The World’s Biggest and Best Party  »  Thailand’s Full Moon Party

Imagine a beach with a few hundred feet between the water and a row of bars roughly a quarter mile long.

Each bar is blasting music at concert volumes and selling buckets full of alcohol to anyone regardless of age or level of intoxication.

Add some blacklights, body painting, glow in the dark items, food stalls and stages for people to dance on. Now put 10,000 people on the beach and see what happens.


Dawn at the full moon party - Ko Pha Ngnan Thailand
Dawn at the Full Moon Party on Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand

We Got to Koh Phagnan Island a Day Before the Start of the Full Moon Party

Dancing all night long at the full moon party in Thailand
Dancing all night long at the full moon party

While many revelers arrive on the day of the Full Moon Party, we got to Koh Phangan a day early so we would have time to check it all out before the madness began.

After waking up in the late afternoon on our first day we wandered around and saw everyone setting up.

. . .

The Pool Party Next Door

That evening we attended a pool party next door to our hotel that was filled with a combination of people having a great time horsing around in the pool and others dancing on the dance floor.

It was a wild scene unlike anything I’ve seen before, but as we were not in bathing suits or dancing, it was time to check out the beach.

Even though it was a warm-up night, there were still a few thousand people dancing away on the beach.

The music was great, though it was a bit hard to hear at times as the bars are all right next to each other and the different songs mix together. As for the selection it was mostly trance, techno and an occasional hip hop song.


The pre-Full Moon Part pool party
The pre-Full Moon Part pool party

Drunken Fire Jump Rope

Over the course of the night our group was both together and separated, but every time we saw each other it was like finding a long lost friend in the crowd.

At around 5am a flaming jump rope came out and we had a blast watching the drunks try and play. 


Drunken fire rope - full moon party thailand
5am seems like a solid time to drunkenly jump over a fiery rope


Dance Till the Sunrise

Carrie and I spent the night and early morning dancing our hearts out until the sun came up over the ocean behind us and they shut the music off.

By the time we finally made it home it was past 7am. Quite the warm-up.


Sunrise dancing at the Full Moon Party in Thailand
My wife, Carrie, and our friend, Karen, were still dancing at 4:27am when the sun began to rise.


6am at the full moon party in Thailand
We left the beach at 6:18am… quite the warmup!

Full Power Full Moon Party

While we all slept until 5pm the island underwent a transformation.

People arrived in packs, every local was out selling something and the island felt positively electric.

Tonight there was no pool party, no other activities…just the beach and the Full Moon Party. The sky was clear, the moon full, the music blasting and we were ready to go!


Full Moon Party - Ko Pha Ngan Thailand
Let’s party like it’s a full moon!

Changes to Haad Rin Beach

Upon arriving at the beach the first thing we noticed was a huge police presence that was lacking the night before.

There was also a “sleep area” where people who had a little too much fun could go and be kept safe by the on-site medical staff.

It was good to see that precautions were being taken, as we had heard horror stories about full moon parties in the past.


The Sleep Area at the Full Moon Party
The Sleep Area at the Full Moon Party


Drinks for sale at the Full Moon Party in Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand
Drinks for sale at the Full Moon Party in Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand

Blacklights & Food Stalls

For those not needing police or medical attention, there were rows of stalls with blacklight body paint at the Full Moon Party.

Blacklight tattoos at the full moon party in Kho Phag Nan, Thailand
My wife, Carrie, modeling her new glow-in-the-dark tattoo.

Each one had pretty much the same designs, which they would paint on you for a price.

The beach was also filled with people selling glow in the dark bracelets, hats, glasses and necklaces.

Pretty much everyone on the beach had some sort of neon aspect to them.

Mine was a bright green neon stick around my wrist.

Food stalls were set up all over the beach and taxi speedboats were waiting to take people to private parties on yachts anchored just off shore.

Countless people were out in the water swimming, sitting, standing or laying down in one of the boats foolish enough to park there for the night.

Pretty much everyone had a bucket of booze.


Buckets for sale at the full moon party
A bucket usually has a fifth of some cheap and nasty booze along with a can of soda, handful of ice and straws.


Locals selling pizza, corn, hot dogs and other snacks
Locals selling pizza, corn, hot dogs and other snacks

The actual party was the same as the night before … just about five times bigger

Pretty much the entire beach was filled with people dancing, talking, walking around, flirting and having a great time. There were fire dancers, people blowing fire, guys and girls spinning fire and, of course, more fire jump rope.

When sunrise finally came, there were tons more people on the beach than the day before. The music also never stopped. While we went back to the room around 7:30am, we met people who were dancing until nearly 3pm. Crazy!


Dancing at the Full Moon Party on Ko Pha Ngan Thailand
Full Power Full Moon Party Dancing at 05:07am

So, is it the greatest, biggest and best party in the world?

That’s what they say and I do see some merit in the statement. The beach layout is great and gives people a large area to do things without having everything too spread out. Even with 10,000 people there is still room to move around.

At the same time, the closeness of the bars gets a bit old when the music mixes together. Also, if dancing the night away isn’t your thing then this is not the place to be. I feel like the best party in the world would have more options.

For now I’ll label it a pretty awesome party and revisit the statement when I go to more of the “best parties in the world.”


Hungover dog Full Moon Party
This dog sure seems to have enjoyed his evening at the Full Moon Party


With Clare at the Full Moon Party
Our dear Claire would show up several more times during our six month adventure in Southeast Asia.

Dual-Sided Lightsaber Fire Dancing




Read the amazing adventure we had leaving the full moon party


What is your favorite party or event in the world?