Full Moon Party

For the 2002 film, see Full Moon Party (film).
Full Moon Party
Genre Electronic music, etc.
Dates 1985- present
Location(s) Haad Rin on the island of Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand

The Full Moon Party is an all-night beach party that originated in Haad Rin on the island of Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand on the night of, before or after every full moon. It is mostly attended by tourists.


Full Moon Party March 2015, view over Haad Rin Suinrise Beach
A view of the Full Moon Party in front of Tommy Resort at Haad Rin
Fullmoon party originator since 1989, Sutti Kursakul. Poster at Paradise Bungalows, Haad Rin, Koh Phangan, 2016.
Full Moon Party 23rd February 2016, front of Paradise Bungalows at Haad Rin Sunrise Beach, Koh Phangan
Buckets of alcoholic beverages for sale at the Full Moon Party
Playing fire skipping rope at Full Moon Party
Fire dancers at the Full Moon Party

The first Full Moon Party was improvised at a Paradise Bungalows on the beach in 1985, for giving thanks to about 20–30 travelers.[1] The parties gained fame through word of mouth, and the event now draws a crowd of about 5,000–30,000 every full moon evening.[2][3] The party carries on until the sun rises the next day. The bars on the sunrise beach of Haad Rin town stay open and play music such as psychedelic trance, R&B, drum and bass, house, dance and reggae. The modern event has become a part of the itinerary of many travellers to Southeast Asia.

The success of the Full Moon Party prompted the creation of "Half Moon", "Quarter Moon", and other parties. The ruling military government in late-2014 banned all but the Full Moon Party,[4] but the 2014 edict may not have been observed by local authorities, given that, as of 5 April 2015, all parties except the Full Moon Party were again banned on Ko Pha Ngan. This is to stop the noise pollution which has become a constant source of irritation for the islanders. The ban was ordered by Pha Ngan district chief officer, Mr Krirkkrai Songthani, after a meeting with local leaders on 3 April to discuss complaints from many residents about the various parties which are held up to 25 times a month at one coconut plantation or another on the island.[5] Given the junta's stated goal of attracting higher-class (wealthier) tourists, it is unclear how much longer the Full Moon Party will be permitted to continue. Already, the Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT)[6] webpage for Ko Pha Ngan barely makes mention of the Full Moon Party.[7] A police colonel summed up the attitude of the new government when he said, "The sort of tourist that comes here to drink too much and take drugs are not the type that Thailand wants."[4]

Schedule and description

The Full Moon Party takes place every month[8] throughout the year. Its attractions include fire skipping ropes, alcohol "buckets", and drugs. There is a very wide spectrum of music ranging from trance, to drum and bass, to reggae. The party takes place in many clubs along the Haad Rin beach.

Safety issues

Although drugs are consumed by many partygoers, drug laws are strict and police enforcement is stepped up during the parties. There are undercover police on patrol and even the drug dealers themselves may report drug users to police.[9] In recent years, there has been an increasing number of assaults and robberies at the party and in bars in the surrounding area, leading the British government to officially warn tourists to exercise caution at the Full Moon Parties.[10] Break-ins at hotel bungalows while partygoers are away from their rooms sometimes occur as well. At the party there are lots of broken beer bottles and cigarettes. Every month many partygoers cut and/or burn their feet and legs at the Full Moon Party, which is preventable with appropriate footwear.[11]

On New Years Eve 2012, British tourist Stephen Ashton was killed by a stray bullet.[12]

The Full Moon Party has been featured in films such as The Beach, Last Stop for Paul, and the Thai film Hormones.[13] It was also featured in the first episode of the Comedy Central TV show Gerhard Reinke's Wanderlust. In 2011, the island's parties featured on Tourism and the Truth: Stacey Dooley Investigates, a documentary investigating the negative impacts of tourism on local people and the economy.

See also


  1. "Full Moon Party – How It Started". Retrieved 26 Mar 2015.
  2. Hunwick, Robert Foyle (2014-06-27). "The Worst Party in Asia". Slate. Retrieved 2015-01-16.
  3. Campbell, Charlie (2013-07-08). "Thailand's Full Moon Parties Have Become a Trashy Disgrace". Time. Retrieved 2015-01-16.
  4. 1 2 Sainsbury, Michael (2014-11-01). "Thailand's famous moon parties banned in drug and alcohol crackdown". news.com.au. Retrieved 2015-01-16.
  5. "All parties except Full Moon party are banned on KohPha-ngan". ThaiPBS. 2015-04-06. Retrieved 6 Apr 2015.
  6. "Tourist Authority of Thailand". Retrieved 26 Mar 2015.
  7. "Koh Phangan". Amazing Thailand. Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 2015-01-16.
  8. "Full Moon Party". Retrieved 26 Mar 2015.
  9. "Drugs in Thailand – Don't Do It !". Phuket-fever.com. Archived from the original on May 12, 2012. Retrieved 9 Jan 2013.
  10. "Thailand travel advice". Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Retrieved 9 Jan 2013.
  11. Tips and tricks for the Full Moon Party
  12. "British tourist Stephen Ashton shot dead in Thailand". BBC. 1 Jan 2013. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  13. Chaiworaporn, Anchalee (2008-02-23). "Japanese AV star Sora Aoi starring in Pidterm yai huajai wawoon". THAICINEMA.org. Retrieved 2015-01-16.
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