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We speak to Manop from the Tourist Association to get his view on the history of how the Full Moon Party started on Koh Phangan.
‘People who go on holiday or travelling like to go to different places and to party and enjoy with their new friends. When the tourists started to come to Phangan more and more they want to enjoy here also’.
Manop tells us that every beach started to build more bungalows or rooms for visitors and the Full Moon party in Haad Rin started initially because Haad Rin is really a beautiful beach and so this gives a beautiful location. At this time there was still no road and they used a generator for electricity.
To get to the party, people would go by taxi boat from another beach on the island, places like Baan Tai would bring the tourists.
Manop believes that it was Paradise Bungalows that started to do the party first;
‘From what I know there was a man who was a teacher, he was born in Samui and his wife in Koh Phangan and he could speak English quite well before coming to Phangan. He would talk to the people and bring tourists from Samui by longtail boat at Full Moon time and they started to do the party in Paradise. Then he put the name ‘Full Moon party and wrote a sign to invite the guests and customers’.
When the party first began there would be between 20 to 50 people which was a lot for that time. Paradise Bungalows kept going on with the party, doing it every full moon and then the next step was that more bars along the beach also started to do the party on full moon.
‘Tourist businesses on Koh Phangan then started to be build more rooms and bungalows and more tourists came when there was a Full Moon party’.
We asked Manop if the music had changed over the years…?
'It was always Techno, electronic music from the beginning. After that it went to House and Techno.
Some bars would play famous music like Bob Marley, some people would come from places like Holland and ask for Blues music! I did a Blues party at Eagle Bar for them in Haad Yao which I ran for 11 years'.
Manop left the island for a few years as many young people do and the Full Moon Parties were already in full swing when he returned.
‘Koh Phangan does the party for the tourists, to make them happy not for Koh Phangan’.
Manop thinks that the Full Moon party will keep growing bigger but the thing they now need to work on how to manage the quality.
‘The Thai people don’t know so well about the tourists, they come from every country and those countries have such totally different cultures but their feeling is still human, it is same same but the cultures are so different. We invite the tourists to come so we have to be able to manage it, how to support, how to create and how to be happy and find a good way for Thai people and tourists’.
The people of Koh Phangan are still happy and support the Full Moon party, Manop says it will never be 100% but most of the Thai people like to be here and they are so proud and happy that the island has become a famous place in the world.
‘The location of Koh Phangan is number one, we are 80 km from the mainland and we are so far from the big mountains of mainland with no dust in rainy season we do not get so dirty, not so muddy, and people grow up with the sea, fish, nature and environment’.
Please continue to enjoy the Full Moon Party by also taking care of the beautiful island of Koh Phangan.