Our definitive survival guide to the Full Moon Party gives you the lowdown on how to have the night of your life and stay safe at the legendary Ko Phangan beach bash.
Then there’s spending money for the party itself. On the beach, buckets – the Full Moon Party’s infamous cocktail of spirits, mixer and sometimes energy drinks – will set you back a couple of hundred baht each. (All that fluid has to go somewhere, so don’t forget 10-20 baht per trip to the bathroom!)
Next up: what to leave behind. Our definitive advice is not to have valuable items on show. While most people are at the Full Moon Party to have fun, there are always those shadier types who know that a beach full of chilled out people make for easy targets.
Don’t become one. Leave watches, smart phones and other valuables in your hotel safe or locked up in your accommodation’s reception. And whatever you do, don’t stash all the cash you’ll need for the night in the same pocket.
UV body paint with flip flops or bare feet mind sound like the perfect Full Moon Party look, but treading on glass – or worse – is a one-way ticket to a ruined night.
Ignore Gok Wan and listen to the definitive Full Moon Party survival guide on this one: wear closed shoes and your feet will thank you.
Any Full Moon Party veteran knows that the key to a good night is staying safe. First up, that means staying out of the sea, unfortunately – because alcohol and swimming don’t mix. But also because those partygoers who forget to keep some money back for the toilets won’t be.
Second, stay hydrated. Alcohol plus energy drinks plus dancing equals dehydration, so bring bottled water with you or take enough money to buy some on the beach.
Third, don’t play with fire. There are medics on hand to treat those who injure themselves on a burning skipping rope or attempting to limbo under a burning pole – but being treated for burns isn’t most people’s idea of a good night.
Forth, accepting free drinks from people you don’t know might seem like a great idea – who doesn’t love free booze?! Unfortunately with the full moon being renown as it is for legless intoxication, it’s the perfect venue for people to take advantage of others. Don’t let it happen to you.
And no definitive survival guide to the Full Moon Party would be worth its salt without a word on drugs. Every traveller knows they’ll be in plentiful supply at the party – but so do the local police, and they will be on the lookout for those breaking the law.
Haad Rin hotel reservations fill up for the full moon party dates several months ahead. They can be overpriced, and there’s often a minimum stay. Hostels are a cheaper option, but don’t risk just showing up the day before – there’ll be no room at the inn.
While other areas will book up less quickly than Haad Rin, if you’re taking the risk of finding digs on arrival even elsewhere on Ko Phangan you’ll need to be there at least three or four days ahead of the party.
Of course, another option is to stay in Koh Samui and get a boat over to Haad Rin for the full moon party. Accommodation will most likely be better value for money around Full Moon, but you’ll want to make sure your on-the-night travel arrangements are booked ahead.
If you stay elsewhere on Ko Phangan, you’ll need to catch a songthaew (think large taxi) there and back, and this can be pricey – so make sure to ask the exact fare in advance and take enough baht with you.
You’ll also need to get to and from Ko Phangan, and once again it’s imperative that you book in advance. Ferries can be a fantastic cheap option but around Full Moon, they fill up fast. Get your ferry tickets sorted before you travel, and you’re golden.
If you’re staying in Koh Samui and just hopping over to Haad Rin for the night, a speedboat charter is the way to travel. You’ll need to factor in entrance fees for the party (pay on arrival at the pier), and the best part is, you can leave whenever you’re ready – or stay as long as you want.
That’s the whole point of this definitive survival guide to the Full Moon Party, after all. Planning in advance and being savvy to rookie mistakes will ensure you have a night to remember.