It's a touristy event, and on the typical backpacker's trail, but you need to try the Full Moon Party at least once, just to say you’ve done it!
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What is the “Full Moon Party?”
The Full Moon Party is a giant festival-like party with a lot of drinking, dancing, drugs, and sex. It’s held every month in Thailand's amazing Ko Phangan. Each bar has its own music, so you can consistently stay in the party mood, and you will be surrounded by people selling buckets of alcohol (more on that later), fire shows, and glow paint.
Check out the latest schedule to see when you can go, and keep reading for tips on surviving the Full Moon Party in Thailand.
Full moon party dates 2018
SATURDAY 31 MARCH 2018.
SUNDAY 29 APRIL 2018.
TUESDAY 30 MAY 2018.
WEDNESDAY 27 JUNE 2018.
FRIDAY 27 JULY 2018.
SUNDAY 26 AUGUST 2018.
MONDAY 24 SEPTEMBER 2018.
WEDNESDAY 25 OCTOBER 2018.
THURSDAY 22 NOVEMBER 2018
SATURDAY 22nd DECEMBER 2018
How to get to the Full Moon Party?
You have two options, but both require being in Bangkok, which you will usually find yourself in as its airport is a massive international hub. So for most people, the question is, how do you get from Bangkok to Koh Phangan? Well you have a couple of options.
You can fly from Bangkok directly to Ko Samui International Airport; flights roughly average at around £90 one way. This way is good if you are short on time, or don’t want to explore other parts of Thailand other than the islands. From Ko Samui, you need to get a boat across to Ko Phangan. This costs approx £7.
You can catch a coach and boat to Ko Samui, then a further boat to Ko Phangan. You need to get a bus to Hua Hin, and from there you can actually book a type of “package” deal where you will get the cost of the bus from Hua Hin to the dock, and the two boats needed to arrive at Full Moon Party. You have the option of getting a taxi from Bangkok to Hua Hin, the journey is around 2 hours and 30 minutes, and if you’ve got great haggling skills, you can get a comfortable car journey here for around 2000 Thai Bhat, this is around £40 which when divided between you and 3 friends, works out just as good as an annoying bus journey. Trust me, when you’re a frequent traveller, you will always find ways to avoid a coach journey if you can. If you do however want to take the bus or train, both options leave frequently and cost around 200 bhat (approx £5). From Hua Hin you can opt to stay a few nights, it has a great night market, some lovely beaches, but if you decide you want to make it straight to Full Moon, then it’s time to get a bus.
The company "Lomprayah Bus" offers excellent service and comfort and it’s not overpriced.
These are your two options: amounting to approx £34….again you can haggle with street vendors to get your tickets cheaper, I got mine for £20, but be aware if the seller is genuine or not, this is a really a judgement call, and a little trust.
Online Cost: 1,400 THB
Journey Time: 7 hours 50 min
Online cost: 1,400 THB
Journey Time: 11 hours 30 min
Where to stay at Full Moon Party
There are two main accommodation locations for Full moon. Haad Rin and Bann Tai. Haad Rin is exactly where the Full Moon Partyis held so if you want to be right in the action, then stay here, but as a word of warning, you will not get any rest, and accommodation for the night books up well in advance, so don’t expect to turn up here and find a room. The second option is Ban Tai, which is a 10-minute taxi (tuk-tuk) ride to the main event. It’s a little quieter, and I mean a little. I stayed here at a fantastic hotel called “First Villa Beach Resort”. The staff here organised a “pre moon party” which brought all the guests together for drinks, to get to know one another and start one of the greatest evenings you’ll experience. The staff also do your body paint with the glow paint in whatever design you want, and they even sell their own buckets! This was a fantastic opportunity to meet fellow party goers, and we all left for the full moon together in taxis!
Cost of entrance to the Full Moon Party
It used to cost nothing, but times have changed. It will not break the bank though, as of August 2015 (when I was last there) there was a Full Moon Party ticket price of 100 Thai Bhat, which is around £2.30, so nothing.
The Full Moon Party is one of the biggest parties you will witness…so make sure you do witness it! It’s a long night, so here are my tops tips for surviving the Full Moon Party in Thailand.
1. PACE YOURSELF - This is key. You want to make it to sunrise, because trust me it’s worth just chilling on the beach watching the sunrise and reminiscing on how amazing the last 12 hours where. Don’t hit the full moon beach too early! Go no earlier than 11pm! I went at 12pm, and stayed until 9am. The music doesn’t stop and you won’t want to stop dancing.
2. WEAR THE RIGHT SHOES - Seriously, the beach is full of crap, crap and more crap, so flip flops are not a good idea unless you want a seriously cut foot with a potential injury to A&E, and let’s be realistic, you will lose the flip flops within the first half hour. Tie up pumps/trainers etc, are good choices.
3. PRE-DRINK LIGHTLY - This is pretty much the same as pacing yourself in point one…but don’t make yourself so drunk that A) you don’t actually make it to the full moon because you have passed out (I have witnessed this- the person was forever disappointed) or B) you last an hour and need to go home- honestly this is an event you will want to remember!
4. BUCKETS - Well renowned for its buckets of drinks, however, they have the potential to kill you. Don’t let that statement scare you, you need to exercise caution. Purchase one from a vendor who is near clubs and bars, because it's more legit than buying from a stall which is ages away offering ridiculously cheap prices (we have all heard the alcohol poisoning scare stories) & share them because they are STRONG (but awesome). If you want to be really safe, then buy your bucket from an official bar, yes they are more expensive, but you know they’re using alcohol and not pure ethanol.
