Each month up to 30,000 travelers from around the world flock to the island of Koh Phangan, Thailand for the world famous Full Moon Party. The beach erupts with neon, pulsating music, sand and fire performers entertain the crowds. If only for the atmosphere and people watching opportunities this is an experience not to be missed – but to make sure the night runs smoothly and you have the best possible party here are my 7 tips for survival.
Image from Flickr courtesy of Joe Stump
SEVEN TOP TIPS TO SURVIVE FULL MOON
1. IT’S THE WORLD LARGEST (MOSTLY) FREE PARTY
There will always be those waiting to take advantage of tourists who have fallen victim to one too many buckets (or just fallen over). If anyone tries to sell you a wristband or tickets at extortionate prices be extremely wary. The most you should ever be charged is 100BHT (approx $3) and only in certain peak times to help with the clean up of the beach…but we reckon that might just be worth it.
$3 to keep this pretty? Oh go on then
2. THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS TOO MUCH NEON
Unless you are planning on becoming a full moon party veteran (sometimes scary folk who lurk in the darkness with so much Neon residue they glow in the daytime) the likelihood is you will only go once. So why not go mad with the paint? You will only look more out of place on the beach with no neon so your mantra should be the more the better.
3. SHARE A BUCKET WITH A FRIEND
It’s a time honored (well 30 year old) traveler tradition in Thailand to drink from buckets – they’re cheap and available everywhere on Koh Phangan so what’s not to like? But be warned they can be strong. Really strong. Two down and you’re down kinda strong. Share your first with a friend and see how you feel after that…no one wants to be THAT guy your mates had to drag home through the sand.
4. WEAR SHOES
Although it’s tempting to get back to nature and feel the glorious white sand beneath your toes there will be glass and other rubbish underfoot and buried in the drifts kicked up by dancing feet. The last thing you want is an injury to stop you busting your (no doubt stellar) moves – so keep the sneakers on.
5. FIRE SKIPPING ROPES, GOOD IDEA?
There will be loads of extremely talented people performing with fire on the beach, and a bucket or two down you may feel like it’s always been your calling to be one of them. They are entertaining to watch but when the fire skipping rope comes out, audience participation is expected. However easy it may look, even if you skipped for your Uni team (betting that’s a thing somewhere), it wont just be you – other drunken people will jump in on the rope. This can change rhythm and cause accidents to happen that lead to those people walking round the island with nasty burns on their legs. It is not worth pain, possible infection and the ruin of a perfectly good sun tan couple of minutes of glory. Watch from the sidelines and enjoy the show.
Yeah it may look like fun...but Ow. All the Ow. Image from Flickr courtesy of eric molina
6. STAY AWAKE TILL SUNRISE
You my be tired, you may smell like a bucket of Sangsom, your leg muscles may be done in by dunes, but it feels like a real achievement to be dancing on the sand as the sun starts to rise. Don’t be one of those tucked up in bed (or with your head down the loo) dreaming away the gorgeous morning.
7. SHOWER BEFORE BED
It’s so very, very tempting to just to crawl into you beautiful bed after the long night. But you will be covered in paint, booze and goodness knows what else that many hotels will try to charge you for if it rubs off on their bed sheets. Jump in the shower, wash off the residue, and enjoy a peaceful day in the sack.