Full Moon Parties
Full Moon Party
I just came back from my first Full Moon Party, it was held October 10th, 2003. I found the trip to Koh Phangan to be different than expected. I had read all sorts of accounts of drugs being sold everywhere, crazed lunatics running around everywhere and it being very unsafe. This was totally the opposite of what we found.
We arrived on Koh Phangan the night before the party and booked a hotel a short drive from Haad Rin, which is the party location. I would not recommend staying the night on Koh Phangan. It is only a short boat ride from Koh Samui and speed boats leave every hour to make a 20 minute trip to Haad Rin. Also many hotels have a seven day minimum if you are staying there the week of the party, which falls on the full moon once a month.
If you stay on Koh Phangan your choices for hotels are limited to a few around the port city of Thang Sala which is a treacherous 30 minute plus drive up very steep roads. The roads are so unsafe they will not even rent scooters to you if you say you are going to Haad Rin. In Haad Rin there are numerous huts and backpacker type lodgings. They raise the price at the time of the party. Take it from me, it is much easier to stay on Koh Samui, and take a boat to the party and back.
There are numerous restaurants and bars located along the beach front facing Haad Rin Beach. All have huge sets of stereo speakers facing the beach turning the beach into one large concert / dance floor. There are a lot of fluorescent lights, body painting and glow sticks for the rave type theme. I saw over 5,000 people dancing and partying in the bars and all along the beach. Not once did I see a uniformed police officer, undercover police officer or anyone getting hassled. There was a checkpoint on the road between Thong Sala and Haad Rin where our taxi was stopped at a police manned point and lights were briefly shined on us then we were allowed to pass. I did see some Thai men on motorcycles being searched there.
At the party itself there was quite an international mixture of many Europeans, Thais, Japanese, Israelis, Australians and Americans to name just a few nationalities. I saw no fights, just a bunch of happy people forgetting about the problems of the world coming together for one big drunkfest. I am a former police officer and saw no drug use, was not asked to purchase drugs (as has happened to me on the streets of Bangkok and Pattaya) and had a great time.
There were a lot of single European female groups roaming around and as the night wore on people began passing out on the beach. This could be an unsafe environment for a single female to pass out in, but everyone was amazingly friendly.
So to the author of if you are Dutch you are screwed I heartily disagree with your take on the Full Moon Party. Have you ever been to one because I have.
I must admit that the image of huge drug use at these full moon parties always put me off going.