Legend has it that on the night of the full moon, during the mid-1980s, a group of backpackers held a birthday party on the beach along with locals. They had such an excellent time that they continued each month. Word got out, and swiftly more people came to the beautiful island of Koh Phangan each month.
It was like a little house party on the beach at first. Many hippies and backpackers play instruments, smoke, and drink some drinks. But that shifted as word circulated and more individuals turned up.
The 1990s brought with it the rave culture and electronic music. In addition, travel agencies in Bangkok began to promote the Full Moon Party, encouraging many who hadn't heard about it yet to go check it out. By 2000, this party was on the travel charts, and hordes of young people flocked to Koh Phangan Full Moon Party, which has continued to grow. Now thousands of people come every month.
A giant festival-like gathering featuring a lot of drinking, dancing, music, party people, and fun is now the legendary Koh Phangan Full Moon Party. Each venue and bar has its sound system, so you can hear new music playing loudly on the sand every few steps. It is an epic party scene to behold.
The beach is lined with individuals selling beer and alcohol buckets (water and soft drinks), food stalls with Thai food and western food, performances with fire artists, and tiny stands selling neon face paint. You'll find tourists falling out on the beach by the night's end, the odd pair who have found love (or lust), and missing flip-flops littering the beach, searching for new owners. (Pick a couple up if you lost yours because there can be sharp objects on the beach, so walking barefoot is not recommended)
There's a reason Haad Rin Beach became the venue for this famous party. It's beautiful. In this video, we show you how the beach transforms from the daytime into the night of the party. However, there are excellent pre-parties to the Full Moon Party, too, if you want to show up a little later. Most hotels, resorts, and hostels host them to get you pumped and ready for the actual party. When it's party time, cheap taxis are waiting to transport you safely to Haad Rin - DO NOT drink and drive.
Haad Rin Beach is the best spot on the island to see the full moon in all its glory. The positioning of the beach is the best place, probably in the whole of Thailand, where the moon is enormous and shines brightly when complete. Another reason the original backpackers and islanders chose this place is to celebrate. You should also add the Full Moon Party to your bucket list if you haven't already!
There are great places to stay around the island - from a party hostel to a luxury hotel - Koh Phangan has it all. If you want to be near the action, you should stay in Haad Rin; however, most of the more excellent Hostels are now in Baan Tai. Other gorgeous locations across the island include Mae Haad, Haad Yao, Thong Nai Pan, Haad Yuan, Haad Salad, Haad Thien, Sri Thanu etc. Thong Sala, where the ferry company or speed boat drops you off at Thong Sala Pier (if you're coming from Donsak Pier or nearby islands like Ko Samui and Koh Tao), has many excellent resorts. Sri Thanu is ideal if you love yoga.
You should book online beforehand to find a cheap (and agreeable) place to stay. The closer you leave finding accommodation for the night of the party, the more complicated and more expensive it will become. If you do not pre-book and turn up on the island on the day of the party, likely, you won't find any suitable accommodation as everything gets fully booked, even more, luxurious hotels.
There are a few speed boat services from Koh Samui to Koh Phangan and Back during the Full Moon party night. The transfer is a boat combo ticket and includes a pickup from your hotel by air-conditioned minivan, a transfer to the pier, a speedboat to Koh Phangan and back, and a transfer back to your hotel on Koh Samui. However, the boat ticket for a private charter like that is costly, and most people take Lomprayah High-Speed Ferries Co., Ltd or Raja Ferry. It will be packed if you go anywhere from two days before to the day of the party.
Most people will come to Koh Phangan either by boat from Koh Samui because there is an airport there run by Thai Airways, or from the mainland (Donsak Pier) if they are coming from the Surat Thani airport, the train station (Hua Lamphong) or had taken a bus. Sometimes you can find cheap flights from Bangkok to Surat Thani or Koh Samui, which is worth it! The bus or train trip is about 14 hours while the flight is only an 80-minute flight.
Of course, a bus ticket is the cheapest. The train is nicer, though, if you get a sleeper ticket - it's a bed, and you sleep the whole journey from Bangkok to Surat Thani overnight. (Bonus: you save one night on accommodation expenses). There are combo train, bus and ferry tickets available at travel agencies.
The cost is 200 Baht per person to get into the Full Moon Party. You pay for it at the entrance to Haad Rin Beach. The money from ticket prices goes to maintenance and beach cleanup!
The party happens when there is an actual Full Moon unless it falls on a Thai National Holiday or Buddhist Day when it takes place the day after the moon night.
EDM is the primary music played at the Full Moon Party, but there are many locations and bars playing everything you might want to hear from R&B, Hip Hop, Pop, House, Techno, Drum n Bass, and whatever else!
The music starts around 7 pm, but most individuals arrive at midnight. The party continues until around 9 am the next day, so when the roads and the beach are a bit less busy, it is recommended to get there around 1 or 2 am, but you will still have a good 7 hours to party!!
