The world famous Full Moon Party is a giant festival-like party with a lot of drinking, dancing, drugs, and sex. It’s held monthly in one of Thailand's most popular islands, Koh Phangan. As you walk along the stretch of beach, each bar has its own music, so you can consistently stay in the party mood. You will be constantly surrounded by people selling buckets of alcohol (more on that later), fire shows, and glow paint.
You can check out the latest schedule to see when you can go, (but I’ve listed the most recent dates below) and keep reading for tips on surviving the Full Moon Party Thailand.
I’ve been to the Full Moon Party in Thailand twice in my lifetime and I’ve survived both times, :P So, my tips must work!
The Full Moon Party is one of the biggest parties you will experience in your life, so it’s time to make sure you make the most of it! It’s a long night, so here are my 10 top tips for surviving the Full Moon Party in Thailand.
This is vital. If you want to make it to the epic sunrise (views are worth it!), then you’re going to need to pace yourself. Lots of people make the mistake of drinking early and they burn out by like 10-11 o'clock. Your best bet is avoiding the actual party until around 11 pm. Sure have a few cocktails etc beforehand, but don’t go overboard.
I headed to the beach at 12 pm and stayed until 9 am. The music does not stop and you won’t want to stop dancing, so pace yourself.
I’m serious, the beach is full of crap, crap and even more crap. Flip flops are not your friend on a night like this (unless you want a trip to A&E with a foot cut on glass). Let’s also be realistic, you’ll lose the flip flops within the first hour. I suggest comfortable trainers or tie up pumps as great choices.
This is similar to packing yourself in point one, but it’s important to make sure you don’t drink so much that you either don’t make it to the Full Moon Party because you’ve passed out (I’ve seen this A LOT and your always disappointed), or you last one hour at the party and need to go home. Trust me, this is a night you’re actually going to want to remember.
So without sounding like your mother….pace yourself :P
The Full Moon Party in Thailand is well known for its buckets of drinks, however they do have the potential to kill you. That statement isn’t an over exaggeration or a reason to scare you. It’s simply a matter of being aware.
Purchase your buckets from a vendor who is near clubs and bars as it’s more legit than buying one from someone who is far away offering suspiciously low prices. If the price is really low, then honestly, it’s probably not real alcohol. You can also check the little bottles of alcohol to see if they’re sealed properly.
I’d also share your bucket with a friend, because they are STRONG! 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.
Lots of people arrive at Koh Phangan trying to find last minute accommodation. But, it’s the biggest night of the month, so most rooms are booked up in advance, and lots of hotels require you to stay a minimum of 3 nights.
Plan ahead and you can get somewhere decent. I stayed 10 minutes away from the Full Moon Party on my first trip and the same on my second (Baan Tai). The transport to and from the Full Moon Party is cheap. We had pre-drinks at the hotel and made friends with people whilst applying our neon glow (a rite of passage at the Full Moon Party).
The Full Moon Party is one of those rare occasions in life where if you’re not wearing something bright, luminous and neon, then you actually look like the odd one out! Embrace the fun and come up with some crazy Full Moon Party paint ideas.
Picture thousands of people drinking and dancing. This equals an increased amount of sweat! Ladies, keep your makeup light if you don’t want it running down your face. I ended up looking like a Panda.
You know the munchies you get when you’ve had alcohol? Well, the Full Moon Party does the BEST drunk food, and it’s so cheap, so eat! It will help you last until the morning!
It costs to pee at the Full Moon Party and yes, you will need to pee. If you decide to do it on the beach (ew), you’ll end up lying in your own pee, or someone else's...so just bring the 15 baht it costs to pee!
If you want to bring a cute little “bum bag” to keep your money in, then that’s great, but otherwise girls, put your money in your bra and guys. maybe in your sock? Just carry as little as possible because you will most likely lose it. Also, people steal. And I fell victim to theft. Someone stole my diabetic monitor which they clearly thought was a phone, so jokes on them.
So there you go, 10 tips to help you enjoy and survive the Full Moon Party in Thailand. 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!
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. Better yet, use a CGM and use your mobile as the scanner so you can carry less stuff.
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. 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!
You have two main 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.
Fly: You can fly from Bangkok directly to Koh 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 Koh Samui, you need to get a boat across to Ko Phangan. This costs approximately £7.
Bus & Boat: You can catch a coach and boat to Koh Samui, then a further boat to Koh 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 Baht, 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 baht (approx £5). (Check 12go Asia)
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.
The two timing options are listed below. When I first visited, it wasn’t an option to book the tickets online but in today’s digital age it’s super easy. So, I’ve listed you the link to directly book your tickets with this company.
There are two main accommodation locations for the Full Moon Party in Thailand. These are Haad Rin and Bann Tai. Haad Rin is exactly where the Full Moon Party is 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 party together in taxis!
In order to have a fantastic time at the Full Moon Party Thailand, you’re going to want great accommodation.
Below I take you through my three favourite choices for budget and luxury accommodation near the Full Moon Party, including where I stayed both times. So if you’re wondering where to stay for the Full Moon Party: look no further!
Let’s start with the luxury options. If you’re visiting Thailand on holiday, rather than a budget backpacking adventure, then you’ll probably want to splash out a little.
Beachfront location, close to the Full Moon Party (walking distance), massive swimming pool, on-site gym, modern and beautifully styled rooms, bar...what more could you possibly want? And prices start at £40 a night based on two people sharing... an absolute steal. I would assume the price rises on the nights of full moon, but still a fabulous choice.
A 5-minute walk from the famous Full Moon Party Thailand, this hotel in Haad Rin offers a beach front property, massive swimming pool, buzzing atmosphere and fantastic rooms. Again, looks fabulous for recovering from heavy nights of partying and right in the heart of the action.
My final choice is this great resort. Again close to the action of the Full Moon party, Thailand. I think this is a great choice of accommodation for couples whose friends who want a little bit of privacy among the madness of the party It’s another beautiful beach front property with a fantastic quirky swimming pool, amazing rooms and interior. This place just oozes pure luxury.
If you want cheap accommodation in Haad Rin with a swimming pool, then this is a great choice. Close to the beach and located in the heart of town with shops, bars and restaurants surrounding you. The rooms have air conditioning which is always good when it’s hot outside.
A 2-minute walk from the Full Moon Party area, this is a great hotel located on the beach front and with a swimming pool. Rooms are modern and comfortable and there is a range of private accommodation and dorm style rooms to suit everyone.
My third cheap deal is the first villa resort I stayed at and mentioned above.
It used to cost nothing, but times have changed. It will not break the bank though, as of August 2017 (when I was last there) there was a Full Moon Party ticket price of 100 Thai Baht, which is around £2.30, so nothing. In 2020, this is the same price.
Pssst...final tip: If you decided you didn’t want to stay overnight in a hotel in Koh Phangan, you can get the last boat from Koh Samui, then catch the first boat back in the morning. Nap on the beach if you need too.
The best Full Moon Party Thailand 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!
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