For many a night at one of Thailand’s world-renowned Full Moon Parties is a must to tick off the bucket list, so during our trip we had to stop off at well-known party island Kho Phangan to experience it for ourselves.
The night began with my group of friends meeting for dinner at our hostel where Bobo, the lovely lady who runs our hostel, painted us for the party with UV paint.
Our adventures began pretty early in the evening with an epic taxi drive to the beach. Nine of us had to squash into the back of a pickup truck and we were spilling over the edge so much that the driver left the boot lid open. My friend and I were sat right in the front and it was like a backwards rollercoaster ride with no seatbelts. Thai taxi drivers don’t seem to go below 90mph so it was pretty thrilling! The driver stopped about half way there to tell us to hold on tight and we didn’t know why until we started going up some enormous hills, we had to hold on or we would have definitely fallen out.
Buckets of booze
Once we got there it was every bit as hedonistic and debaucherous as you’d expect – and more! There were thousands of people covering every inch of sand – be that dancing, drinking or piled up in corners. Buckets were sold by the shed load, the cheapest we saw were 150 Baht which is just under £3. This bought you a child’s sandcastle-sized bucket full of alcohol and (minimal) mixer. It’s no surprise that so many people were lying as opposed to standing.
Maybe don’t go in the sea…
It was quieter down one end of the beach so we found a space and sat and people watched for a while – we saw no end of interesting people! We were advised before we went not to go into the sea, because a) toilets were expensive, so people used other means, and b) we saw no end of…activity going on in there! There were huge bins dotted along the beach and we saw Thai men and women fishing empty buckets out of them to be used again – we tried not to think about this and just hoped they washed them. Towards the end of the night we also saw a man with a torch fishing buckets out of the sea, which made me feel physically sick at the thought of how many bodily fluids were casually mixing with the sea water!
Full Moon Party activities
Later we ventured up to the busier end of the beach, which was a mission in itself because of the sheer amount of people, but eventually found a small space outside a bar that was playing classic rock. Each bar was trying to outdo each other music wise so the noise was immense – talking to each other was pretty much impossible.
There were various activities you could do, tarot card reading etc. and there was even a designated ‘sleeping areas’. We also stumbled across a bar with a water slide from its roof to the beach below, you landed on compacted sand so not a soft landing, but there seemed to be quite a queue.
Health and safety at the Full Moon Party
A bit further along there were two platforms stood opposite each other with two boys swinging a rope which was doused in lighter fluid and set on fire for people to jump over…and they were actually doing it! And inevitably every five seconds someone lost rhythm and it caught people’s legs, or worse, they all fell on it and the scramble of bodies was mad. Health and safety really isn’t an issue in Thailand at all.
A friendly atmosphere
Everyone was friendly and just walked up and started a conversation; a lot were just drunkenly slurring, but very nice all the same! Worryingly most of the people who spoke to me had lost their friends. It was tricky trying to keep track of nine people, particularly in the busier bits, but I’m glad there was a big group of us, especially as we would have just been three girls if we hadn’t met up with them. I have to be honest and say that I felt safer being there in a large mixed group.
We called it a night at 3am and thankfully our journey home was a little less stressful. The party was still going strong when we started heading home, so if you’re a party person, this is definitely your kind of scene!
Have you spent a night at a Thai Full Moon Party? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the Full Moon Party experience Let us know below what your night was like and what you got up to!
Blog post images copyright of Laura Beard.
Featured image by Shorkye at English Wikivoyage, via Wikimedia Commons.