Unless you live under a rock, you most definitely heard of Thailand's world famous Full Moon Party.
It’s one of the biggest and oldest beach parties in Thailand, with over 20,000 people attending each edition.
The original Full Moon Party takes place on the beautiful beach of Haad Rin, on the island of Koh Phangan (no, not Koh Samui), in the gulf of Thailand.
Now whether you’re planning to go to your first full moon party, or you’re still thinking about it but you’re not sure if it’s the kind of party for you, let me share with you a bit of info and my experience.
After going to about 5 full moon parties, here’s everything I can share with you.
Here’s what to expect, what I think about it, how to prepare for it, and most importantly, how to survive it.
- The Full Moon Party Guide
- First Time Full Moon Party Tips
- My Full Moon Party Review: What Do I Think About It?
- Where To Stay For The Full Moon Party?
- How To Get To Koh Phangan?
- What To Do After The Full Moon Party?
- When is the next full moon party?
- Do you need a ticket for the full moon party?
- How much is the full moon party?
- How much money do you need for the full moon party?
- What is the best time of the year to go to the full moon party?
- How to get to the full moon party from Bangkok?
- How to get to the full moon party from Phuket?
The Full Moon Party Guide
The Full Moon Party is South East Asia's most iconing beach party with up to 30,000 people gathering on the beautiful beach of Haad Rin, on the island of Koh Phangan, to party all night.
There’s at least one Full Moon Party each month, you guessed it, for the full moon.
There are also extra full moon parties for big events like Christmas, New Year Eve, or Songkran.
The event is full of people from all around the world, and Thais, who party all night on the beach until the sun rises, and even later for some.
The party is mostly known for its buckets of booze, fire shows, neon paint, and for being one of the wildest parties in the world.
And trust me, it is.
The most popular drinks at the full moon party are by far buckets!
For around 500 THB ($14) you get a small bottle of alcohol mixed with mixers in a plastic bucket full of ice.
It would suggest you eat something before heading to the full moon, but if you don’t, don’t worry, like everywhere you go in Thailand, there are plenty of things to eat there as well.
From the dozens of restaurants open in the streets along the beach to the street vendors right on the beach, you can eat anything you want, at any time during the night.
Pad Thai, burger, pizza, meat skewers, seafood, and more.
The Full Moon Party is probably the biggest festival in Thailand and with so much space, there’s not one stage, but instead each bar along the beach has a stage with DJs, singers, live bands, etc…
Whether you like rock, EDM, house, techno, reggae or else, you’re going to find a place playing the music you like somewhere along the beach.
Outfit and Neon Paint
Dress like for a beach party, with as little accessories as you can.
The best accessory you can put on for a full moon party is body neon paint.
You can buy small tubes of paint pretty much anywhere on the island, or just pay the Thais who will do it for you at the party.
The neon paint will most likely ruin whatever you’re wearing, so don’t wear anything too expensive.
First Time Full Moon Party Tips
Now that you're fried up and ready to head to Haad Rin for the Full Moon Party, there are a few things I want you to know before you lose it.
📱 Don’t bring anything you’re not ready to lose
That was the first tip a local gave me the first time I went to a Full Moon Party and boy he was right.
Take a plastic pocket (the same you would use for Songkran) and throw the key to your room and a bit of cash (a few thousand baht tops, put the rest in different pockets).
If you want/can, don’t even take your phone.
The party can be intense, and if you’re going there you’re likely to go crazy and keep partying until the sunrise.
So the less you have on you, the less things you can lose.
👙 Dress for the occasion
Like I said, neon paint will ruin anything you wear.
You’re better off wearing this cheap tank top or bikini you just bought on the island for a few dollars.
And wear shoes or flip flops too.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of things in the sand on the beach and you don’t want to step on glass or worst.
Go with a group
I wouldn’t say the Full Moon is dangerous, but when you have that many drunk (and high) people in the same place, anything can happen.
Go with a group you can trust and keep an eye on each other as the party unfolds.
💧 Drink a lot of water
Always stay hydrated! That should already be in your routine to stay healthy, but it’s even more important during the Full Moon Party.
It’s hot, you’re going to sweat a lot, you’re going to drink a lot of alcohol, and maybe even take other substances.
Make sure you stay hydrated.
Beware of people offering you to drink in their bucket
I’m the guy who shares my bucket with everyone, and who drinks in everyone’s bucket.
I’ve done it a lot and I never had any trouble, but I heard a lot of stories of people putting drugs in their bucket and passing it to strangers “for fun”.
Or worst, to rob/rape them later.
So keep an eye on your bucket, and only drink from your bucket or the one from your friends.
💊 Don’t do/buy drugs
Thailand has super strict rules and laws on drugs, you don’t want to take any risk.
