Full Moon Survival Tips!

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Being the bookworm that I am and positively addicted to travel blogs, I read up on Koh Phangan’s Full Moon parties as much as I could before embarking on my trip. But now, having experienced it, I’m not sure there is anything that can fully prepare you for the shock and wildness of Koh Phangan’s beach parties. However, I do think there are ways to set yourself up to have as successful of a beach experience as possible. Here are my tips and ideas on how to have the best full moon party ever.

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  1. Leave all valuables at home. I opted to bring a phone to the party…but it was kind of a waste since reception is incredibly weak and even taking pictures proves difficult since it’s dark and your hands are generally wet and sandy. Many I spoke to had their cameras and phones stolen at the party. You may be tempted to bring it in the event that you lose your friends…but I guarantee you won’t be able to get in touch via phone anyways, which brings me to number 2.
  2. Have a meeting place for you and your friends. Despite my best efforts, I got separated from the group during both parties I attended. With thirty thousand people on the beach, it’s really hard to keep track of people. Everyone is drunk and mingling and running off to get buckets and I applaud those who somehow manage to stay together. The best thing you can do is to choose a place and agree to meet there at the top of every hour to collect lost friends. Make sure it’s somewhere really specific because choosing a venue can still be impossible to find people – you need to choose a specific lamp post or small booth.
  3. CLOSED TOED SHOES. I can’t stress this one enough. There is TONS of glass on the sand, as well as countless other disgusting items. I know it can be tempting to wear sandals since you’re on a beach, but I highly caution you against that. Much to my embarrassment, I broke down and bought Crocs – which turned out to be the best decision ever. They are super light, dry quickly after stepping in the ocean, easy to clean, and comfortable to dance all night in.
  4. Beware the cheap buckets. You’ll be amused by the signs stating “REAL Alcohol” but once you get closer to the beach and try a cheap bucket or two, you quickly realize that there is a lot of watered down, fake stuff out there aimed at taking advantage of stupid drunk tourists. If something is too cheap to be true, it probably isn’t what you want. The cheapest I would trust is 250-350 Baht for a bucket – or just choose something a little further away from the beach as this tends to be a little less risky as well.
  5. Have a buddy, especially if you’re a girl. The party tends to make everyone a little animalistic and the really drunk guys can get handsy and a bit intimidating at times. It helps if you have a guy friend who can provide some protection or a surrogate boyfriend image, as sexist and silly as that may sound.
  6. Avoid the fire jump rope. We’ve all watched many a tourist be whacked in the head by the blazing jump rope. As tempting as it may feel in the moment, it’s not worth a potential injury that ruins the trip and sets you back a few days (or worse).
  7. Make new friends. During the parties, the beach is filled with people of all ages from every country around the world. While it’s loud and difficult to cultivate real friendships, try to take the opportunity to dance with and enjoy the company of those around you. You may just walk away with a new friend.
  8. Meet beforehand with anyone you want to spend time with at the party. As it’s extremely unlikely you’ll find anyone once you’re at the party. It’s incredibly tough to keep track even of the people you came with, much less actually locate a friend who arrives separately.
  9. Start slow. These are long nights and you don’t want to be the person who has to go home at 2am. You want to set yourself up to enjoy the party to the fullest and that often means still being out when the sun comes up. Share your bucket with friends you trust and pace yourself on the alcohol. You really don’t need much to find amusement at the party, it’s such a trip in and of itself!
  10. Eat street food. As is the case with much of Thailand, the street food is often far yummier than the stuff you find in restaurants. Take the opportunity to buy from the vendors lining the streets and keep your belly full of more than just alcohol. I can pretty much always be found near the banana pancake stand, they are so fricking good!!!
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