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Full Moon Party Koh Phangan – Thailand

Where is the Full Moon party?

While many Thai islands claim to have a Full Moon party, the original Full Moon party location is on Haad Rin beach in Koh Phangan. Koh Phangan is one of my favourite Thai islands and not only because it is home to the famous or infamous Full Moon beach party. The North of Koh Phangan has a wild and rugged beauty and you can stay in both budget, mid-range or luxury accommodation on this island.

When is the Full Moon Party in Thailand?

Once a month during the Full Moon. For details for the Full Moon party 2019 and 2020, see this website for updated Full Moon dates and schedule http://www.fullmoonparty-thailand.com/schedules.html. The Full Moon is not the only party that Koh Phangan has to offer so if your holiday dates do not coincide you can consider joining a Black Moon, Half Moon, Waterfall party and many more party options.

The best places to stay for the Full Moon party on Koh Phangan

I have now been to 6 Full Moon parties and stayed in various budget to luxury accommodation in Koh Phangan. It’s possible to stay on Koh Samui and take a boat to Haad Rin for the Full Moon party but personally I love Koh Phangan more than Koh Samui so I’d rather stay on the party island!

Where to stay for the Full Moon on a budget

The cheap hotels in Koh Phangan tend to be in the North of the island, approximately 40 minutes drive to Haad Rin beach, where the Full Moon Party is held. If you want to be away from the action and in a quieter area, I definitely recommend staying somewhere like SeaBoard bungalows, where I stayed with friends on a previous trip. It’s cheap, the bungalows are spacious and beach is lovely and inviting. Unfortunately there is no swimming pool but we spent all our time in the sea anyway! Check out Agoda for more prices and availability.

Lucky Resort – click for prices

My sister and I stayed here a while back. It has incredibly cheap, basic bungalows (approximately 300 baht/9USD/8GBP) for two people, a pool and a small rocky beach. I definitely recommend this budget accommodation for the party if you are a backpacker but want somewhere as cheap as a hostel but your own room! It’s in the North so factor in a 200 baht songtaew (Thai style truck with two rows of seats) ride to and from the party.

Where to stay for the Full Moon Party – mid-range to luxury hotel on Koh Phangan

My new favourite accommodation on Koh Phangan is the amazing Divine Comedie. Located 20 minutes from Haad Rin by song taew (Thai truck), you are able to walk to the Challenge Koh Phangan, Infinity Hostel for a pool party and drinks and is a short 10 minute ride from the main jetty – Thong Sala pier.
This boutique hotel has unique designs inside, a rooftop hammock, pool with views of Koh Samui, a bar inside the pool, amazing food, a long beach outside (not ideal for swimming though as it is like a small lagoon area with lots of sea urchins!). Click here for more reviews, pictures and prices
Views from the hotel
This place has all the views

How much does the Full Moon Party cost?

Be wary of Full Moon Party ticket scams. I have seen many websites advertising Full Moon Party tickets costing 1000+ baht! This is just not true. The Full Moon party in recent years has started charging 100 baht for a ticket and will give you a band upon entrance. Drinks are mainly in buckets and cost around 150-300 baht depending on your alcohol of choice. There are food stands along the beach and down the roads to help you pace yourself with your partying!

What to expect at the party?

Up to 30,000 people partying on a beach, fire shows – dancers and fire jumping ropes, a lot of dirty backpackers, neon paint everywhere, drunk people everyone, people having sex in the sea, people pissing in the sea, alcohol and food stands, dancing from 10pm-6am, roped off sleep areas for those who can’t quite make it until sunrise, a giant slide from the top of one of the bars, magic mushroom mountain at the end of the beach, a range of music from different stands along the beach and a night you may or may not remember!

What to wear to the Full Moon Party?

Most party-goers believe less is more at the party and I can’t say I disagree. I love painting and being painted in neon paint because you don’t get many opportunities to behave like an idiot in other areas of life. Last Full Moon I attended, I aimed for a sea theme…check out my drunkenly painted whale shark? I usually wear closed shoes because my friend stood on glass once during the party and almost ended up with blood poisoning! Many party-goers do go barefoot but it’s a personal choice of whether to risk it or not! Looking for more advice on what to wear and what to bring to Thailand – read this post.
Body painting at full moon party
Drunken shenanigans and marine life art…

Should I take my phone to the Full Moon Party?

I know what I am like and therefore I always leave mine at home and cheekily rely on others for photos.

