Watch the Coconuts TV feature video HOWLING AT THE FULL MOON below!
THE COCONUTS TV FULL MOON PARTY SURVIVAL GUIDE
Centuries before backpackers and ketamine arrived on Koh Phangan’s shores, the full moon was famous for inspiring wild behavior and blamed for lunatics, lycanthropes and licentiousness.
It took a long time to right the moon’s reputation, but that same debauchery now drawing thousands to the island every month has earned the Full Moon Party a pretty trashy reputation. Ugly behavior, poor judgment, thoughtless waste and incredible stupidity.
If Burning Man is the articulate inner child of a self-aware society, Full Moon is the high school dork getting wasted and losing his shit. You can’t blame him for wanting to have a good time, but you just wish he’d grow up, keep it in his pants and stop puking on everything.
Yet take your eyes off the 19-year-old vomiting Sangsom and find most people safely enjoying something they’ll likely remember throughout their lives. A collective rite of hedonism and what-the-fuckery largely unavailable in a world of quarantined-fun. So why be such party poopers? Maybe we’d all stand to benefit by getting in touch with our naive and horny inner child.
Coconuts TV went to Koh Phangan to find out if the Full Moon Party really is so despicable, or its infamy undeserved. We got up close and personal with all the sloppiness (in our own stone-cold sobriety) to return with an unsoiled look at this world-famous mega-party.
Where to party
Jungle Experience is by far the freakiest party on Koh Phangan. Besides the usual sea of neon tank tops, you’ll be raving alongside fire-dancers and jungle nymphs (masquerade masks, head-to-toe body paint, feather headdresses and sparkly nipple pasties) to hard techno, progressive and deep house. The DJ plays on a wooden platform amongst epilepsy-inducing lasers blasting the intoxicated masses.
Where it is: Ban Tai jungle (follow the signs). A couple days before Full Moon, check Facebook for upcoming dates.
Look for the glowing “Tommy’s” sign on Haad Rin to find this EDM and psy-trance stage dropping, well, EDM and psy-trance. The sand outside of Tommy’s is always a glorious mess of happy campers grinding on each other amid deserted flip-flops and half-empty buckets.
Where is it: Haad Rin, left side next to Full Moon Party entrance (from facing the water).
Are you able to climb stairs? Good, because Mellow Mountain is worth the trek. You can get a full view of Haad Rin, with relaxing mats and triangle pillows to lounge on. Be prepared to see it all ‒ from lovebirds alternating between fornication and unconsciousness to some guy trailing a solo conga through the sand. Afterwards, you can hit Mellow Mountain’s dance floor for some deep house or head next door to Kangaroo Bar to sample Koh Phangan’s infamous party favours.
Where it is: Haad Rin, far left at the very end (if facing the sea).
Eden is Koh Phangan’s best-kept secret. While the so-called “bucketheads” are toppling over each other on Haad Rin, Koh Phangan locals are quietly sneaking away to this wooden bar built along the rocks of Haad Yuan. On Tuesdays and Saturdays, Eden’s legendary parties go until the sun rises. Some party fiends will skip Full Moon by night and pragmatically wake up at 6am, foregoing breakfast for a quick boogie.
Where it is: Haad Yuan, 15-minute boat taxi ride from Haad Rin.
Just a short hike from Eden on Haad Yuan is another bar synonymous with Koh Phangan’s underground scene. It’s less likely to see neon war paint here, but rather flowing skirts, hippie sarongs and the odd hula hoop. Guy’s Bar is located just a short walk from The Sanctuary spa resort. Needless to say, the yogis tend to do their morning sun salutations to a steady stream of electronic beats.
Where it is: Haad Tien, 10 min. boat taxi from Haad Rin or a 10 min. walk from Haad Yuan.
Where to eat
Get ready for the most authentic Italian food near the Gulf of Thailand. I Sapori’s pizza, pasta (made fresh) and calzones may be a tad pricey by backpacker standards, but this splurge is absolutely worth it. Try cozying up to the owner Johnny, and he may just let you in on a few of the secret menu items. We recommend the (unlisted) pumpkin-potato ravioli in Italian sauce (pesto, cream and tomato or green, white and red like the country’s flag).
