Full Moon Party

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Full Moon Party
Full Moon Party Ko Pha Ngan.jpg
Front of Tommy Resort, Hat Rin
GenreElectronic music, etc.
Location(s)Hat Rin, Ko Pha-ngan, Thailand

The Full Moon Party (Thai: ฟูลมูนปาร์ตี้) is an all-night beach party that originated in Hat Rin on the island of Ko Pha-ngan, Thailand in 1985. The party takes place on the night of, before, or after every full moon.


Full Moon Party, March 2015, view over Hat Rin Sunrise Beach

The first Full Moon Party is said to have been improvised at a Paradise Bungalows on the beach in 1983 as a token of thanks to about 20–30 travelers, though the accuracy of this is disputed, as is the date of the original event.[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 Sunrise Beach of Hat Rin 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 travelers to Southeast Asia.

The success of the Full Moon Party prompted the creation of "Half Moon", "Black (New) Moon", Oxa Beach, and other parties. The ruling military government in late 2014 banned all but the Full Moon Party,[4] but the 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 was done 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 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. However, these bans are only ever short-lived, and lapse once they have served their unstated purpose, allowing the re-proliferation of parties.[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]

In 2020, the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[8] Parties resumed on 16 April 2022 with the easing of restrictions by the government.[9]


The Full Moon Party takes place every month[10] 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 Hat Rin beach. The Full Moon Party in October 2017, and all other parties and music activities on Koh Pha-ngan, was canceled in respect for the cremation ceremony for the late king Bhumibol Adulyadej, October 25 to 29.[11]

Safety issues[edit]

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.[12] 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 Full Moon Parties.[13] Break-ins at hotel bungalows while partygoers are away from their rooms sometimes occur as well.[14]

On New Year's Eve 2012, British tourist Stephen Ashton was killed by a stray bullet.[15]

In popular culture[edit]

The Full Moon Party has been featured in films such as The Beach, Last Stop for Paul, and the Thai film Hormones.[16] 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. It was featured in episode 4 of E4's comedy-drama series Gap Year.[17]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Full Moon Party – How It Started". 13 March 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  2. ^ Hunwick, Robert Foyle (27 June 2014). "The Worst Party in Asia". Slate. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  3. ^ Campbell, Charlie (8 July 2013). "Thailand's Full Moon Parties Have Become a Trashy Disgrace". Time. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  4. ^ a b Sainsbury, Michael (1 November 2014). "Thailand's famous moon parties banned in drug and alcohol crackdown". news.com.au. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  5. ^ "All parties except Full Moon party are banned on KohPha-ngan". ThaiPBS. 6 April 2015. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  6. ^ "Tourist Authority of Thailand". Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Koh Phangan". Amazing Thailand. Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Archived from the original on 2 February 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  8. ^ Chaolan, Supapong (5 March 2020). "Koh Phangan suspends full-moon party". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  9. ^ Chaolan, Supapong (17 April 2022). "Full Moon Party draws over 10,000 revellers in Phangan". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  10. ^ "Full Moon Party". Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  11. ^ "Koh Phangan cancels October full-moon party". Bangkok Post. 29 September 2017. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  12. ^ "Drugs in Thailand – Don't Do It !". Phuket-fever.com. Archived from the original on 12 May 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  13. ^ "Thailand travel advice". Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  14. ^ Tips and tricks for the Full Moon Party Archived 2013-08-18 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "British tourist Stephen Ashton shot dead in Thailand". BBC. 1 January 2013. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  16. ^ Chaiworaporn, Anchalee (23 February 2008). "Japanese AV star Sora Aoi starring in Pidterm yai huajai wawoon". THAICINEMA.org. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  17. ^ "Gap Year: Thailand - The Full Moon". IMDb. 14 April 2017. Retrieved 14 April 2017.

External links[edit]