You also might have heard of undercover cops selling drugs to foreigners, it’s not a myth.
Trust me you don’t want to spend a big chunk of your budget for your holidays to pay the cops to get out of jail.
🚕 Don’t drive there
No matter where you’re staying on the island of Koh Phangan, you’ll have pick up trucks who will do the shuttle between your hotel and the full moon party all night long.
Don’t drink and drive.
The road to Haad Rin is super dangerous, don’t risk your life to save 200 THB.
My Full Moon Party Review: What Do I Think About It?
You always have people that will say “it was better before”.
I went to my first full moon party in 2011 (and 2 more the same year) and it was fun.
And it’s still equally as fun today even though it changed a bit.
It’s more organized, you have better bars and DJs, I feel like it’s safer too.
No matter how it changes, it’s still without a doubt one of the craziest parties in the world and one I would put on my bucket list and at the top of things to do while in Thailand.
Where To Stay For The Full Moon Party?
There are a ton of hotels and hostels in Koh Phangan but don’t forget to book in advance as a lot of them are often fully booked for the 3 days of the full moon party (the night before, the night of the event, and the night after).
If you can, try to stay a few more nights, after the full moon party.
This way you can explore Koh Phangan without the crowds and experience why the island is one of the most popular in the world.
And always book as soon as possible, as you’ll see it’s barely possible to find a room anywhere on the island if you book just a few days before the party.
Even after COVID.
Budget Option: Slumber Party Hostel Koh Phangan
If you’re on a budget and you want to meet people to party with you, pick a hostel for your stay.
And what is better than Slumber Party Hostel, the #1 brand of party hostels in Thailand, for that.
Prices start from only $9 per night on Booking.com.
Digital Nomad Option: Beachub Koh Phangan
If you want to stay a few extra days or weeks in Koh Phangan to explore the island and you have to work (yes digital nomads aren’t only chilling on the beach all the time), the Beach Club Phangan looks like a great option.
Luxury Option: The Cabin Beach Resort
Koh Phangan has a reputation for being a destination mainly for backpackers and hippies.
Well, while it’s partly true, there’s more to the island.
It’s also full of luxury hotels and resorts with 5-star service and all the amenities you can dream of.
The Cabin Beach Resort is the best option among the luxury resorts in Koh Phangan.
How To Get To Koh Phangan?
There are many ways to go from Bangkok to Phangan, but the most popular are:
Cheapest Way To Go From Bangkok To Koh Phangan
Take a bus from Khaosan Road (khaosan road) and a ferry from Surat Thani pier to Koh Phangan.
A one way ticket is around 1,200 THB ($34)
Fastest Way To Go From Bangkok To Koh Phangan
Fly from Bangkok to Koh Samui with Bangkok Air, and take a ferry (or speedboat) from Koh Samui to Koh Phangan.
A one way ticket is around 5,000 THB ($141)
How To Go From Phuket To Koh Phangan
Take a ferry from Phuket to Krabi, a minivan from Krabi to Surat Thani pier, and another ferry from Koh Phangan. You can buy joint tickets.
A one way ticket is around 800 THB ($23)
You can check all the options available for this route and many more on 12GoAsia and book your tickets now for the big day.
What To Do After The Full Moon Party?
The full moon party usually lasts until 10am or noon, with the last bars stopping the music early in the afternoon the next day.
But if you feel like 20 hours of non-stop party wasn’t enough for you, you can go to Eden Garden.
It’s a small bar on the north side of the island, only accessible by boat or 4 wheels, who have an after party the day after each full moon party.
100% worth it.
Check the full moon calendar to know when the next full moon party is. And note that they have special full moon parties for Christmas, New Year, and Thai New Year (Songkran).
No. You pay for the entrance (100 THB) on the spot to get access to the beach.
The full moon party used to be free but now they charge 100 THB (around $3), for the organization and the cleaning of the beach. Essentially, you have to pay to access the beach.
It depends how much you drink. I’d say around 2,000 THB is fine, but you can easily spend up to 5,000 THB if you drink, eat, try a few extras, and get a private taxi home.
Try to go to the full moon party during the dry season in Thailand, between December and May.
Take the bus from Khaosan road in Bangkok to Surat Thani pier. Then take the ferry from the pier to Koh Phangan. Check details and prices on 12goAsia.
Fly from Phuket to Koh Samui and then take a ferry from Koh Samui to Koh Phangan. Check details and prices on 12goAsia.
And here's a short video from Riley from Living That Life Youtube channel to show you how good the Full Moon Party is.
Even after COVID.
I hope I answered most of your questions about the festival.
If there's anything you want to know, ask me anything in the comments below and I'll answer asap. 👇