Being on the island of Koh Phangan where the Full Moon Party takes place once a month, and many other huge parties surrounding the Full Moon Party, I’ve heard many stories. Most people enjoy their time, but there are also plenty of people who don’t have such a great time.
I’ll give you two examples of people I’ve met who have run into some unpleasant situations while partying in Koh Phangan. They serve as examples to know what NOT to do.
I happened to be in Thong Sala, the main town of Koh Phangan, the morning after the Full Moon Party. I was picking up some things at a convenience store when a slightly disheveled 20-something European guy with party wrist bands walked in to the store. He started talking to the cashier asking something. The conversation between him and the cashier continued while I was shopping for my things and even when I got to the register to pay. They seemed to be having some trouble communicating due to the language barrier, so I asked the guy what the issue was.
He told me that he was trying to get back to his hotel but he was lost. He went to the Full Moon Party, somehow he managed to lose all of his friends and the taxi he got on just dropped him off here. When I asked him if he knew the name of the hotel, he said no. He thought it had the word “Sunset” in it. When I asked him if he remembered the location or neighborhood of the hotel, he said “Not really, but it’s by the beach”. Oh really, Sherlock? This is tiny little island. Everywhere you go is the beach and there’s about 100 resorts that are all by the beach! Basically, what he was telling me was that he had zero information about his hotel. You could tell that he was still a bit drunk from the party and at this point, I didn’t know if I should even spend anymore time trying to help him.
I decided to try a little more. I asked him a few more questions to see if he could remember anything else. After checking out a few different resorts on my phone, we were able to figure out where he was staying! He didn’t have any more money left to get a taxi back to his resort because he had spent it all at the party. The cashier was kind enough to call the hotel to confirm his stay and even offered to give him a ride to his hotel. Lucky him.
This second story is about a girl I met a while ago. She told me that she went to a party with some new friends she’s recently met on the island. She had taken ALL of her cash (why???) and ID with her. She ended up getting her bag stolen that night – she lost her passport, credit cards, ID, and all her cash she had brought to last her for the entire duration of her trip! She was trying to stay hopeful that someone would return at least her passport, but no such luck even after many visits to the Police station after the robbery.
She was devastated and had to contact family members to get more money so that she can at least eat and pay for a room while she waited for her card to get mailed and sort out her passport issues.
After talking to one of my Thai friends who used to work at a front desk of a resort, I found out that there are so many cases of people losing their bags at the Full Moon Party. “People get robbed at parties ALL THE TIME!”, She said. Apparently, they have professional pick pockets that roam through the party finding vulnerable victims throughout the night. Which isn’t surprising.
Tips on What Not to Do
If you’re going to the Full Moon Party or any other party on Koh Phangan, here are my suggestions and tips:
- Don’t forget to take your hotel info with you. Like the name of your hotel, phone number, and the location. Have it written down on a piece of paper, or grab their business card when you check in. You could save the info. on your phone, but what if your phone battery dies or you lose your phone all together? Don’t take chances and take it in both digital and paper formats.
- Don’t lose your friends. Do keep a close eye on your friends and stick together.
- Don’t take all your cash or your valuables with you. Do put your money, passport, and any other valuables in the safe in your room or at your hotel before you head out to the party. Take a COPY of your passport or ID just in case.
- Don’t leave your bag in random places or with random people. Do keep your bag with you at all times. It’s a good idea to have a crossbody type bag with a zipper so that it’s not easy for people to snatch it off of you or for them to put their hands into easily.
- Don’t ride your scooter/motorbike to the party. It is much safer to take the taxi. It’s not worth the risk of riding a scooter especially knowing how many crazy drunk or high people are going to be on the road. I see way too many people getting into accidents and wrecks and I’m not even on the side of the island where the party happens. It’s simply not worth it!!! Don’t do it!!!
Full Moon Parties can be a great time, but it can also very easily turn into a complete nightmare.
Most of these tips are basic common sense, but for some reason, when people arrive on the island, all of their common sense get thrown out the window. People assume that they can be completely care-free about everything, and no one will steal, no one will get hurt, no one will lie, and that nothing can go wrong.
Which, is true for the most part. BUT still, there’s nothing wrong with being plain sensible.
Have fun, be smart, and be safe!
If you have any other useful tips, feel free to leave it in the comments below!