The reason we all wanted to sleep in Krabi and hoped to get some sleep in Koh phi phi was because coming up was a very specific lunar event that turned a very tranquil beach into a pit of beer bottles, buckets and broken sandals. Throw in a dash of luminescent paint and you have what we like to call, the full moon party.
For those of you (Losers) that don’t know what that is, it is a very large party on a beach in Koh pang nan. Specifically, it is THE party to be at when the moon is at its fullest and it is a very crazy event, most of the guys are basically naked and covered in paint, the girls are wearing skimpy outfits that glow in the dark and everyone is out to get drunk and have a good time!
Natasha and I had planned to be there as it was her birthday the morning of the full moon party sunrise and we were there to party like she’s never partied on her birthday ever before. I even bought her a banana cake to celebrate the moment, it was an hour early but I think the thought still counts.
Funny story though, Koh pan gnan isn’t a very big island! It’s actually pretty small so when you cram 30,000 people on it that are hungry for cold beer, loud music and flashing lights… something is going to give and it did. The transformer or Pilon or whatever it is decided to explode at about 8:30 leaving a huge chunk of the island in complete darkness as well as our hostel completely out of running water. We survived the rest of the night by candle light and nifty torch solutions.
We still had a cracking time though and it was definitely an experience I would suggest to anyone. Yes! The music is tormentingly repetitive and its crowded and people get in your way but it’s fun! So go do it.
Tips for the full moon party:
- Wear close toed shoes – You’re likely to lose sandals and there’s the potential for glass in the sand.
- Glow lots – You WILL lose who you’re with, the more glowy you are, the easier they find you.
- Watch your bucket – Weird people like giving away free drugs and watching how people react – these weirdos use the giant cup you’re sucking Sangsom and coke through as an easy target.
- Watch your bucket 2.0 – Other weirdos will try and drink from it.
- Don’t go in the sea – Boys pee in there and the shoreline will be DISGUSTING.
The day before the full moon party is the Jungle party, a party that most will say is better than the full moon and in many ways I agree and in others I do not. The jungle party was amazing! The set up was fantastic, yes you’re in the jungle and yes mosquitos chow down and yes you can cover yourself in paint here too – mosquitos don’t like paint.
But the problem with the jungle party is that its 20 minutes away from most hostels which means you have to pay for a taxi there and back (100B e/w) the jungle party requires a ticket (600B) which only gets you entry and no other free stuff (a bracelet or tank top would have been nice for that price) and the kicker, is that you have to buy your drinks with coupons. You have to queue to buy your coupons (an amount you estimate you want to spend on alcohol) then once you have them you then have to queue again to buy your bucket or whatever you’re spending your money on. It’s a fantastic business idea, people over estimate what they spend, you can only buy in denominations of (100) and the drinks are all odd prices which leads to the inevitability that everyone will leave with paper coupons in their pocket that say 100B on them but are absolutely worthless.
Whereas with the full moon, you can get hammered at your hostel beforehand (we went to 7-11 got a a big bottle of Hong Thong whiskey and drank that as a group with a coke chaser (Twice), you pay the government 100b entry as a ‘clean up fee’ so the beach is looking lovely the next day for which you receive a nice rubber bracelet in return to commemorate your time there. You can also leave the beach and buy beers or whatever at 7-11s or similar rather than pay beach vendor prices and if you do want to buy a bucket form the beach;
- you can barter the price down
- you can pay cash!
So even though the theatrics of the jungle party was better, deep down my money bending traveller head says the full moon party wins.
[Photos from this night are limited, and those that exist aren’t related – sorry]