Staying safe at the Full Moon party

Keep your valuables in a locked safe in your accommodation. It’s a night that thieves know everyone is out so hotels/hostels are more likely to get broken into.
Check the seal on all spirit bottles before the bartender opens the bottle to make sure it is legit alcohol and not a backyard brew!
No sex or any other shenanigans in the sea… people are pissing right next to you and I don’t even wanna contemplate what STIs you could catch from that!
Don’t swim in the sea if it’s rough. There was a very sad incident in which a tourist drowned in recent years so please avoid the sea if there are big waves.
My friends and I always arrange a meeting place when we arrive in Haad Rin as it’s very easy to become separated.
Full Moon party has always been linked with taking drugs. I’m more a fan of the Thai rum!
Do not ride scooters drunk and be aware other people will be drunk driving so I would never personally get on a scooter on Full Moon party night. There are always many accidents, including fatalities.

Do I have to stay a minimum of 4 days for accommodation booking?

Absolutely not. This is one of the hostel/hotel scams where they try to insist tourists stay and pay for a minimum of 4 nights. I have been many times to the Full Moon party staying in Koh Phangan on my weekends off from working in Bangkok so I can assure you this is not true. Most places in Haad Rin will try and insist on this. I know that Fellini Home does not insist on staying a minimum number of nights and it is possible to book in for one night. Therefore I think this is one of the best hostels to stay at for the Full Moon party – check out dates and availability here. Any accommodation outside of Haad Rin should not insist on this so make sure you are not being taken advantage of if you do not have the time to stay longer!

How to get to the Full Moon Party from Koh Phangan?

To travel to Haad Rin from other areas of Koh Phangan, your hostel or hotel can arrange a group songtaew (truck). It will cost between 100-200 baht one way depending on where on the island you are staying. For returning after the party, songtaews will wait until they are full before setting off so patience is often needed as you wait for party-goers to join.

How to get to the Full Moon Party and Koh Phangan from Bangkok?

To get to Koh Phangan from Bangkok I recommend flying to Surathani, bus and then the ferry. Alternatively take a night bus and then the ferry which can get you on the earliest boat and arriving by approximately 10am. You can book tickets for the faster Lomprayah bus + catamaran here, and on this travel Thailand website and alternatively you can use this Thai website. Bear in mind buses booked on the last website depart from different places in Bangkok as these are not tourist-only buses. Do not expect buses or ferries to arrive exactly on time – This is Thailand!
Koh Phangan also boasts the dive site of Sail Rock – check out here for more information about diving in Thailand
Koh Phangan is one of the best islands in Thailand for parties and for nature and beaches. Read my reviews of other Thai islands to help you decide where to go and where to visit- here.
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Best Untouched Beaches on Islands in Thailand

With so many beaches in Thailand it makes it very challenging to decide which are the best ones. There are beautiful islands around Krabi, Koh Phi Phi, Phuket and the Gulf of Thailand too. However, for me there are a few untouched Thai islands where the sand is white, the water clear, lots of greenery around and not too crowded. I have in no way been to all of the beaches in Thailand but having visited over 13 inhabited islands and many more deserted ones, these are a round-up of 5 beaches which I think are the best quiet beaches in Thailand.

For the all my island summaries read this post to help you decide which island to visit…

Book your trains, buses and ferries here…discounts available for multiple tickets and trips!
Kantiang Bay, Koh Lanta

This is definitely one of the prettiest beaches in Thailand. It has a huge area of white sand, you can see your feet when standing in the sea and the jungle comes down to meet the sand meaning no big built up buildings or roads in the way. It is incredibly calm and when I was there in April time the beach had about five people on it. Koh Lanta is much less touristy that some other islands and in off-peak season there are barely any people  around. You can book a ferry using this website, and get discounts for more than one ticket.

Best Quiet Beach Tip: Stay at this amazing accommodation, a slight walk up the hill but well worth it for the views of Kantiang Bay. It also has an infinity pool, spacious rooms with windows from ceiling to floor and a cheeky group of visiting monkeys!

quiet beaches thailand
Views of Kantiang Bay
Main Beach, Koh Kradan

This is one of the best secluded beaches. It’s a tiny island which has limited accommodation and is mostly a National Park. Most island hopping trips around the area of Koh Lanta stop here for a visit or lunch break. The main beach is stunning; white sand and crystal clear waters and the decent coral around offers some snorkelling potential here too.

Best Quiet Beach Tip: To avoid the day tripper crowds, consider staying at a resort on the island

quiet beaches thailand
Island Hopping to Koh Kradan
Beaches on Koh Similan

The Similan Islands are some of the most beautiful islands I have ever visited in Thailand. They are extremely old and have smooth shaped rock formations as they used to be submerged underwater as coral reefs. While the snorkelling/diving here is not what it once was it is still worth a visit and the beaches are breath-taking. They have very white sand and transparent water and also some great viewpoints for photos.

