6120 miles from London you can find the Thai Island of Koh Pha Ngan. There, around the 28th of every month, the Haad Rin bay region on the South West side of the island plays host to the ‘Full Moon’ beach party. The event sees up to 40000 tourists, backpackers and travellers from all over the globe congregate on a small stretch of beach. However, the party isn’t all idyllic with loose money, glass bottles and plastic cups strewn in the morning aftermath; this party is more reminiscent of drug fuelled Ibiza clubs.
The Full Moon party is infamous for drunken, drug induced deaths of party goers. The party is littered with notorious stalls with memorable slogans selling Sangsom buckets (Thai whisky) for as cheap as 150 Thai Baht (about three GBP); and ‘Mushroom Mountain’ where one can purchase a Magic Mushroom shake or smoothie. In fact, someone once tried swimming and got pulled out to sea by the current.
Drugs and alcohol do play a large role in the party as wherever you go you can find people trying to sell you just about anything, with offerings ranging from cannabis to ecstasy. A word to the wise though, most of these ”merchants” are informants for the local police or are themselves under police watch, so it would be best to avoid them. Also, behind the drugs, there are usually gangs involved. One publicised example of the dangers that can cause was highlighted in the news in 2012 when British tourist, Stephen Ashton, was killed by a stray bullet fired during an altercation between two gangs during the New Year’s Eve party.
Even so, the fact remains that the Full Moon party is an amazing experience, easily outdoing the LCR’s UV night. Once the day draws to an end and the giant full moon rises over head, the beach fills with party goers covered in UV paint in an infinite variety of designs, and with many dressed head to toe in fluorescent vests and shorts. If you’re claustrophobic, this party isn’t your scene as it is easy to get overwhelmed by the crowds of people that turn up to this amazing event. The music played is of a wide variety ranging from Bon Jovi classic ‘It’s my life’ to ‘Hold You’ by Gyptian, and many more club, reggae and drum & bass classics to help you dance throughout the night.
If during the party, which lasts until the sun rises, you get a sudden urge to grab a bite to eat, there are many fast food outlets which are open 24/7 to provide you various options depending on what you have a craving for, with massive burgers and chicken schnitzels being sold in outlets closer to the beach, or if you fancy Pad Thai or other traditional Thai meals to satisfy your hunger, this can be found further up the street.
Possibly one of the highlights of the night is walking down through the alleyways past the bars onto the beach to see the masses of people then looking up and seeing the giant moon surrounded by a halo of white light.