Full Moon Party

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Full Moon Party
Full moon party haadrin.JPG
GenreElectronic music, etc.
Location(s)Hat Rin on the island of Ko Pha-ngan, Thailand

The Full Moon Party is an all-night beach party that originated Hat 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 23 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 1983, 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", "Black (sic. New) Moon", Oxa Beach and other parties. The ruling military government in late-2014 banned all but the Full Moon Party, the application of sweeping edicts such as this, a proven method of levering the secondary party organizers and local business people adhoc into garnishing further contributions to said administrative coffers.[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. 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]

Schedule and description[edit]

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.

However the Full Moon Party in October 2017, and all other parties and music activities on Koh Phangan, was cancelled in respect for the cremation ceremony for the late king Bhumibol Adulyadej, October 25 to 29.[9]

Full Moon Party schedule for 2018 [10]

  • Tuesday 2 January 2018
  • Wednesday 31 January 2018
  • Friday 2 March 2018
  • Saturday 31 March 2018
  • Sunday 29 April 2018
  • Wednesday 30 May 2018
  • Wednesday 27 June 2018
  • Sunday 29 July 2018
  • Sunday 26 August 2018
  • Monday 24 September 2018
  • Thursday 25 October 2018
  • Thursday 22 November 2018
  • Saturday 22 December 2018
  • Tuesday 25 December 2018
  • Monday 31 December 2018

Full Moon Party schedule for 2019 [11]

  • Monday 21 January 2019
  • Wednesday 20 February 2019
  • Wednesday 20 March 2019
  • Friday 19 April 2019
  • Sunday 19 May 2019
  • Monday 17 June 2019
  • Thursday 18 July 2019
  • Thursday 15 August 2019
  • Friday 13 September 2019
  • Monday 14 October 2019
  • Monday 11 November 2019
  • Wednesday 11 December 2019
  • Wednesday 25th December 2019 (Xmas)
  • Tuesday 31st December 2019 (New Year)

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 the Full Moon Parties.[13] 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.[14]

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

On New Year's Eve 2016, the crowd was showered in firework embers at midnight causing minor burns and stampede of panicked party goers.[citation needed]

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 four of E4's comedy-drama series Gap Year.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Full Moon Party – How It Started". 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. ^ "Full Moon Party". Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  9. ^ "Koh Phangan cancels October full-moon party". Bangkok Post. 29 September 2017. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  10. ^ "Full Moon Party schedule for 2018". Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  11. ^ "Full Moon Party Dates 2019". Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  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]