The Full Moon Party, Thailand

The Full Moon Party, Ko Phangan – one of the most famous parties in the world. It’s a party where backpackers from all over the globe come to celebrate. It was not to be missed, the year was 2010 and it was going to be an actual full moon over the New Year for the first time in thirty years.

We geared up for the ultimate beach party and hit the bars for beers. There were drunken backpackers roaming everywhere, every bar was full, once we had a few drinks we soon found ourselves painted in florescent colours, the war paint for the party animal. We got to the beach and it was raving, it was immense.

Full Moon Party

You could pick out the people who were too drunk to make it to midnight; some were already passed out with their heads buried in the sand. I guess some had paid to visit the infamous mushroom mountain which was only located at the end of the beach.

We all bought buckets of alcohol, that’s right – buckets. Alcohol was served strongly with a high-energy (containing speed) drink as a mixer. The alcohol was poured in from a 150ml bottle of local whisky or vodka. It was strong. After weeks of drinking in Thailand, I had concluded that two buckets are enough to get you hammered, surpass that amount and you’re going home early.

It was a truly awesome experience to dance in the moonlight and see the fire entertainers along with the sparkle of the sea. It was a stimulating place to be. The atmosphere was perfect. There were so many people that you could barely see the sand. Everyone partied together; backpackers had the love for one another. It wasn’t hard to get lost from your friends but it wasn’t hard to make new ones for the night either!

Full Moon Party

The hours went and as usual, I got too drunk to notice when it actually became the New Year. I was still raving in the early hours of the morning, the beach gradually cleared and you would see many passed out in the sand, they would be there for the night.

I got back to the hotel room to find my friends gradually come back one by one. We had all split up and had a different night each. It was an incredible experience, the best way to start a new year. Things like this really are once in a lifetime.

How did it start?

Legend is that in 1987 a group of backpacking hippies threw a birthday party, as you can guess it was on a full moon. It began with a bit of guitar music, a little weed and some beers. It was so good that they did it again the following year, then again the next month and then word spread and more people joined. It blew up the 90s along with the rave scene. The crowds gathered, by the new millennium it was common backpacker knowledge.

When is it?

The party is on the night of the full moon, obviously. There’s also the Half-Moon Party, Quarter Moon Party, and Black Moon Party. Really, every night there is a party on the beach in Haad Rin on in Ko Phangan Island.

The party is on the night of the full moon, obviously. There’s also the Half-Moon Party, Quarter Moon Party, and Black Moon Party. Really, every night there is a party on the beach in Haad Rin on in Ko Phangan Island. You can check out the schedule here.


Stay out of the ocean: It’s just not a good idea to play in the ocean on this night. You could be another casualty abroad to make the papers back on, besides everyone uses the ocean as their personal toilet during the party.

Wear footwear: It’s the beach I get it, but partying on the beach without footwear means you’ll probably step on broken beer bottles and other sharp objects. It’s the most common injury going, and then you’ll have to call your insurance company (if you have any!).

Personal belongings: Theft is common at the party. Bring as little as possible. Bring enough money for drinks and your room key and a camera, but be cautious and responsible!

Sleeping on the beach: Don’t be one of those fools who pass out on the beach, you’ll probably get robbed if you have anything on you. If you’re a girl then you should really know better, don’t just assume it’s safe.

Magic Mushrooms: If you’re going to do them, do them on another night which isn’t so busy. You’ll get paranoid at the party and your experience won’t be as good!

Book your accommodation well ahead – The hostels near Haad Rin beach where the party is will fill up fast. It’s not just the backpackers who flock here, many come just for a 2 week holiday.


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