Koh Phangan Full Moon Party Guide!

The Full Moon Party should be on every ravers to do list! When the full moon hits Thailand everybody migrates to Koh Phagnan for the greatest rave Asia has seen. We will give you hints and tips we got during our first experience of this party.

1. If you plan to book accommodation when you get there, it is best to arrive a few days before the party as it tends to fill up quickly. If you are booking online then many hotels enforce a minimum stay of at least 4 days. In our opinion you really don’t want to stay on Koh Phagnan longer than 3 days. The day before the party, the day of the party and the day after the party. We found the by two days after the party the place was pretty much dead.

2. The buckets are absolutely lethal! No matter how big of a drinker you think you are these buckets out in Thailand are something else, pace yourself or you are gonna have a real bad time. Food and water is readily available so make sure that you work them in throughout the night to stop you from getting too drunk.
The local spirits are a lot cheaper but they are also harsher, so beware if you select buckets made from these.
For these reasons you do not want to get to the full moon party before say 10pm. You will be able to spot most of the people who got there super early and started drinking, they will be the ones passed out or stumbling about.

Full moon party crew

3. Protect your feet. Although it is a beach going bare foot isn’t the best idea. After a night if partying the beach is covered with glass, buckets and who knows what else. Make sure you wear trainers or at least flip-flops.

4. Fire skipping is a bad idea. A rope lit on fire, what could go wrong? Burnt hair, burnt body, burnt clothes? Just don’t do it.

5. Cheap drinks are available at the convince stores like 7 eleven. If you want a cheap beer then head there. You can freely drink these store purchased drinks on the beach so you have nothing to worry about there.

6. Getting in the sea at night is a bad idea for many reasons. One is that it’s dangerous and you could get into trouble (people have drowned). The other reason is people use it as their personal toilet throughout the full moon party, if that isn’t enough to deter you then I don’t know what is.

full moon party morning

7. The party goes on well into the afternoon of the following day! The picture above was taken when we left at about 8am! As you can see there is still plenty of people partying it up and it went on much later than this!

8. Many people will offer to paint you for up to 400 baht. We recommend that you try to barter them down and aim to pay 200-300 baht. Failing this go to a supermarket buy the paint and do it yourself.

8. It does actually cost to get in the party, it’s quite cheap though at just 100 baht (£2)

9. On the islands many places charge to go to the toilet. While its cheap at 10-20 baht we found if we brought a few beers from a bar throughout the night then we could go to pee as much as we wanted, and that was a lot!

10. Don’t lose your friends! Just like anything that attracts crowds there will be undesirable people at the full moon party waiting to take advantage of someone who maybe isn’t quite with it or is alone. Choose a meeting place where you will go should you get detached from your mates.

We hope we have helped with your planning of the full moon party! If you plan to go to Phuket or even Krabi after Koh Phagnan you can read our experiences with Lomprayah to Phuket.

Thailand Travel Advice

We have put this post together with Thailand travel advice that everyone should know.

1. Everything in Thailand is negotiable,  well at least everything that isn’t in a retail shop or restaurant. Haggle, even if the sign says no discount.

2. Taxis should use a meter, haggle any fixed priced offer as they are charging you more than a meter would cost anyways.

3. Anywhere a taxi driver or tuk tuk offers to take you should be treated with extreme caution. It’s fair to say that if you haven’t asked to go there it’s a scam and everyone from the person speaking to you, the tuk tuk driver and the guy at the other end are all in on it. If you want a trip go to a travel agent. Also don’t let anyone talk you into just going to “see”, who knows where they may take you.

Tuk Tuk

4. Around tourist sites dodgy people will try to sell you overpriced trips and tell you the place you are going to is closed. This is most probably a lie and you should ask someone official or go anyways to confirm for yourself.

5. Don’t change any money before you go.  Money exchange booths are everywhere,  however at the airport you should only change what you need to get to your hotel as it’s a worse rate than in the city.

6. The traffic in Bangkok is awful,  try to use the MTS or BTS if you can especially during rush hour.

7. Never ever leave your passport with anyone. Passports go for a lot of money on the black market and it wouldn’t be a surprise if it was missing when you returned to collect it.

8. Tuk tuk driver are crazy,  use these with caution.

9. In heavy traffic times use the airport rail link rather than the taxi, otherwise you will be sitting in traffic for ages. Don Muang has poor rail links and a taxi is the only viable option.

10. The budget airlines use the older Don Muang airport, while most international flights come into Suvarnabhumi. If you are booking a connecting flight after arriving please factor in the time to transfer to this airport.

Air Asia

11. On the islands you will see loads of stray dogs just running around. Don’t stroke them, they have been known to bite and are better left alone.

12. We read you need to carry your passport with you at all times, but we never did. It’s much safer in the hotel safe. If you like you can carry a photocopy of your passport.

