The Sole Sister's Survival Guide to the Full Moon Party

Friday, October 15, 2010

Koh Pangan Full Moon Party 1

The Full Moon Party is a beach party in Haad Rin on the island of Koh Phangan, Thailand on the night of every full moon. I was told by it would be epic with around 10,000-50,000 people partying depending on the season. There would be fire dancing, exotic shows, booze by the bucket and even fire jump rope! It was certainly something I didn’t want to miss. Until I learned about the Black Moon Party, Half Moon Party.. It’s pretty much a party every night on these islands.

After booking tickets to get to Koh Pangan from Koh Samui, I still wasn't sure what to expect. Nothing could have prepared me for Full Moon Party night. It's as crazy as they say it is. I’m sharing a few things every sole sister should know before going.

(Warning: Please use discretion when viewing the next photos.)

1. Easy on the buckets. You can get a bucket for around 150-250 baht depending on what you want in your drink. There are variations that usually include Vodka, Thai rum or whiskey and Coke. Thai whiskey is pretty strong. Red bull is sweet and negates the alcohol’s effect until it is too late and you’re passed out on the beach. Make use of the designated sleeping areas if you’re not feeling too good.

Full Moon Party1

2. Don’t go posing/dancing semi nude unless you want your photos/videos strewn across the net the next day.

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3. Don’t be afraid to say NO. Several things will be offered to you. Free booze, drugs, a little sumthin sumthin.. It’s a well-known fact that undercover policemen scout the area and may even try to sell you drugs only to arrest you. And boys, being boys, will always try something. It may take several NOs to convince them. I’ve found that ‘I have a boyfriend’ is a weak deterrent. Better follow that up with ‘And he’s that 6 foot gentleman right behind you.'

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4. Book return tickets to whichever island you need to go back to, in advance. And the extra 200-300 baht might do you some good as cheaper transportation may mean they have less boats and less trips. You’ll be stranded in line for hours with a nasty hangover. A friend of mine had a bad experience last year at a full moon party. He was waiting in line for the boat ride back. It took him hours so he took a chance and paid 200 baht to a lucrative fisherman who was shuttling foreigners back and forth in his little boat. When they were halfway across, the waves got so strong that the boat almost capsized. He found himself on a beach in the middle of nowhere the next morning and had to walk for hours to catch the next songtao back. Just pay the extra hundred baht and save yourself the trouble. Better yet, spend the night in Koh Pangan.

5. Keep your possessions in a safe place. Just bring a small pack that contains enough cash, cellphone and a photocopy of your passport just in case.

6. You will get groped. There’s just no escaping it.

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7. Watch out for the special shakes at Mellow Mountain. They're not called special for nothin'.

8. Wear flipflops or some waterproof footwear. I’ve seen some people get their shoes wet after having to jump into the water at the pier. Others wanted to feel the sand on their toes and ended up stepping on broken beer bottles.

9. There’s always safety in numbers. Have someone keep an eye on you. I’m a lightweight when it comes to alcohol so I asked a couple of friends to make sure I didn’t drink too much. The tables were turned on me when a girl friend got really smashed and I ended up making sure she didn’t act too crazy, if you catch my drift.

Koh Pangan Full Moon Party 2

10. You will need change for those overpriced restrooms. It costs 10 baht to use the lavatory.

11. You don't have to do fire dancing/jumprope/ring of fire unless you have the agility. If you don't, just step away. Or else you're gonna end up like this guy:

Full Moon Party7

That's gonna leave a mark!


12. Do not, under any circumstances, go for a swim. Due to the overpriced restrooms, most guys will just take a leak on the beach. The ocean is too immense you say? Say that again with more than 10,000 people at a party. The water will be waaaay too warm.

I don't mean to do a Debbie Downer on you. I had a great time at the Full Moon Party and I recommend you do it at least once in your life. But having fun doesn't necessarily mean you have to do something stupid.

Have you ever been to a crazy party? Is there anything we need to know before going to one? Share your thoughts!

Next time I’ll be posting about the strangers we keep on running into when we’re traveling. Watch out for The Strangers We Know.