Best Quiet Beach Tip: My best advice to avoid the day crowds is to camp overnight through the National Park service here.

quiet beaches thailand
Quiet beaches – Koh Similan
Sunrise Beach, Koh Lipe

Another winner for the white sand and clear waters, head to Koh Lipe for one of Thailand’s most stunning islands. Unfortunately Lipe does have a battle with litter but the locals work hard to keep Sunrise Beach clear of litter to keep it the paradise beach it should be.

Best Quiet Beach Tip: In the evening, walk round to the very aptly named Sunset Beach for some of the best sunsets that I’ve seen in Thailand

quiet beaches thailand
Enjoy beautiful beaches in Koh Lipe
Bottle Beach, Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan is always the island I keep going back to. Mainly for the Full Moon Party but it has so much more to offer as well. One of my favourite beaches on this island it is only accessible by boat and so it is much quieter than other beaches around Koh Phangan. It has a few places for lunch time eating and it’s in a pretty white sand bay. Head here to avoid the crowds, especially around Full Moon time when the island fills up.

Best Quiet Beach Tip: Get a group together to make the longtail boat ride cheaper

quiet beaches thailand
Beaches on Koh Phangan

Where are your favourite beaches in Thailand?  Future contenders are Koh Phayam, Koh Maak, Koh Kut…watch this space!

Top 5 Beach Essentials
  1. Sarong – ditch the heavy beach towel, I find I carry half the beach home with them and buy a quick-drying sarong that does the job just as fast. I love brightly coloured ones like this Amazon one Ayliss Sarong if you’re looking for gifts for travellers or wait until you are out here and head to a market
  2. Dry Bag – Keep your belongings safe from the sea, especially handy when getting it and off boats. Buy yours from Amazon hereDry Bag (Green, 5L)
  3. GoPro – so useful for all your holiday footage. I love the Gopro Hero 4 as you can take it diving down to depths of 40metres GoPro HERO4 BLACK

For the all my island summaries read this post to help you decide which island to visit..

Thailand Itinerary: One Week

So you’ve got one week in Thailand?  Is a week too short to travel Thailand? Is it even worth visiting Thailand in such a short time?

Having spent almost 4 years living in Thailand, I can confidently say that you can pack a lot into a week of travel there if you make smart travel decisions and decide on places to visit that are nearby to your entry airport.

Most people travelling to Thailand fly into Bangkok, Chiang Mai or Phuket so consider the geography when deciding.

Whether you’re a beach bum, a party animal, a culture vulture or an adventurer I’ve suggested an itinerary for you to make the most of your trip around Thailand. Even if you only have a week, I still think Thailand is always worth the visit. Focus on a few main highlights to enjoy.

If you only have one week I suggest picking Bangkok and a couple of islands that are geographically close to each other to visit.

Transportation in Thailand

Domestic Flights – Flying around Thailand

Travelling around Thailand by airplane ensures that you won’t waste time waiting for public transport and you can guarantee that most flights will leave and arrive on time.

Which airline to use for domestic flights in Thailand? I recommend Nok Air, Air Asia and Thai Smile as there are usually the budget airlines with the most options.

Public Transport – Travelling around Thailand by night bus or trains

However, night buses and trains can also be a good option for a week holiday to Thailand because you can travel at night and therefore make the most of the days and a bonus is saving on accommodation. so this is a good budget tip for travelling Thailand. For booking trains and ferries in advanced you can use this user-friendly website which adds on discounts for additional journeys and bookings.

 

1 week Thailand Itinerary for  BEACH BUMS

Focus on Southern Thailand if you have one week to visit Thailand’s beautiful beaches.  I recommend flying into Phuket so that you are already landing in the South of Thailand – the Andaman sea. If you fly into Bangkok, it is very far to travel and will include a night bus or another domestic flight. Thailand has some of the best islands to spend a week relaxing and exploring:

Day 1 & 2 in Krabi and Railay

Head down to Krabi province from Phuket – spend 2 days exploring  Railay. It has beautiful beaches, nice snorkelling and great restaurants as well as a viewpoint. Spend day 1 on the beach and day 2 I recommend a snorkelling tour which includes island hopping to nearby islands.

Day 3 explore around Ao Nang and Krabi

Ao Nang has a fantastic national park with a mountain to hike and amazing views of the Andaman and its nearby islands.

Day 4,5 and 6  in and around Koh Phi Phi

Take the boat to Koh Phi Phi to experience legendary fire shows, beach parties and a true backpacker island.

Spend the day on Phi Phi’s beaches or explore other nearby islands. You could consider chartering a long tail boat to visit uninhabited islands not far from Koh Phi Phi. Spend the evening partying on the beach, drinking buckets and experiencing the best fireshows in Thailand. (and I have seen a few!).

