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Experience the Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan
As I stepped off the ferry onto the beautiful popular island of Koh Phangan, in South East Thailand, it became very clear that the masses of people around me were there for the same reason. Most of us had travelled for a whole day on cramped ferries and overloaded buses eager to experience the famous all night beach party, attended by thousands of party goers from all over the world – the Full Moon Party!
Due to the amount of travellers arriving on the island around the same time, I had pre-booked my beach bungalow whilst in the UK. The Full Moon Party is held on Haad Rin Beach on the south-eastern area of the island; however I made a conscious decision to stay on the south-western coast of the island on Bantai Beach. This is just a 15 minutes tuk-tuk ride away from the action, but certainly a good decision.
On the morning of the Full Moon Party, I decided to head up to see the famous Haad Rin Beach before it was overtaken by thousands of people. By day I was able to sunbathe on the beautiful white sand beach and swim in the warm, calm sea and although the beach was very busy with like-minded people, I had a lovely relaxing morning.
The relaxation didn’t last long. At sunset, and armed with my luminous body paint, I met up with some new-found friends to begin our Full Moon Party preparations. At around 11pm, dressed in my shorts, vest and comfortable footwear, I headed for the party full of anticipation of what to expect.
As I made my way from the taxi drop off point to the beach, I was welcomed with stalls selling plastic coloured buckets containing sealed bottles of alcohol and mixers. With my drink of choice in hand, I could hear the beat of music and instantly felt the energy and excitement of everyone around me. Being quite short in height, I was delighted to realise I had approached the beach on a slight hill enabling me to see the party in full view. And what an amazing view it was, thousands of luminous dressed or painted party goers having the time of their lives.
Being free of alcohol at this time, I wanted to get a feel for the party and see as much of it as possible, and so we set off down the beach making our way from one DJ stand to the next, hearing commercial dance, techno, reggae and trance. Making my way back up the beach and stopping at numerous more stalls for further supplies of buckets, I finally stopped at the drum & bass music stand where I preceded to spend most of my night dancing and drinking. I wanted to enjoy my experience, I wanted to remember it and more importantly I wanted to be safe, and so I steadily drank through the night and was lucky enough to have one of the best nights of my life.
Although I didn’t want the party to end, one of the nicest memories for me was when we stopped dancing, sat down on the sand, (for the first time in eight hours) and watched the beautiful sunrise. As I looked around me, it appeared that half of the party-goers had also taken 20 minutes out to enjoy the moment, and the other half were still dancing and enjoying themselves immensely.
By 8am we agreed it was time to give our bodies a rest and so we walked away from the beach listening to people’s tales of how fabulous their night was. We hopped on one of the many tuk-tuks awaiting the tired party goers and left Haad Rin Beach with an amazing memory of an incredible night.
Tropical Sky’s Lauren Hall says: “When I think of Thailand my first thoughts are always of the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan. I would recommend travelling to Koh Phangan the day before the party starts and stay a night or two afterwards in which to recover. Stay up in the north – about 40 minutes away by car. I personally preferred this as then you’re away from all the noise and hotels are far less busy. To travel down to the Full Moon Party, I organised a transfer at a local bar that happened to be promoting the event, which only cost 200 Thai Baht (about £5). Be careful with the lethal ‘buckets’ which cost around £5 each. They will get you very drunk, so pace yourself. Whatever music you’re into, you’ll find here as the Full Moon plays out music to suit everyone. Just work your way up the beach for different musical styles. You can get yourself painted, or for a cheaper option, you can buy the paint yourself and enjoy coming up with some funky patterns with your travel companions – but be aware that the paint is very hard to get off! Without any doubt you will have an amazing night at the Full Moon Party and I would completely recommend it.”