The History of Full Moon
The Full Moon party is probably Thailand’s most famous backpacker event/attraction. We read that in 1987 or 1988 someone decided to celebrate their birthday with a beach party during the full moon and because it was so good, the same group then returned one lunar month later at the following full moon. Since then, every full moon, there has been a huge beach party that has grown in size month on month. It originated at the Sunrise Bar at the North end of Haad Rin Beach, Koh Pah Ngan, and is now spread all the way up the beach and throughout Haad Rin. The Full Moon Party can reach around 30,000 attendance in high season and 8,000 in the low season.
Full Moon Party Dates
We went to Full Moon Party on March 26, and apparently it was in low season – could have fooled us! We arrived at Haad Rin after a 10 minute taxi from our resort and had to pay the standard 100 Baht entry fee to get a wristband that allows you into Haad Rin centre. We didn’t arrive until 1.30am ish because we presumed drinks would be expensive so wanted to cram in as much pre-drinking as possible.
White Spirit was the Pre-Drink of Choice
As we walked through the streets in a garish sea of luminous painted bodies, vests and stupid hats, one of the first things we saw was Alex (one of the Quad girls) hyperventilating in the street – a reassuring start. We took her into a pharmacy and she was fine after about 5 minutes of panic attack. Our next stop, was the bucket stand. To our surprise we were ale to buy buckets for 120 Baht each (£3), which was much cheaper than we expected, so we each got one and made our way down to the beach.
The beach was packed with people in every direction. The main entrance to the beach brings you out next to Slinky bar, which is pretty much central with Sunrise bar to the far right and Mushroom Mountain to the far left as you face the sea. In essence, Full Moon Party is a huge beach party and the only difference between venues is the music genre and variety of fire entertainment they provide.
Tommy Bar was our first stop where they were we drawn in by the reggae/dubstep vibes. We came off the beach and into the white club structure and saw Lara (another of the Quad girls) before moving on again. We kept moving South down the beach enjoying each of the beach parties and taking in the ambience until we ran out of alcohol and realised it was time for another bucket.
We moved further inland and off the main party area at the very south of the beach to get our next bucket. We noticed that the bucket dispensers weren’t pouring the alcohol in the buckets in front of us and so we made a conscious decision to look round the side at them pouring each bucket. This worked in our favour, as the buckets they made us were almost unbearably alcoholic in the end.
On our walk back to the beach we bumped into a loner called ‘Rolo’. He had lost his friends, so we let the 19 year old chap join us. At this point the night becomes rather blurred. Doug ran off soon after meeting Rolo. We danced for ages at Tommy bar again and then me and Quinn paused for a snooze on the beach before sunrise at 6am.
Apparently after Doug lost us he bumped into our resident resort hunk – Rory – and spent the night with him, Pedro and fake-Pedro before attempting to walk back to our resort in the morning. Two hours later and 50 Baht (£1) down on a Taxi anyway, Doug arrived back at our resort.
Our Next Full Moon will be near the end of this month and we’ll make an effort to arrive a bit earlier and visit all the bars to the North of the beach. I’d definitely recommend this if you’re going but be sure not to peak too early because it’s a long night!