The Full Moon Party has become a world-famous event that almost every traveller has heard of. As many as 30,000 people from all across the world gather together to join the celebration.
Dancing alongside thousands of travellers on a stunning beach beneath the full moon is an extraordinary experience. The monthly gathering is arguably the most epic party in Thailand, and one of the craziest beach parties in the world.
If the Full Moon Party Koh Phangan isn’t already on your bucket list, then it certainly needs to be.
In this guide, we will cover extensively everything you need to know about the full moon party, from how to get there, to what to expect during the night.
How To Get To Koh Phangan Full Moon Party
The only way to reach Koh Phangan is by ferry. As there is no airport on the island, everyone arrives by ferry from either Koh Samui or Don Sak Pier in Surat Thani.
The fastest way to get from Bangkok to Koh Phangan is by flight and ferry. Numerous flights operate between Bangkok and Koh Samui, with a flight time of approximately one hour. When you arrive at Koh Samui airport, you will find ticket counters selling onward travel to Koh Phangan.
A more affordable but slower way to travel is by catching a bus/train to Koh Phangan. The tickets will be joint transportation (bus/train/ferry). If using this option, it is better to find an overnight bus or train and to spend the journey sleeping.
The tickets for the overnight trains usually sell out fast, so we strongly advise to book at least seven days in advance. Not the same is true for the buses, and you can usually book these just a few hours before.
Getting from Phuket to Koh Phangan is just as easy, by either flight or bus. The bus departs from Phuket bus station and travels to Donsak Pier. When you arrive at the pier, you will take a ferry to the island. The overall journey time is around 7.5 hours.
Just like when travelling from Bangkok, you can also fly from Phuket to Koh Samui and catch a ferry across to Koh Phangan. Despite being quicker, flying will always be the more expensive option.
From Koh Tao / Koh Samui
To get to Koh Phangan from Koh Tao or Koh Samui, you will need to take a ferry. The fastest boat operator is Lomprayah, which you can book directly via their website.
Ticket prices from Koh Tao to Koh Phangan are between 500 to 600 baht, with an overall journey time of roughly one hour. The journey time from Koh Samui to Koh Phangan is just over an hour, and the tickets are around 300 baht.
The Biggest Spectacle: Full Moon Party On New Years Eve
Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve is by far the biggest full moon party of the year. Although no full moon, the event still delivers the same enjoyable experience.
At midnight, there is an impressive firework display on the beach. Due to the tremendous popularity of these events, it is essential to book your accommodation well in advance to avoid disappointment.
Take note: if you don’t like busy crowds, then these events may not be for you. However, due to Christmas and New Year signifying a special occasion, it’s always nice to go out with a bang (no pun intended).
Koh Phangan Full Moon Party 2020 Dates
The full moon party takes place every month on the island of Koh Phangan, for the night of the full moon. Occasionally the dates are adjusted around Buddhist holidays and do not correspond with the actual night of the full moon.
Below is a list of full moon party dates for 2020:
- 9th January (Thursday)
- 9th February (Sunday)
- 8th March (Sunday)
- 7th April (Tuesday)
- 7th May (Thursday)
- 5th June (Friday)
- 6th July (Monday)
- 3rd August (Monday)
- 1st September (Tuesday)
- 1st October (Friday)
- 29th November (Sunday)
- 25th December (Xmas)
- 28th December (Xmas)
- 31st December (New Year)
Best Time To Go
The best months to attend a full moon party are between December and April. These months are high-season in Thailand, with December usually being the busiest time of year. By far the biggest party is on New Year’s Eve when the island reaches its peak.
People usually start to arrive for the party around 10 pm although it doesn’t reach its busiest until around midnight. The party is all night long until the early hours of the morning.
The days leading up to the full moon party are usually just as exciting, with plenty of other enjoyable events to choose from — these include the waterfall party, the jungle party, and the half-moon party.
What To Wear To The Full Moon Party
Throughout the island, many shops sell full moon party attire. The clothes consist of bright coloured vests or shorts, covered with the full moon party written on them. You will find most people at the party wearing them.
The idea of wearing next to nothing in clothing is so you can cover your skin in neon paint from one of the many artists on the beach. The paint comes in bright fluorescent colours, and you will see party-goers covering their legs and body in some trendy designs.
The UV Paint is the norm at these parties, and it seems that the more you wear, the trendier it is. The paint will stain your clothes, so it’s a good idea to invest in some party clothing.
It’s also a good idea to wash all of the paint off before you go to sleep, as hotels will charge you if you stain their bedding or towels.
Full Moon Party Costs
It costs 100 baht for entrance to the full moon party, although you can avoid paying this if you are already staying on Haad Rin Nok beach.