Where it is: Haad Rin
Fisherman’s is a restaurant that combines fresh seafood with a touch of class. The homey Thai kitchen features the family recipes of the owner Lek, the daughter of a local fishing clan. Try the signature yellow curry crab, the slow-cooked massaman curry, or one of Fisherman’s many Koh Phangan-inspired cocktails and fruit shakes.
Where it is: Ban Tai, 62/1 Moo 1 Ban Tai (Ban Tai Pier).
Where to stay
Sun Cliff Resort
Sun Cliff’s quaint group of bungalows is just close enough to Haad Rin to walk, but you will probably find yourself hanging out at the resort’s own pool and sun deck. The rooms are clean, inexpensive and a balcony suite offers a sprawling view of the sea.
Where it is: Haad Rin, 94/8 Moo 6
Cocohut is the perfect for those who just want a taste of Full Moon, and still want to get some sleep at the end of the night. It’s on the other side of Haad Rin near Leela Beach. There are a wide variety of rooms and even a spa.
Where it is: Haad Rin Nai, Leela Beach Moo 6
Le Divine Comedie
This boutique hotel on Ban Tai is comfortable and picturesque. Ban Tai is also a convenient area, right next to Haad Rin. Divine Comedie is within walking distance of lots of good restaurants (including Fisherman’s) and near to Jungle Experience.
Where it is: Ban Tai, 14/8 Moo 1
What to bring
1.Tissues. Bathrooms are hard to come by (and often very bare bones, Thai-style), not to mention the line-ups are horrendous.
2.Fan. At Eden and Guy’s Bar, you’ll see vixens flapping away the dance floor. Not only do they look cool, but it’s a quick fix for the humidity.
3. Electrolytes. Keep yourself in good health. The islands are notorious for impromptu rainstorms, and you could be in wet clothes for some time.
The Ten Commandments of the Full Moon Party
1. Not be a douchebag.
“Being a douchebag” covers everything douchey including the following the acts: getting naked, sexually harassing women or vomiting on/near other people.
2. Leave your favorite flip-flops at home.
You may survive Full Moon, but your sandals won’t. Form no emotional attachment to your footwear.
3. Wear face-paint, not makeup.
No foundation can survive Koh Phangan’s island humidity, nor the spontaneous downpours which happen. Accept that you will look like Chuckie the Clown by sunrise.
4. Make matching T-shirts with your friends.
After a few buckets everyone will start looking the same, so as a precaution print some T-shirts for your clan at MBK. You’ll be able to identify the fuzzy outlines of your friends by color.
5. Make a meet-up plan
Your wolf pack will get separated. Choose an easy-to-find location and time to reconvene to catch that songtaew home the next day.
6. Drink more beer, less buckets.
It’s one of the realities of Full Moon – buckets are often made with dodgy alcohol that can make you sick, paranoid and lose your shit in other ways. Stick to sealed drinks or just buy a small booze from 7-Eleven to nurse.
7. Avoid the elements (specifically: water and fire).
Don’t be a show-off. Lighting your cigarette on a burning log or jumping through a flaming hoop is poor judgment and your’s will be woefully compromised. And don’t swim ‒ people have paid for such stupidity with their lives.
8. Don’t rent a motorbike, take a songtaew.
Road accidents are the Full Moon’s biggest problem. People drive intoxicated or inexperienced on the steep, slippery roads. While you may be good on two wheels, the same can’t be said for others.
9. Grab a drunken bite.
Don’t go home hungry! There’s something on Haad Rin for every taste and budget. Street vendors sell spring rolls, pizza slices and satay, while most restaurants stay open all night. Consider I Sapori for Italian.
10. Stay up till the sun’s up.
Don’t miss the sunrise. It’s the most rewarding part of the whole experience. Pace yourself, as the real party starts when the large crowds have cleared out and Haad Rin is left with just the most oddball, die-hard partygoers.
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