Until the next trip,
Sole Sister Lois

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25 sole trails

  1. thanks nina! What a crazy night!

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  2. awesome article as usual! :) made me regret not going to this year's but also made me promise myself not to miss next year's ;)

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  3. NAMAN NAMAN! Once a year lang ba 'to??? Sama sama tayo next time. Oh... and another place I want to visit is The Gili Islands.... Doooooood lets go! :)

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  4. "The water will be waaaay too warm." LOL

    I'm not much of a party person but this sounds exciting. An adventure. Reading your post Lois feels like I'm in the party and experience it myself.
    Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Thanks for your comment Kaka! can we please go together? It aint the same with the girls! It would be lots of fun!

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  6. Hey Eartha! I didn't know you blogged! Just checked out your site.. Very nice! Every full moon yan so we can definitely plan to go. Doooood... san ba yung Gili islands? Such a globehopper!

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  7. Thanks for the comment Dutch! Yes, it was a crazeee adventure indeed! Thanks for reading and congratulations on your marriage!

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  8. Every full moon!? That sounds promising... Doood, Gili islands is in Indonesia!!! It's "off the grid" kasi it's literally an island na sobrang liit, there are no cars, no nothing. bikes lang and lakad lakad. It's a friggin party island with a nice beach... super secluded, away from everything... But you'll HAVE everything you need! Booze, the Beach, and GoOd Looking tourists like ourselves! HAHAHAHAHA!! Tara naaaaaaaaa!!! :)

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  9. That sounds like our kind of beach! Doood let's put it on the list for next year. Basta promise we'll go to Kuta/Bali for surfing din.

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  10. Thanks Lois.
    Next time, take me with you. :D

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  11. i like #6. :-) hahaha.

    were you able to get a 'full moon party' shirt? :-)

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  12. i wasn't able to attend a party like this when i was in boracay, i have to leave earlier kasi... anyway, this is s great help ha. kawawa yung tumalon sa apoy, literal na kumain ng buhangin.. haha wasted!

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  13. cant wait to go back ... thanks for sharing :-)

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  14. Yeah eks, I learned #6 the hard way. I didn't get a shirt. Souvenir photos are what works for me ;-)

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  15. Hey JJ, yeah that guy really hit the ground hard. Fire jumprope and buckets of alcohol certainly don't mix well. A lot of people had minor injuries the morning after too. They considered them 'battle scars' lol.

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  16. Hey flip.. yeah it seems going once is never enough. Good times.

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  17. Another set of fun pics. Nice one, Lois. I enjoyed reading this one especially coz' I lived in Koh Phangan for quite some time. They should post a huge tarp with this survival guide once you get off the ferry.

    Just make sure to dress comfortably when you go to one. Preferably, clothes that you can get wet in and don't mind drying in the next morning after the after-party. Haad Rin is not Paris ;-) I laughed after I read #7. I was able to try them 'special shakes'. They were special alright. And mind you... they're not for the faint of heart.

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  18. Haha, that's funny pishy! If they posted this guide at the pier, I'm not so sure people would still party. Esp. if they see a photo of that guy 'biting the dust' quite literally. I just heard about #7 from a friend. Wasn't so eager to learn how 'special' those shakes are!

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  19. Haha great post, it seems we have some similar views/advice on Full Moon parties! (http://40before30challenge.blogspot.com/2010/10/what-not-to-do-at-full-moon.html) Love your pictures too!!

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  20. Thanks for your comment Miss G. We like your site! And your mission is so great! Thanks for being an inspiring traveler.

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  21. i wasn't able to attend a party like this when i was in boracay, i have to leave earlier kasi... anyway, this is s great help ha. kawawa yung tumalon sa apoy, literal na kumain ng buhangin.. haha wasted!

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  22. That sounds like our kind of beach! Doood let's put it on the list for next year. Basta promise we'll go to Kuta/Bali for surfing din.

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  23. Thanks for the comment Dutch! Yes, it was a crazeee adventure indeed! Thanks for reading and congratulations on your marriage!

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  24. we didnt go to kophangan for the full moon party. We partied at vanvieng instead,twas amazing! ;)

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