Just take money with you. Try not to take your phone, passport, valuables, or anything costly, or you'd be sad to lose it. If you forget or get too drunk, get a card or something with your hostel or hotel's address so the taxi driver knows where to take you home.
Above all, bring happy vibes!
Taxis from all over the island are available; your accommodation may even provide them for a small charge. In addition, the Full Moon Party is only 15 to 30 minutes away from anywhere else on the island.
The Full Moon Party is on one beach, but many bars are lined up on this beach. In addition to that, other parties create the entire full moon experience together during the week of the Full Moon. Waterfall Party, Jungle Experience, and many more are among these! Before and after the actual full moon event, there are parties during the week like Black Moon and Half Moon.
You will want to prepare yourself so that you have a fantastic time and don't lose anyone or any belongings, get too drunk or lost and then have a wrong time. Party smart! It's no joke that it's hectic but enjoyable. We want the best time for you, so here are some helpful tips.
Broken glass and other debris end up on the beach as the night goes on, which may hurt your feet! So wear shoes, our number one tip for surviving the Full Moon Party!
Grab a Taxi Find out about taxi services at your hostel or head down to a warm-up event and connect with a group to share a taxi to the event - this will be the cheapest and also a fun way to get there, not to mention the safest as well!
Take cash for the whole night. Think about how much money you will need for the event before you go: entrance fee, taxi fare (there and return), buckets, and neon paint. Add it all up and bring this much with you, but allow a little for emergencies, just in case you can put it in a secret place like your underwear!
As you could lose them, leave your passport, credit card, and any valuables at home.
Most people bring their phone with them, but keep it safe; check it's in a safe pocket or secure bag, so you don't have to worry about it!
Find a place to meet. It could be a bar or a recognisable area like the big burning sign saying 'Full Moon Party' - organise this early in the night. Find a place where you can arrange to meet your friends if you get separated or if you desire to go off for a dance on your own at a particular moment of the night/morning!
Save a hangover for yourself! Drink lots and lots of water all night long. The climate is warm, and a mammoth amount of alcohol is found in the infamous full moon buckets. The next day, this combo could make you feel worse for wear....unless you drink water regularly strategically throughout the night. Or just a massive amount of it before you (eventually) go to bed!
Preparing yourself with these points will make sure you have a wonderful experience. We hear many stories of lost passports and wallets, injuries, accidents, dehydration, and the rest, with so many people around, partying and drinking. So take the time to do some little things, and you'll have an evening to remember.
While you are there, take care of one another, other people from your hostel or strangers you may meet, and treat people how you would like to be treated.
The Full Moon Party is a beautiful gift from Koh Phangan, where you can meet happy young people from all over the globe under the stars and a shining moon and dance and party like you may never again. You'll surely make a few (at least) good memories that will stay forever with you.
Drop-In is one of the focal points throughout Full Moon, the longest operating bar on Haad Rin beach, beginning over 30 years ago. Evolving with the times and keeping up with the music you like, the cocktails you drink, the partying, and the fun! Drop-In is known for its party environment. They ensure that you and everyone are thoroughly engaged with the night, constantly calling out to the audience, making fun, and playing with DJs pumping out the melodies long into the early hours as the sun rises.
It's a famous bar on the beach with drinks, food, good laughs, fire shows, fire jump rope, and a limbo competition. It's an excellent location for groups and solo travellers; definitely, visit here after 10 pm; that's when it all seems to kick off.
The original Fullmoon Logo is Carved into a stone at Paradise Bungalows and is one of the foremost venues on the beach. Expect fire skipping ropes, fire shows, wildly variable strength alcoholic buckets, and an EDM party atmosphere.
The Rock Bar and Restaurant Venue are on the rocks with a nice view over the whole Full Moon Party beach.
There are two stages at Tommy's Resort, one playing EDM with great DJs.
Lagom is a beachfront rooftop bar on Haad Rin Beach. The venue is open with superb House music on the days surrounding the Full Moon Party and other specific club nights. Great music and the best view of Haad Rin Beach.
Moon House has a lineup of local and international DJs and does the complete moon celebration from 7 pm until late, late, and very late.
This is the only place with Drum and Bass for the Full Moon Party. Great vibes with good tunes, DJs, and MCs bring international acts to Haad Rin Beach and the resident DJs.
The second stage here plays the original Phangan electronic music of Trance. Again, an excellent location for the Trance family to enjoy!
And! If you want to keep partying, go to Eden Garden Party. There will be boats in the water, right on the Fullmoon Party beach, ready to take people to this secret after party on Haad Yuan Beach - this is one of Koh Phangan's beach parties you DO NOT want to miss. Boat tickets cost around 300 THB per person each way.
Need some help with recovering after the party? Read more here and remember to discover the rest of the island after the party, as Koh Phangan is much more than just the Full Moon Party island. There are beautiful beaches everywhere! Virtually anyone who spends more time on the island than only a few days is shocked by its stunning appearance. It would be crazy not to invest a little time and take at least a drive around and see what else is on offer.
***Full Moon Party Dates 2023 * The schedule might change depending on the government's rules for that month.