Koh Phangan Parties
flickr image by Thomas Sauzedde - idirectori

Koh Phangan Parties


The tropical island of Koh Phangan, sister island to Koh Samui and located three and a half hours from mainland Thailand by ferry boat, is possibly the last remaining budget travel destination in Thailand. Originally a backpacker haven, Koh Phangan still has a very laid back vibe, although this is slowly changing as boutique resorts begin to replace the budget beach huts so loved by backpackers. However, Koh Phangan is still very popular with young people for one specific reason; its world famous dance parties. No other place in the world can boast such a profusion of professionally organized monthly dance parties. Below we will take a look at the four most popular:

Full Moon Party

Full Moon Party

flickr image by Thomas Sauzedde – idirectori

The granddaddy of beach parties, this infamous event is lauded as one of the wildest dance parties in the world. On the night of the full moon each month, up to 20,000 people travel to Koh Phangan and head to the southern end of the island and the small resort town of Haad Rin. The entire two kilometre stretch of beach is turned into one large party from dusk until dawn. Every bar which lines the sand will have a sound system operating, playing a complete range of music from acid rock to nosebleed techno. All along the beach small bars are set up, selling plastic buckets full of vodka, red bull and coke. Fire eaters roam the sands, putting on a display for revellers, as well as acrobats, jugglers and a whole host of other entertainers. The Full Moon Party is a chaotic mix of music, mayhem and alcohol and is the number one attraction for young backpackers in Thailand.

Half Moon Party

Half Moon Party

flickr image by The Philosophy of Photography

The Half Moon party takes place in the middle of the month, usually on the day of the half moon, but it does slip a day or two either way from time to time. The party takes place in a specially constructed venue, just off the main Thongsala to Haad Rin road, in the area of Ban Tai. The location is easy to find as the route is lit by kerosene burning torches on the night of the party. The Half Moon Party is a little more civilized than the Full Moon Party. The venue has an impressive sound system fitted, as well as proper toilet facilities and an upstairs seating area. Music tends to be a little more mainstream, to please the eclectic crowd.

Shiva Moon Party

If the Half Moon Party can be said to please an eclectic crowd, then the Shiva Moon Party is the complete opposite. Unless you enjoy psychedelic trance music, an almost complete lack of any lighting apart from glowing neon and day-glo paint and music so loud you cannot hear yourself think, then the Shiva Moon Party may not be for you. However, if you are a committed trance fan, then this is one of the best trance parties to be found anywhere in the world. The venue is on the same road as the Half Moon Party, a little further up into the mountains and tucked away inside the jungle. The date tends to change each month, so check locally to find out when this party is happening.

Moon Set Party

Moon Set Party

flickr image by Dave_B_

This is one of the smaller parties which are organised each month on Koh Phangan. Usually held on the third weekend of the month, the Moon Set Party takes place in a small bay close to Haad Chapao, in the Pirate Bar. The bar itself takes the form of a pirate ship carved into the rock face. This is a much more relaxed party, where people tend to sit upon the sand, enjoying the moon set and eating the free food which is usually provided. This is a very popular party with older people and long-term visitors to the island.

Whatever your taste in music, your age or your particular take on just what makes a good party, then Koh Phangan has something to offer you. For a totally wild experience stay for a month and try them all!

Date posted: 12th February, 2015

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