13. Some places require ID to change money, I always used my driving licence which was accepted everywhere.

14. Drug users are dealt with harshly in Thailand, avoid at all costs. We heard from people who had been offered a pull on a joint only for the police or at least someone saying they were the police to pounce on them.

15. People have been known to have their bags snatched by people on motorbikes. Stay alert and keep your bag tight to your body and on the side away from the road.

16. Water in Thailand is cheap just about everywhere 10 baht or so. Make sure you stay hydrated.

17. Thailand is super hot, make sure you wear suncream.

18. In bars and clubs women will challenge you to varies games such as pool, connect 4 etc. If you win they will buy you a drink, if you win you have to buy them one. The odds of you winning are slim to none, these women play these games all day every day and could go pro.

19. Be careful when hiring jetskis or motorbikes, it is not uncommon for you to be asked to pay for damages once you have returned the item, even if you haven’t caused any.

20. Night markets are great places to get buy trinkets, tshirts and knock off electronics for small costs. Remember to haggle and be prepared to walk away for the best deals.

Bangkok Night Market

21. Thai food is really cheap and on the road a Pad Thai will cost you around 50-100baht.

We hope that this advice has been useful and wil help you on your trip to Thailand.

Koh Phangan to Phuket with Lomprayah

There are many companies that will take you from the islands to Phuket,  we chose to book with an agent using the Lomprayah service after hearing so much about it online.
It was all very straight forward,  we arrived at the Lomprayah desk where we handed in our agent issued ticket and was given our bus and boat tickets as well destination stickers for us as well as our luggage. In the picture you can also see the pricing of many other destinations.

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We then boarded the boat which went to Don Sak pier via the island of Koh Samui. The ride was very smooth and the boats they use are very fast and modern catamarans.

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Once we arrived at the pier we were greated with buses of various sizes taking people to their destinations.
Well at least everyone else was as we had to wait around 30 mins for ours to arrive.

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As long as you are on the bigger buses they are well equipped with comfortable seats, air as well as a toilet.
The ride to phuket was also very smooth and quite relaxing. Unfortunately there was a strong smell of pee coming from the toilet so my advice would be to sit upstairs away from the toilet.

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Around half way into the journey the bus stops to allow you to go and get something to eat.  There is a mixture of hot food and snacks for purchase.  We stopped for around 20 minutes.

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Our tickets to Phuket cost 1100 baht from the agent who also picked us up from the hotel. Lomprayah themselves charge 1000 baht so it means he only added 100 baht to the cost which is great value really.

On arrival in Phuket we was met by what I assume was the Lomprayah agent who sold us transfers to our hotel for 150 baht per person. The transfer were on small minibuses. It may have been possible to get a taxi on the street that was cheaper, but for such a low cost it wasn’t something I was going to explore.

We was really impressed with the Lomprayah service and would definitely recommend them for getting to and from the islands. The service is especially useful if you are planning to go to the full moon party.

How To Get To The Full Moon Party

How to get to the Full Moon Party? Good question, but as always we have all the answers for you. Basically you have a few options that you can choose from depending on your budget.

Full Moon Party Thailand

Fly to Koh Sumai then get a ferry.
There are direct flights by Bangkok Air to Koh Sumai but the problem is they are quite pricey at around £70 each way. From here it is a short boat right across to Koh Phangan. Travel time is around 1.5 hours.

Fly to Surat Thani, get a coach to the pier then a ferry to Koh Phagnan.
Now this is a more cost effective way to get there. You can fly to Surat Thani with airlines such as Air Asia and Nok Air for as little as £25 one way. From here you can get a bus to the pier and then the ferry across to Koh Phagnan. Travel time in total is around 3.5 hours.

Get the overnight train from Bangkok
You can get the overnight train from Bangkok down to Surat Thani. We recommend the overnight train because it takes a mammoth 10 hours and this is a long time to be awake on a train. From here you get the bus to the pier then the ferry to Koh Phagnan. Travel time around 14.5 hours.

Get a bus.
Depending on where you are coming from this can take as much as 10.5 hours to Surat Thani. Then you need to add on the 1 hour transfer and the 3.5 hour ferry ride.

In our opinion the best combination of cost / time is to fly to Surat Thani then get the coach and ferry combo. Obviously if money is no issue then the direct flight to Koh Sumai is defiantly the winner.

Full Moon Party Dates

Full Moon Party Thailand

No trip to Thailand is complete without a trip to the world famous full moon party. In fact the full moon party is so essential that your holiday should be planned to coincide with one. With it being that important, we have provided the Full Moon Party Dates for you.

