Survival Guide- Full Moon Party
So you've traveled across the globe to have the time of your life at the epic Full Moon Party famous to Koh Phangan. We've put together a quick survival guide to make sure you won't miss a beat!
Drink plenty of water throughout the day - If you want to avoid passing out too early, then make sure to stay hydrated. Don't be daft. You're going to the full moon party and you'll be drinking questionable alcohol out of flamboyantly colored buckets in humid tropical weather. I know this seems like common sense but heat exhaustion tends to creep up on you. One minute you will feel fine and the next minute you'll start seeing black spots in front of you and then your legs give out from under you. Nina and I witnessed people being carried out of the party by their friends because they had passed out due to heat exhaustion at like 10:30 pm (22:30).
Make sure to eat before and throughout the party - Lay down a heavy base with some cheap pad thai off the street in Haad Rin. Afterwards, make sure to eat little snacks here and there while on the beach so that your alcohol intake is tempered.
Stay away from fire - I know it looks like a lot of fun to do jump ropes over fire but you won't be as nimble after you've had a few buckets. Worse is the fact that even if you are super skilled at jump roping, the four other dudes who just joined in on the jump roping are most likely drunk and will ruin it for all of you. We witnessed several people get burned from jumping rope. You don't want to end up like this guy in the picture below who got his crotch on fire. The same goes for jumping though fire hoops. Fire limbo isn't too risky though so I wouldn't shy from that activity.
Don't climb the scaffolding - If you've had a few buckets it's probably not the brightest idea to climb up some cheap and quickly erected scaffolding on the beach. As to why people do this is beyond my comprehension. There are thousands of people dancing on the beach to a bunch of different music. Come down and join the party.
Wear shoes or sandals - It's a good idea to have your sandals or shoes on throughout the entire full moon festival. This is because thousands of people drinking on the beach means that you will most likely encounter broken glass at some point. If you step on broken glass or needles, it's best to not have to worry about going to the emergency room and cutting your party visit short.
Have cash on hand - Nobody anywhere at the full moon party will take any other form of payment and they will charge you to use the bathrooms so have some cash on you at all times.
Do not swim in the water - There are two reasons for this. 1) You have most likely been drinking and random rip tides or undercurrents will prove too strong for your inebriated self to be able to swim back to shore. 2) The majority of party goers pee in the water in order to save money on having to pay every time they have to go to the bathroom. When you are drinking throughout the night (and double if you're properly hydrated) you will have to constantly pee. Wouldn't you do the same and pee in the ocean instead of paying?
Take advantage of cheap alcohol - You can spend the equivalent of about US $7 for each bucket of questionable alcohol. We found that if you wait until later in the night (about 3 or 4am) then these buckets will cost about 20% less or whatever you can hustle from them. Having written that, US $7 is still a great deal for an entire bucket of alcohol. Coming from an expensive part of the world (USA - South Florida), we know that $7 won't even get you a cup of water at some nightclubs so we appreciate it for what it is.
Walk the entire beach - The best part of the full moon party is that there is something for everyone. Don't like the EDM music that the DJ is blasting in front of you? Just walk literally 2 feet over and you will have another DJ playing a completely different genre of music. We heard everything from salsa to hip hop, reggae, reggaeton, merengue, bachata, old school hip hop, trap, oldies, EDM and many others all within literally just a few feet of each other. Also, there are fire dancers, drunk wet slides and other fire activities happening all over the beach so give yourself a chance to explore all of it.
Keep an open mind - While walking up and down the beach, you will see people doing things that would most likely be illegal back home. Don't be unsettled if you see couples making out in the sand or having sex in the water, people going to the bathroom in the water, or people smoking weed and doing other drugs all around you. This is a huge party on the beach filled with tourists who are mostly below 30 years old and single so these things are bound to happen. Just mind your business and no one will bother you.
Take plenty of pictures and video - You don't want to get so black out drunk that you forgot how fun the full moon party was. Some of you, because of general life circumstances, may end up never returning to another full moon party so do yourself a favor and remember what an awesome time you had with all of your friends by taking tons of video and pictures. Take it from me, a guy in his 30s. All of those awesome friends that you spent the night with at the full moon party will go on to lead normal, boring lives back home and with enough time you will grow apart. Give yourself a reason to smile every time you think of the full moon party at Ko Pha Ngan.
Keep your guard up but allow yourself to have fun - As when traveling anywhere, make sure to keep an eye on your belongings and be wary of any strangers offering to sell you "shroom shakes" (i.e. drugs). But don't be so uptight and mistrusting of strangers that you deprive yourself of the opportunity to make new friends and have awesome experiences.
Power outages will happen - Don't be upset if you get back to your hotel after the full moon party, tired, sweaty and in desperate need of a shower only to find that your room feels like a sauna, none of the lights work and your electronics aren't charged. The full moon party brings with it hundreds of DJ booths, street vendors, restaurants and public services which normally aren't available so this puts a huge strain on the local power grid. As a result, the full moon party never shuts down but all of the surrounding neighborhoods lose power for hours at a time. When we returned from the full moon party, the room was so suffocating and hot that we ended up sleeping outside on the porch just to get some fresh air for the night.
Let us know if you have any other tips to share with fellow readers or if you have any questions about our visit to the Full Moon Party.