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Nov 15 2014

My Full Moon Party Experience

 

My Full Moon Party Experience

In June 2011, I experienced the Thailand Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan. I went with my now, wife and another couple. We choose to stay on the Island before the Full Moon Party to experience the before parties and see what Koh Phangan had to offer.

Our trip started off in Koh Samui where we boarded a Ferry which took us to Thong Sala Pier in Koh Phangan. There are many ferries to choose from but we opted to book something in Koh Smaui from our Hotel. These were not the cheapest options but it was easy and including a Taxi to the pier. We were initially concerned about getting sea sick but the ferry was very calm and we had no issues. We used Lomprayah Ferry which only took about 20 minutes once we took off.


We arrived at the Thong Sala pier which is about a 20-25 minute taxi drive to Haad Rin beach where the Full Moon Party is held. Accommodation on Koh Phangan sells out quickly around the Full and Half Moon Party dates and unfortunately on this occasion everything close to Haad Rin Beach was booked out. We ended up finding a family run bungalow-type resort on the beach in Thong Sala. There was the choice of a room with a fan or a room with air conditioning for a little extra. I highly recommend to anyone looking at doing this to pay the extra for the room with air conditioning. The resort itself was not the greatest looking place and the location in Thong Sala had nothing to offer but it was a bed. The beach was full of rocks and did not look great to swim in. I have since seen that a big upgrade was done to the resort including new/more rooms and a swimming pool.

Like I have said above the Thong Sala location did not have anything to offer. There were 2 bars, a 7/11 and a couple restaurants. The biggest regret I had about the whole experience was that we did not book early enough to find a room near Haad Rin beach. The other thing about booking a room on Koh Phangan for the Full Moon Party is that they often have conditions on a minimum stay. Where we stayed there was a 3 night minimum for bookings but we did see some places required a minimum of 7 nights for a booking.

We did end up venturing into Haad Rin for one of the before Full Moon Parties and discovered Haad Rin was defiantly the place to be. There were parties in just about every resort; the beach came to life at night with cheap Bucket drinks, body paintings, fire spinners and so much more. We got to know the area and ended having an early night to get prepared for the Full Moon Party the next night.

Full-Moon-Party-koh-phangan

The next night was the night I had been so excited about for such a long time. It was the night I was going to experience the famous Thailand Full Moon Party. There was a wait for Taxi’s from the resort as everyone had booked Taxi’s to get to Haad Rin. Pre-drinks were going down well and then it was our turn to jump in the taxi and get lost in the festivities. I remember feeling like a child before Christmas and the taxi trip felt like it would never end. Then we could hear the loud music, see the lights and all the people making their way to the beach.

Once we arrived we paid for our entry, received our wrist bands and were off, straight to the beach to get a “bucket drink”. It was a struggle to get to the beach as there were so many people around and narrow paths were highly crowded. Once we got to the beach we found many “stations” where you can get body painted, stalls selling all things fluorescent, Bars, stages, fire spinners/dancers and even sleep/rest stations for thoughts who had too much to drink. Within minutes we were all covered in body paint, we had bought all the fluorescent gear we could get and had our first drink

We met a foreigner who was working at one of the bars and told us a couple tips. Do not purchase a drink unless the bar person will open a new bottle in front of you and do not buy drugs from anyone as most of them are undercover policemen. We ended up buying most of our drinks from the bar he was at, and without a doubt they would open the bottle in front of you. The Bucket drinks were very strong and very big. There was one occasion where the bar this man was working at was too busy so I went to another bar. At this stage we were a little loose so forgot about the opening the bottle in front of you. Once handed the drink, I discovered that there was no – to – very little alcohol in it. A common thing to occur is that the drinks will be watered-down, watching someone open the bottle proves it has not been tampered with.

Full moon party bucket

The beach is very big, there were multiple DJ’s and stages playing different music and the number of people started to increase. We were approached by many Thai people trying to sell drugs but we used the approach of just ignoring them. There is a lot in the way of entertainment on offer including “Happy Gas” stations, cafes that sold Magic Mushroom shakes and many food stalls to keep hunger at bay. Parties were going on in many of the resorts and hotels surrounding the Beach, some of which required an invitation and other where you could just join.

Unfortunately the Full Moon Party was not as I expected.. It was not “Thailand”. The Thailand I know is full of friendly people, smiles (thus the “Land of Smiles” nickname), very little violence and just a generally happy environment. But at the Full Moon Party there were fights everywhere you went, My GF (Thai national) and I were looked down upon for being in a mixed cultural relationship. So many drunken young people everywhere and no one had respect for anything. You would look at someone the wrong way and the next minute you were surrounded by a group of people and in a sticky situation.. I saw people ripped off in front of their eyes, people being pick-pocketed and corrupt police not helping people in real need. Just for information sake I was 25 at this time, I am 194cms tall, a larger guy and can be seen as intimidating to some. I have always been an attendee at major music festivals in Australia so this should have been right up my alley.

Full Moon Party Koh Phangan

I don’t mean to scare people away from the Full Moon Party but it was not what I expected. I personally believe that this event is more suited to a Western society’s location. I would not go to the Full Moon Party again but I am glad I experienced it for myself. This was something I was looking forward to for years and was left disappointed. I know people who have been to the Full Moon Party and had a great time but I am writing about my experience, which was not so great. My wife has also said this is not something she would recommend to other Thai people as she was made to feel like an outsider in her own country. We did end up leaving before the sun rise and the end of the party as we were no longer having fun and with ongoing physical attempts against me we were concerned about our safety.Thailand Fight

There are many options for getting to and from Koh Phangan. You could get the Ferry from Koh Samui the night of the party and then back once the sun has risen. You can book a Tour from Phuket or other destinations which will get you there and back or you can use the staying on Koh Phangan like we did. If you do choose to stay on Koh Phangan a few things I would do if I had my time again would be to book earlier so that we could stay on Haad Rin beach, I would go with a group of friends and I would not have my expectations so high.

I personally feel that the Full Moon Party is suited for the younger people but there are people of all ages there. This is just my experience, so go and check it out for yourself and make up your own mind. At the end of the day I guess when you mix large groups and alcohol you are going to get some form of violence and negativity. I hope that you can have a better experience to what I had at the Full Moon Party and learn from my mistakes.

Happy Travelling

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