Full Moon Party Dates 2014
Wednesday 15th January
Saturday 15th February
Saturday 15th March
Monday 14th April
Wednesday 14th May
Thursday 12th June
Sunday 13th July
Sunday 10th August
Monday 08th September
Wednesday 08th October
Thursday 06th November
Saturday 06th December
Thursday 25th December
Wednesday 31st DecemberXmas 2014 Party Date
Wednesday 25th December 2014

New Years Eve 2015 Party Date
Tuesday 31st December 2014

New Years Day Party
Wednesday 1st January 2015

Full Moon Party Dates 2015
Sunday 04th January
Tuesday 03rd February
Thursday 05th March
Friday 03rd April
Saturday 02nd May
Tuesday 02nd June
Tuesday 30th June
Saturday 01st August
Saturday 29th August
Sunday 27th September
Tuesday 27th October
Wednesday 25th November
Friday 25th December
Thursday 31st DecemberXmas 2015 Party Date
Thursday 25th December 2015

New Year 2016 Party Date
Wednesday 31 December 2015

New Years day Party
Thursday 1st January 2016

Full Moon Party Advice

Leave valuables at home – It’s better to wake up with them in your safe than lost on the beach.
Pace yourself – It’s a long night and the buckets are dangerous, there’s no rush to force drink down quickly.
Shop around – Drinks are cheaper away from the beach.
Wear trainers / Flip Flops – There is broken glass all over the beach, going barefoot is a no-no.
Say no to fire – While jumping a rope on fire may seem like a good idea when drunk … it’s not.
Stay out of the sea – You are drunk, need we say more?

Planning a holiday in Thailand

Thailand, the Asian paradise that is on any real clubbers bucket list of places to do. Some people can luckily take time of and backpack around for months, having time to visit all the wonderful places that Thailand has to offer. Unfortunately the rest us can only afford to go on holiday for 2 weeks because of holiday killer we like to call work.
This is a post for people who have two weeks or so to go to Thailand, and want to fit in as much as they can. We will help you with planning a holiday in Thailand!

albufeira

Flights to Thailand
First things first we need to get there! We suggest looking around for flights and trying all sort of combinations to get there. We found that a flight with a connection was around £150-£200 cheaper than a direct flight, so for us that was a no brainier. We can put up with a few extra hours travel time for such a saving.
At the time of this post the cheapest airlines were China Southern with a connection in China (Note – Please read the reviews before booking)
Emirates – With a connection in Dubai and Qatar with a connection in Doha.
While China southern were by far the cheapest coming in at around £460 for our dates in November, we opted to fly with Emirates (£508) for a few reasons.

  1. Great reviews.
  2. This flight is on the brand new A380 aircraft. Having flowing on this plane recently it is very modern with great entertainment and more space in economy.
  3. Better connection, you could easily break this flight and spend a day or two in Dubai if you so wished.

Landed in Bangkok … now where do we go?

This was the main thing that we had to work out, two weeks isn’t long enough to visit everywhere in Thailand.

Places we decided against

Chaing Mai – We would have loved to go to Chaing Mai and were gutted to have to leave it off but it was around 12 hours each way north on a sleeper train or a return flight back to Bangkok. For this reason we decided to leave it out of our travel plans.
Pattaya – While Pattaya’s notorious bars are world famous, this isn’t what we are coming to Thailand for.

Our plans

We needed places that didn’t have huge travel distances between each other once we have made our initial travel. This is what we came up with.

Day 1Bangkok – We are already here, so we might as well have a look around and take it easy after all that flying.
Day 2-3 – Bangkok / Travel – We plan to check out of the hotel and get a flight down to Surat Thani where we will catch a boat to Koh Phangan / Koh Samui.
We chose this option over the train as it allows us the have a full second night in Bangkok and is only about £40 with Air Asia.

Train info – The most popular seems to be the overnight sleeper from Bangkok Hualamphong, at the time of writing this departs around 19:30 and will get you to Surat around 07:16 the following day.
From here you head to the pier and catch a boat to your island of choice.

Day 3 – 8 – Koh Samui / Koh Phangan – It’s party time, we are going to hang here for 5 days to experience what the full moon party has to offer!
Day 8-13 – Phuket – No point heading south without a stop in phuket, to save a bit of money and see a bit of the island we will take a combination of boats and coaches to get here.
Have a look here if you want to do something similar.
Day 13-14 – We need to be back in Bangkok for our flight home on our last day so rather than spend a whole day travelling we will get a cheap flight back from Phuket. Nok air and Air Asia are your go to guys for this, think of them as the Asian Easyjet. The advantage to flying is we will be back very quickly which allows us to have another last look around Bangkok. Flights are also from as little as £40 with baggage if you book them early!

Then unfortunately all good things must come to an end and we have to fly back home. So what do you think? Where would you have gone?

I hope this post has helped you with planning a holiday in Thailand.