Consider trying scuba diving around Koh Phi Phi. It has a marine park in which there is healthy coral and a lot of marine life to see (I have seen turtles and sharks while scuba diving in Koh Phi Phi Leh) Remember if you are trying diving, PADI recommends leaving 18-24 hours by flying so don’t leave this experience until your last day!

Already a scuba diver? Read my post about the best dive sites in Thailand, click here

For the Ultimate Beach Bum: Read about the best islands in Thailand

1 week Thailand Itinerary for PARTY ANIMAL

Come to Thailand to party and enjoy the islands’ best nightlife?

Day 1 – take night bus/train to Koh Tao

Day 2 and 3 on Koh Tao

Day 4 and 5 Head to Koh Phangan, time with a Full Moon/Half Moon/Jungle Party. Make the most of the Full Moon Party with these tips and advice

Day 6 back to Bangkok

Day 7 explore Bangkok

For the top things to do in Bangkok

1 week Thailand Itinerary for CULTURE VULTURE

Experience some Thai culture and history and visit ancient temples, cities, and important historical sites:

Day 1 & 2 stay in Bangkok and spend time exploring

Day 3 & 4 Take train/minivan for 3 days in Kanchanaburi – visit waterfall, visit war museum, see bridge over the river kwai, visit an elephant sanctuary

Read more about Kanchanaburi on my post about Thailand’s Top National Parks

Day 5 –go to Ayutthaya the ancient capital in Thailand

Day 6 Take train/minivan from Ayutthaya back to Bangkok

 

1 week Thailand Itinerary for ADVENTURER

Thailand is for the adventurous and make the most of all the adventure and action:

Day 1 Spend time in Bangkok

Day 2 & 3 Take a minivan to Khao Yai National Park and go camping and jungle trekking

Day 4 & 5 Fly from Bangkok to Chiang Mai or take the night train and spend 3 days in Chiang Mai, ziplining, seeing elephants or any other adventure activities on my Chiang Mai list

Day 6 Fly/night train back to Bangkok

Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase tickets, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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Thailand itinerary 1 week

 

 

Full Moon Party Tips

I feel like I’m not supposed to like the Full Moon Party. It’s a bunch of drunks ruining one of my favourite islands, Koh Phangan. I’m over 25, I live in Thailand and I prefer to avoid dirty backpacker places. Yet I’ve been to FIVE Full Moon Parties so far…

Check this website to check your Full Moon Party dates and plan your trip around a few days on Koh Phangan. One to party and the rest to recover. And explore the beauty of Koh Phangan.

Ultimately, the Full Moon Party is a giant party on a beach, attracting up to 30,000 people! So enjoy and stay safe using my tips!

  1. Do stay till sunrise
  2. Do wear shoes – I go for closed in pumps as there can be glass around as one of my mates’ can testify!
  3. Do take a bumbag or just no bag! I take money in my pocket and that’s it!
  4. Do get covered in dayglow paint and drunkenly think you are the next Pablo Picasso.
  5. Do be patient with songtaews (trucks) when leaving. They will wait to fill up to make the most money possible. Remember the party can bring a lot of useful income for locals.
  6. Do eat food! While it’s all about the buckets, the street food is pretty good and will help you keep going until 6am!
  7. Do dance until the sun comes up
  8. Do consider staying in the north of the island. It takes 40 minutes by truck but accommodation is cheaper, nicer and they don’t have that ridiculous “you must stay minimum 4 days” crap that Haad Rin hostels try on.
  9. Do arrange a meeting point with your mates…you WILL get separated at some point!
  10. Do pay entry, it’s only 100 baht and think of all the cleaning up people have to do the next day!
  11. Do make new friends (coz you’ll probably lose your old ones!)
  12. Do stick to one spirit in your bucket…yummy Sangsom (Thai rum) is my favourite!
  13. Do kiss a dirty backpacker but…
  14. Don’t have sex in the sea…ew. People are pissing in it!
  15. Do NOT ride a scooter. People are killed every Full Moon and mostly from drink/drug driving.
  16. Don’t take a nap in the nap area…Full Moon is NOT for sleeping!
  17. Don’t wear your favourite dress! That neon paint does NOT come out.]
  18. Moving on after the Full Moon Party? The day after can get busy with people leaving the island so book your boat in advance.

Useful Things to Bring

    1. Bum Bags – very useful to have your hands free for drinking and dancing and to have your phone and money directly infront of you as the Full Moon can be a time for robberies. Buy your Waist Bag from Amazon.
    2.  Adorn your head with flowers to blend in with this backpacker crowd Flower Crown for Festival
    3.  For a classier version that neon paint, buy some cheap Boho Tattoos Flash Aztec Collection tattoos to take with you here on Amazon

How to get to Koh Phangan? Get your night bus/train ticket and ferry combo here.

After a quieter island after all that partying? Try visiting these quiet paradise beaches