strangers for free? Drug dealers would be out of business in minutes. Don’t accept it, it’s a trap.
If you do decide to take drugs and are dumb enough to do it in public, be prepared for any random local to rat you out for a reward. Hey, can you blame them? You as a tourist are a dime a dozen, and you’re in their territory now.
They only have something to gain.
YOU have a lot to lose.
The Flaming Jump Rope
This is pretty cool, to watch. It’s self-explanatory; a long rope soaked in gasoline and caught on fire.
Crazy idea, right?
It’s dangerous as hell. Often the people experimenting with it are already intoxicated enough they’ve set aside their better judgement. Too many people have been known to miss a jump or extend an arm out too far, the flaming rope wrapping around their bodies and causing brutal 1st degree burns.
And Toto, you’re not in America anymore. Do you really want to make a visit to the hospital under these self-preventative circumstances?
Some Other Less-Obvious Party Tips
Wear foot wear – there’s broken glass everywhere on the beach.
Leave your belongings at the hotel – You’re going out to get drunk, don’t take your passport and iPhone, you’re going to lose it. Just take your key, cash, and whatever device you have as a camera.
Stay out of the ocean – not only is there broken bottles and trash everywhere during the party, but it’s like a giant toilet! Everyone uses it for that. Stay out, it’s gross.
7-11 sells everything in Thailand, and its way cheaper than buying your drinks and accessories on the beach.
What Stuff Costs
Meals: 120 baht
Buckets: 200-400 baht
Beer: 80-100 baht
Toilets: 5-20 baht
Body Paint: 150 baht
Cigarettes: 80 baht
Average hotel rates: 1000-2500 baht nightly, most have a min 5 night stay
Taxi: 40-100 baht
Bottle Water: 20 baht
Ferry ticket: 200 baht
Souvenirs: 100 baht
My friends and I decided to buy the paint and do it ourselves. It was actually a lot more fun and we got a chance to be very creative with it!
When is the Full Moon Party?
As the name would suggest, it is held each month on the full moon. However, if you can’t make it there is always a half moon party, quarter moon and black moon party. As Nomadic Matt states: Every night is a party on Koh Pha Ngan.
This party is truly amazing and not to be missed, but can be very dangerous if not done correctly.
For questions or concerns about planning your trip to Thailand or tips on the Full Moon Party, send me a message! I’d be happy to help you have the most amazing experience possible on the Island of Koh Pha Ngan.
Let Your Dreams Take Flight!
Watch My Latest Travel & Volunteer Videos!
Located on the Island of Koh Samui, this beach front hotel is only $30 USD a night! Click to find out what it includes!