Full Moon Party – A Complete Guide to Koh Phangan

Ever heard of the “Full Moon Party”? This is THE GO-TO party in Thailand for all party mongers. Haad Rin, the famous beach, plays host to the tens of thousands of tourists and local folks alike. Koh Phan Ngan (or) Koh Phangan is a small island, located between Koh Samui and Koh Tao, in Surat Thani Province of the South-east Thailand.

Quick Reference:

  • Thonga Sala – The Main pier catering to the Ferry transport to and from Koh Phangan
  • Haad Rinn – Full Moon Party Beach
  • Haad Yao & Haad Salad – Pristine & Famous beaches (Best suited for people who love to be at peace)
  • Famous…
    • Bar near Haad Salad & Haad Yao – Pirates Bar
    • Day-trips – Ang Thong National Marine Park, Koh Tao
    • Parties – Full Moon Party, Half Moon Party, Jungle Party, Boat Party

How to Reach Koh Phangan:

Bus & Ferry: Lomprayah is a renowned operator, selling joint ticket – a bus and a ferry combo, from Bangkok to Koh Phan Ngan. There are many agents selling tickets in and around Koh San Road in Bangkok.

Air: The nearest airport is in Koh Samui. Bangkok Airways and Nok Air operate in and out of Koh Samui. There are hourly ferries leaving Koh Samui to Koh Phan Ngan. Check out for package tickets which includes air ticket and ferry ticket.

Alternatively, Air Asia offers Island Transfer packages from Bangkok to Koh Phan Ngan (Bangkok airport to Nakhon Si Thammarat airport, followed by a bus ride for an hour and a half to Don Sak Pier, followed by a ferry ride from Don Sak Pier to Thong Sala Pier in Koh Phan Ngan).

The 3-hour ferry ride from Don Sak Pier to Thong Sala Pier is an amazing ride with stunning views. The huge ferry with 2 decks has open seats on the top deck and air-conditioned seats on the lower most deck.

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Areas to Stay in Koh Phangan:

 Full Moon Party - Guide to Staying in Koh Phangan
Guide to Staying in Koh Phangan

Party lovers – Haad Rinn is the place you should be heading to, if you are a party addict. There are numerous Hostels, Budget accommodations and Luxury Resorts to cater to every type of traveler.However, in my opinion it is better-off to stay near Thong Sala Pier or Ban Tai. Thong Sala and Ban Tai are almost located at the center of the Island, consequently making it the convenient place to traverse either side of the Island.

Few Budget Accommodations to consider…

Lime n Soda Beach Resort – Near Thongsala Pier

Viva on the Beach – Chaloklum

Most of the accommodations during Full Moon Party period would require a minimum of a weeks’ stay or so. One would be required to pay the Full Moon Buffet fee as well to most of the hotels/resorts!

Shopping & Food:

The Saturday market often referred to as the Walking street in Ko Phan Ngan, is open between 4 PM and 10 PM. The bustling market has an amazing line up of street food vendors selling delicious and sumptuous Thai delicacies, cloth merchants selling inexpensive garments – of course, women get the better deals and a line up of vendors and hawkers selling household items. The Walking Street stretches from Thong Sala Pier down the road leading to Haad Rin. There are also an array of Cocktail bars and Bistros along the lane.

Ever treated your taste buds to a cocktail of Thai whiskey (Sang Som) and tender coconut? Watch out for the street side stalls selling these coconut cocktails!

Om Ganesh Indian Restaurant was the only Indian Restaurant in Haad Rinn the last time i checked out. They served spicy Indian food, the best Indian food you could find in the whole of Ko Phan Ngan.

Finding Western and Italian food would be a cakewalk in Haad Rinn and the rest of the Ko Phan Ngan. Treat yourself to the Pancake street side vendors serving Chocolate, Banana, Mango, Nutella and a variety of other Pancakes.

Full Moon Party - Koh Phan Ngan - Scenic View from a Restaurant
Koh Phan Ngan – Scenic View from a Restaurant

Night Parties:

Hadd Rinn is the soul of Koh Phangan, the infamous Party hub which draws party goers in tens of thousands on Full moon days. The beach is packed with serious party goers donning bikinis, flaunting glossy face paintings, blowing trumpets and carrying the signature of Ko Phan Ngan – the cocktail buckets. The pubs by the beach side organize gaming events to unite the travelers from all around the world. The parties are lively and lovely, with people of all ages dancing to the tunes “PitBull”, “AfroJack” and so on.. You would find almost all genres of music being played around. The Psy-trance is sure to lift your spirits high with a cocktail in hand. The Full moon party which lasts till dawn would consequently drain your energy. It is prudent to keep yourself hydrated and enjoy within your limits.

