The Full Moon Party on Haad Rin Nok or Haad Rin Sunrise beach on Koh Phangan is a massive event. The all night (and most of the next day) party regularly attracts up to 30,000 people. The vast majority of these people, young and old, have a great time and nothing bad happens to spoil their evening. However, there are a few for whom the party turns into a nightmare or at least a night they would rather regret. Here are a few simple guidelines to make sure your time at the Full Moon Party is ruined.
1) It is naive to tell people to not take drugs, but those who choose to take drugs should be aware that the party is patrolled by both uniformed and under-cover police who go up and down the beach looking for people smoking joints. Furthermore, you can be guaranteed that any class As that are offered to you on the night of the party are going to be of low quality and possibly cut with unpleasant substances. There is one bar that sells magic mushroom shakes. There have been a number of complaints from people who have felt very sick after imbibing one of these cocktails. Also magic mushrooms are strong hallucinogens that strongly distort reality and can easily lead to paranoia and can trigger more serious psychological events. Being surrounded by 1000s of people might not be the time to experiment with hallucinogens for the first time.
2) Booking your accommodation is a must for the Full Moon Party especially if you want to stay on one of the Haad Rin beaches or nearby at Seekantang or Bantai. The chances are that if you arrive on the day of the party you will be turned away from most places. Also the majority of bungalow operations place a minimum stay requirement (normally 3 or 4 nights) on anyone looking for accommodation over the Full Moon Party period. For more about Full Moon Party accommodation follow the link. Remember that if you book over the internet then there is very little room to negotiate a price reduction later because commissions have to be paid. At the same time, Thais are often open to haggling if they are having a slow month.
3) On the night of the party leave your passport, credit card and the bulk of your money in a safety deposit box back at your bungalow operator. There are many thieves and prostitutes at the party who look for people who have passed out so they can look for money. The less valuables you bring to a party the better. Carrying your money in a bag and then leaving your bag unattended is also a common mistake. Cameras and mobile phones are popular things to steal.
4) You may feel like you are returning to nature but don't let that deter you from wearing flip flops or thongs. The beach gets covered in broken glass as the night wears on.
5) Similarly, over 50% of men (and a fair proportion of women) go to the sea to empty their bladders rather than queue at the toilets (many of which you have to pay for). Be warned that if you go for a swim you are swimming in other people's urine.
6) Again on the subject of swimming: people regularly drown at the Full Moon Party because they are too drunk. During October, November and December the sea is turbulent and dangerous because of the monsoon season.
7) If you fancy a sleep on the beach, then a good spot to choose is the designated resting area. Volunteers are on hand to protect those who pass out and the sand is free of broken glass.
8) Beware of buckets. Because of the coke and red bull in buckets it is often hard to notice how strong the Thai whiskey is. If you want to last the distance than pace yourself. There is no last orders at the Full Moon Party so there is no reason to hurry your drinking.
9) If you meet a Thai woman who seems keen to be your girl friend you might want to find out if she is not a he and if she expects to be paid. Finding these things out in advance saves a lot of embarrassment later on.
10) Don'r ride a motorbike when you are drunk. The road to Haad Rin is steep and dangerous and on the night of the party is full of taxi drivers taking risks to make runs as quickly as possible.
11) Taxis over-charge on the night of the party. There is little that can be done about it. Keep your calm but negotiate. If there is a group of you, you have more power of negotiation. Also there are lots of taxis to choose from so don't worry you will get back eventually to your bungalow.
12) Remember that entry to the party is free but now people taking the Haad Rin express from Koh Samui on the day of the party are charged an extra fee. Also several travel agents add supplemental fees to tickets during the Full Moon period.
13) Lastly, check your dates. The Full Moon Party is often not on the exact day of the full moon.
14) Finally, be respectful of Thai culture and the Thai king and don't get involved in a fight with local boys. You might win round 1 but they will be back with their mates to make sure you badly lose round two.
Have a great party. Be safe. Be careful