5. BOOK ACCOMMODATION IN ADVANCE - Many arrive and try to find last minute accommodation; but it’s the biggest night of the year, so most rooms are already booked! Plan ahead and get somewhere decent, I stayed a ten minute (dirt cheap) taxi ride away, and it was perfect and cheap, and I had pre-drinks with the people in my hotel that I ended up spending the night with at the full moon!
6. WEAR BODY PAINT - Because it’s one of those rare occasions where if you’re not wearing something luminous, or bright, then you actually look like the odd one out. Embrace it and come up with some crazy Full Moon Party paint ideas!
7. PREPARE TO SWEAT - Thousands of people, dancing and drinking, means unusual amounts of sweat, so ladies, keep your makeup light, no one likes to look like a Panda a few songs in (I learnt the hard way).
8. EAT STREET FOOD - You know the munchies you get once you’ve had alcohol? Well, the full moon does the BEST drunk food, and it’s so cheap, so eat! It will help you last until the morning!
9. SAVE MONEY FOR THE TOILET - Yes it costs to pee, and you will need to pee. For all you who would do it on the beach, well you will be lying in that pee so enjoy. It’s around 15 Bhat!
10. DON’T BRING A BIG BAG - If you want, bring a cute little bum bag to keep money in, otherwise, girls, put it in your bra, boys, in your sock or something. People STEAL. Like anywhere, but I fell victim to theft, but they stole my diabetic monitor, which clearly they hoped was a phone, so jokes on them.
Just have fun, take photos, make memories, don’t do drugs (you will be offered and you will go to jail if caught), and don’t play with the fire, but do dance on the podiums. It’s a world wind of an adventure, don’t take it too seriously; i.e. don’t be offended if you see sex on the beach, (note) you will see sex on the beach, just HAVE FUN!
Tips for surviving the Full Moon Party as a type 1 diabetic
For all my diabetic followers, here’s some bonus tips on how I as a type 1 diabetic survived full moon, and a little story to tell.
So I did 3 straight nights of alcohol infused drinking at the Full Moon party, there was a pre moon party, a Full Moon Party and a post Moon Party. (Any excuse eh?) Everything was great on the first night, but the second night I had a bit of a predicament. I was at the bar ordering myself a bucket to share with my sister, and I set my monitor on the bar as I had just tested, and Orlaigh called my name, I turned around to ask her what she wanted and literally had my head turned for a split second. When I turned back, my monitor was gone. Sudden panic, a little laugh because someone clearly thought they had bagged themselves a new phone (sorry), but then I remembered I had my spare monitor back at the hotel….my hotel was a ten minute drive away, and thankfully my blood sugars remained okay, but this brings me to my first point.
1 .Carry a spare monitor. It’s kind of manic out there, with the dancing and the thousands of bodies, there is a chance something can get stolen. So, to learn from my own mistake, take a spare monitor with you, preferably the same brand so you don’t need to carry a separate pot of test strips.
2. Bring a small bag. I brought a “bum bag” with me. It was big enough to fit my diabetic equipment, money, hotel keys, and sweets. There are plenty of food & drink vendors there for extra hypo equipment should you need it.
3. Take into account dancing with alcohol. Reduce your basal rate/reduce your long-lasting insulin. I started drinking when I was seventeen (sorry mum), so I kind of made sure I could balance my blood sugars with alcohol, simply because I enjoyed the odd vodka, and it wasn’t something I wanted to give up. I have partied lots all throughout my 20's and I haven’t had any issues with alcohol- this is mainly because I stick to spirits and diet mixer, so I know I won’t get high blood sugars, therefore I am just trying to stop my blood sugars from going low, which alcohol does. To stop myself from dropping when I am dancing, I drink sugar mixers instead of diet mixers when I feel myself starting to go low. Now, this is not medically recognized advice, just something I have done. I would NOT recommend heavy drinking at the Full Moon Party in Thailand, if you are not used to drinking- you will put yourself at risk, and putting yourself at risk in a country that doesn’t speak English, is not a smart move. Ps remember the effects of alcohol can drive you into hypo 24 hours after drinking.
4. Do not do drugs, as drugs and diabetes will not end well. If you do take drugs, you will not only put your body at risk, but it’s a massive crime, and you will go to jail, no questions asked.
5. Watch your feet. Please please please, as a diabetic, don’t wear flip flops on this beach. It's packed with glass and all sorts of disgusting stuff. Proper shoes are required!
6. Eat after the event has finished. As I have mentioned, there are plenty of wonderful food vendors to choose from for cheap. Eating will help prevent you from going low (even if you aren’t drinking) from the dancing you will do!
The best Full Moon Party advice I can give you is to have an AMAZING TIME! Let me know if you have been or are planning to go or have any of your own tips for surviving the Full Moon Party in Thailand! I will be heading back very soon for round 2. We will also be exploring other Thailand islands so if you have any advice, let us know!
Update: I returned last August to the Full Moon Party...and if anything it's got EVEN BIGGER! I survived twice...so my tips must be working :P
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As the type 1 diabetic half of Dream Big, Travel Far, I'm passionate about encouraging fellow type 1's to travel the world and not let their diabetes hold them back. I'm proud to now be a full-time digital nomad. Meaning I live my life working and travelling all over the world and am here to help you achieve your dreams as well in any way I can.
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