I went to the Full Moon Party when I did a month long Thailand – Indonesia trip in February 2017. Honestly, I didn’t know much about it when we first decided to go other than it’s something that you cross off the Southeast Asia bucket list when you go to Thailand. I had done some research just before trekking to Koh Phangan but nowhere I read online touched on these points. These are all things I wish I knew before going to the Full Moon Party. I truly believe I would have had a better time if I did.
1) It’s stressful
Okay, okay this one depends entirely on the person you are. Maybe my maternal instincts were showing or maybe I just didn’t drink enough but I honestly found the Full Moon party stressful. Of course I knew the party hosts an insane amount of people and people that are high on anything and everything. However actually witnessing it made me really uneasy.
There were people going into the water when the waves were HUGE. This really made me anxious knowing a fellow Canadian had died in those waters during the New Years Eve party 2 months earlier. Next, glass bottles littered the beach and bare feet are everywhere. The fact there weren’t bloody soles is surprising! There’s a sign made of fire displaying “FULL MOON FESTIVAL KOH PHANGAN” with chunks of fire falling next to the dancing attendees. And whenever an intoxicated party-goer tried chatting me up I ended getting really concerned about them and instead of listening to their advances I would ask where their friends were, if they were okay and suggesting they go home. Despite what I say I swear I’m not a Debbie-Downer.
2) You have to pay to use the bathroom
I mean, it’s not much, just 1 or 2$CND. But when ATMs only give you large bill denominations it’s nice to know that you have to bring the small stuff in order to go to the bathroom. This was the only place in Thailand where we encountered a fee-to-pee.
3) There’s a 7-11!
Thailand loves their 7-11’s so seeing one outside the party gates was a pleasant surprise. But better yet, party-goers can bring outside alcohol! If I had known there was a 7-11 I could buy beer at and bring onto the beach I wouldn’t have chugged so many beers at my hostel! Of course the line to make a purchase was long but it went by seemingly quick. The Full Moon party is infamous for their bucket drinks but if you’re not in the mood to drink a (4-6$ CND) bucket that is 50% hard alcohol and 50% coke you do have an alternative!
4) Your accommodations probably have paint
If you’ve seen any photos from the party you’ll know Full Moon guests are covered with neon paint. My sister and I were on the island for 2 days before the party and we didn’t see paint being sold anywhere (granted we didn’t look THAT hard). A couple hours before we started prepping for the night we decided we would make a dedicated hunt through the stores to find paint. As we were leaving our hostel we saw the owner sitting outside and decided to ask him if he knew where to buy paint and he told us not to worry, the hostel was providing guests with paint! Our hostel wasn’t anything amazing so before you go searching, ask the reception of your accommodations if they provide paint.
If you want a funky, well painted design there are artists at the beach that do it for a fee. We didn’t get any but their designs were amazing!
5) Your taxi ride home may take a while
We stayed at a hostel right next to the ferry port, which was a 15-minute ride to the party. Depending where you’re staying on the island your taxi driver may not be willing to take you home until he has a car (or our case, the box of a truck) full. We ended up having to wait about 15 minutes for the driver to recruit more passengers before we made the 20-minute journey home (as he had to make stops for the other passengers). We did try to negotiate a slightly higher price per person to have him take us to our respective homes ASAP but he was recruiting hard and trying to fill the truck up to get maximum profit. If want you to be home by a certain time or if there’s concern about getting a very intoxicated friend home, this is important to know.
6) Check Thai Holidays
Check to see if any Thai holidays fall round the Full Moon Party whenever you plan on going. This is useful if you plan on having a wild few days on the island. We arrived on a Friday afternoon without knowing the next day was Thai holiday and alcohol sales were prohibited. The Full Moon party was on a Sunday so it did not impact the party however when you plan on having a weekend full of alcohol it was kind of a bust. The virgin banana coconut smoothies we had that night was delicious but not quite as satisfying as the Chang I was craving.
There you have it, what I wish I knew before going to the Full Moon party! It was definitely a ‘cross off the bucket list’ event but would I go again? Probably not, unless maybe if I went to Thailand with someone who really wanted to go. If I were to go in that area of Thailand again, I think I’d like to go to Koh Tao.
Disclaimer – I went to the Full Moon Party in February 2017 and although I can’t imagine much, if anything, has changed some of these may not be true by the time you go!
Like this post? Save it to Pinterest for later!