best places to visit in thailand for honeymoon - Cocktail Buckets, Ko Phan Ngan
Cocktail Buckets – The Ko Phan Ngan Signature

Full Moon Party Schedule 2017: 

Full Moon Party Dates 2017
Thursday 12, January
Sunday 12, February
Sunday 12, March
Tuesday 11, April
Thursday 11, May
Friday 09, June
Monday 10, July
Monday 07, August
Tuesday 05, September
Friday 06, October
Friday 03, November
Sunday 03, December

Tips to Survive the Full Moon Party:

  1. Leave your valuables such as Passport, Mobile Phones, excess Cash and Cards locked in the safety lockers back in your rooms. There were reports of theft, both in the parties and in rooms. Use of Safety locker is advisable.
  2. Do not get drinks or any eatables from the fellow partying gentlemen. They might be laced with drugs which could knock you out or could eventually land you behind bars. Drugs are illegal in Thailand.
  3. If you are worn out partying, it is safe and wise to retire in your room. Do not sleep on the rented beds or sleeping areas by the beach. The chances of getting ripped off are high to certain.
  4. It is advisable to leave your rented bikes back in your hotel and commute to the party location by tuk tuk. Motorcycle might get stolen. Also, the rate of accidents and unfortunate incidents on party nights are higher.
  5. Do not get involved in a scuffle with any Gentlemen. It could be a scam in place to rip you off out of a fight or a scuffle.
  6. Exercise extreme caution and common sense to stay safe.

The tips above would generally save you in any happening party in Ko Phan Ngan. The other happening parties are Jungle Party, Half Moon Party and the Boat Party. Stay safe and have fun!

Jungle Experience Party:

This party happens a day before and 10 days after every Full Moon Party. The party location is set in the deep jungle of Baan Tai. Look out for the schedule before you plan your trip to Koh Phan Ngan. This is an unique experience you cannot afford to miss in the Party Island.

Muay Thai Boxing:

The traditional Thai boxing has a massive fan following. Ko Phan Ngan has at least four of the Muay Thai Stadiums, where you can experience the traditional boxing. You would find posters of the event and the fliers being distributed through out the island in Songtheaws. It’s an unique experience to watch a Muay Thai boxing match.

Island Hopping,Kayaking & Snorkeling Day Trips:

There are many travel agents selling Island hopping and Snorkeling tours throughout the Island. Ang Thong National Marine Park day trip is a renowned and scenic trip not to be missed. Ang Thong National Marine Park is an archipelago off 42 islands with crystal blue waters and stunning views. The trip includes pick up from the hotel between 6-7 am in the morning, Island hopping by Speed boat, Snorkeling, Kayaking (depends on the cost of the package), Buffet lunch, Emerald Lake, View points, Snacks, Cool drink and Water bottles, and drop at the hotel between 5-6 PM in the evening. Checkout few travel agents for the price before booking.

Emrald Lake - Ang Thong National Marine Park
Emrald Lake – Ang Thong National Marine Park

Most Note Worthy tours available from Kho Phan Ngan..

  • Day trips to Koh Tao
  • Day trips to Koh Nang Yuan

Scuba Diving:

Scuba Diving in Thailand is absolutely stunning. There are scores of PADI shops offering certificate courses in Diving. Rather, if your interests are limited but to enjoy Diving, opt for Discover Scuba Diving (DSD), an one day diving affair with open water training and two assisted Diving up to a depth of 12m. As a precaution, please do not to fly for the next 48 hours after diving, owing to the nitrogen in Diving Cylinders. Plan your trip accordingly. Ko Tao, an island near Ko Phan Ngan is the one of the best places for Diving. There are numerous dive shops offering accommodation and diving courses. Alternatively, you could opt to stay in a luxury resort and experience DSD. The vibrant coral reefs and the bluish green waters makes it an ideal place to experience Diving and Snorkeling.

Other Adventure activities:

Canopy adventure, Trekking trips in to the jungle, Zipline, Kiteboarding, Surfing are few other adventure activities that are available in the Island.

ATM & Super Market:

ATMs are available in Thong Sala and Baan Tai. There are a few 7/11 and Big C supermarkets.

Motor Bike Rentals:

The Bike rentals are available at around 300 THB a day. One would need to surrender a passport as security to avail rental bikes. First of all, please do check the condition of the bike before availing the rental service. Be a wise and careful rider. Damages arising out of any accident could cost you high!

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