Full Moon Party - Koh Pha-Ngan
Full Moon Party
Hat Rin on Koh Pha-Ngan is famous for its full moon parties. In other areas of the island you can also find black moon parties or half moon parties so you if you are not there for full moon you don't have to miss out. However, these are a mere shadow of the full moon party that takes over the island once a month. Bars and discos along the beach have Thai and foreign DJs playing dance, techno, trance, hip hop, drum and bass etc all night long well into the morning. Transport to and from the island can get booked up as well with numbers reaching anything between 10,000 and 20,000 a month.
Getting accommodation at this time can be hard because determined ravers book up bungalows well in advance. It is possible to stay on Koh Samui and get the ferry over for the party and back again early the next morning.
Police are cracking down on the drug scene at full moon parties. They tend to stop and search travellers for drugs on the roads to Hat Rin. Undercover police go to the party to try to catch people dealing or taking drugs. Drug-taking in Thailand holds stiff penalties and really isn't worth it. See Thailand drugs for more details. If partying all night, make sure you eat well and drink lots of water. Each year several people die from going into the sea under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol so have a good time but don't overdo things. Dodgy ecstasy tablets and mushroom (hallucinogenic) omelettes can result in a trip to the hospital.
Hat Rin is the main town on Koh Pha-Ngan and is at the south-east part of the island on a narrow headland. The eastern beach is known as Sunrise Beach, likewise the smaller western one is known as Sunset Beach. Sunrise Beach is the main beach, where the full moon parties are held. It is one kilometre long.
There are many restaurants on the beach but these stop serving food fairly early in the evening on the night of a full moon party. A lot of illegal psychotropic drugs are also easily available and are best avoided as they can cause severe illness and even death from overdosing. Also possession can lead to fines or even imprisonment.