We have created a complete cost breakdown for the party night below:
- Entrance Fee: 100 THB
- Drink Buckets: 250 – 450 THB
- Average Street Food Meal: 100 – 200 THB
- Thai Pancake: 30 – 60 THB
- Neon Paint: 150 – 300 THB (Depending on size)
- Toilets: 10 – 20 THB (This can add up throughout the night)
- Beer: 80 – 100 THB
Other costs include transport and accommodation, which will vary respectively on circumstances.
Full Moon Party Safety Advice
Safety at the full moon party can be a concern – the risk of theft, drugs, and drinks being spiked is very real. If you add drunken holiday-goers into the mix, you will probably be asking, “is the full moon party safe?”.
That is why we have added this safety tips section – to provide you with all the information necessary for staying safe at the Koh Phangan Full Moon Party.
Theft Of Valuables
Everyone wants to capture that picture-perfect Instagram photo or video for YouTube. But take caution, as you could become a victim of theft. Thieves will often target tourists by following you, waiting for a perfect opportunity to snatch your camera or phone.
We advise leaving all of your valuables locked back at the hotel, and only bringing enough cash with you for the evening. If you are carrying valuables, make sure to either hold them tight or keep them entirely out of sight (but hopefully in mind).
Watch Your Drinks
Cheap buckets of alcohol mixed with your favourite spirits are the preferred drink choice at these types of parties. But regardless of choice, you must always keep an eye (preferably two) on your drinks at all times.
Admittedly, drink spiking can occur anywhere in the world; however, it always seems to be more prevalent amongst events of this nature and size.
Drink plenty of water throughout the night to keep hydrated. Hopefully, it should help with the morning hangover, too. Never underestimate the drink buckets as they contain a high percentage of alcohol. Pace yourself with the drinks, and you might even make it to sunrise.
Wear Appropriate Footwear
Assuming you don’t want a cut foot or worse, we advise you to wear trainers. The beach contains a load of rubbish, broken glass, and other hazardous objects. Flip flops are not a feasible option, and to be honest, you’ll lose them within the first 20 minutes anyway.
Avoid drugs at all costs
Using drugs in Thailand is a serious offence and comes with severe penalties. No matter what other people tell you: if you get offered drugs at the full moon party or anywhere else in Thailand, then walk the other way.
Often, police officers will go undercover to try and bait tourists into buying drugs. The only thing you’re actually buying, though, is a fast ticket to jail. Best case scenario is you will be asked for a hefty bribe. But failure to pay that, then you may find yourself in a Thai prison. And let me tell you, Thai Prison is not a place you want to visit.
Don’t drink & drive
Leave your bike at the hotel/hostel and take a taxi. By leaving your bike behind, you avoid any temptation to drink and drive back home.
For the sake of a few hundred baht, then we strongly advise taking a taxi to and from the full moon party. There is no shortage of taxis operating throughout the night.
Where To Stay In Koh Phangan
With plenty of accommodation choices available on the island, you will want to stay in the Haad Rin area (full-moon party beach) to be close to the action. We always advise booking your accommodation at least a few days in advance as rooms tend to sell out quickly around this period.
You can also stay on the neighbouring island Koh Samui and take a taxi boat to and from the full moon party. It’s not our preferred choice, but many tourists seem to be happy to do it.
To help make your trip easier, here are our recommended places to stay:
Paradise Bungalows (Low Budget)
Situated directly on Haad Rin Beach, Paradise Bungalows is a fantastic option for travellers on a smaller budget.
All of their modern rooms come equipt with aircon, Wifi, and a private balcony. The hotel also boasts a swimming pool, restaurant, safety deposit box and laundry service.
Prices: From 350 THB and may increase during the full-moon party period.
Sea Breeze Resort (Mid Budget)
Sea Breeze Resort is an excellent choice if you are on a mid-size budget, and is within walking distance of the full moon party.
Although located in Haad Rin, the hotel is just far enough away from the beach to provide a quiet escape from the manic party scene. The hotel features a swimming pool, A/C rooms, free breakfast, Wifi, and incredible sea views.
Prices: From 1,250 THB and may increase during the full-moon party period.
Cocohut Beach Resort & Spa (High Budget)
By far one of the more expensive resorts on the island is Cocohut Beach Resort & Spa. This exclusive getaway provides its own little slice of paradise.
Situated on Leela Beach, the hotel provides its own private beach experience in a secluded and quiet area. Cocohut is just a short five-minute walk from the full moon party.
The hotel boasts picturesque views, spa facilities, a bar and restaurant, pool area, and modern styled rooms.
Prices: From 3,000 THB and may increase during the full-moon party period.
More Thailand Guides: