Samui Wining & Dining
 The Full Moon Party and its hedonistic offspring guarantee fun throughout the month.
The Full Moon Party and its hedonistic offspring guarantee fun throughout the month.


If you’re seeking totally over-the-top parties, with an accent on massive amounts of fun, Samui and Koh Phangan provide them in spades. These two smallish islands vie with each other to be party central. Which one wins? It depends on what you’re looking for. Phangan is definitely the winner when it comes to the biggest monthly party, that of the Full Moon. But no matter if you’re not around for the big event, sister island Samui simply provides parties all the time – every night is party night here. And on top of all that, both islands offer parties to celebrate every phase of the moon. In a nutshell: you can’t go wrong. Nobody, ever, makes the complaint that this region of Thailand lags behind when it comes to having a good time. 


Let’s start off with the mother of all parties, the Full Moon Party. Unlike events such as the Rio Carnival, Burning Man or St Patrick’s Day, there’s no cultural reason for it. Only at best an aesthetic one; the night of the full moon bathes everyone in its light, except of course where there’s artificial light.


The Full Moon Party at first had no name. It was just some friends gathering together on the beach on Koh Phangan, according to legend, in 1985 or thereabouts. Oddly, nobody seems to remember the month or even the year. They had a good time, decided to stage something similar during the next full moon. It proved just as successful and the party soon became a fixture. A few people quickly turned into a crowd and the event snowballed, gaining notoriety along the way. The Full Moon Party has been staged over 400 times and shows no signs of flagging;The Full Moon Party and its hedonistic offspring guarantee fun throughout the month. The Full Moon Party and its hedonistic offspring guarantee fun throughout the month.Some half a million people have attended by now and if you were a teenager attending the original party long ago, you’ll have probably already turned 50! The parties vary in size with between 5,000 and 30,000 souls. For local businesses that translates as a lot of income, and for party-goers, a lot of pleasure. There’s always plenty of music, plenty to drink and the fun of simply dancing the night away with so many other people. Even if it’s outdoors, it can be shoulder-toshoulder packed.


The Full Moon Party may not be for everyone, however, simply because of the logistics. Accommodation on Haad Rin, where the party takes place, gets booked out for the event and it’s usually mandatory to stay several nights – there are a lot of takers for every kind of room. If you’re traveling by boat from Samui, then you don’t need a room on Koh Phangan, but you will instead have to make the journey both ways. Not surprisingly travellers return to Samui exhausted.The Full Moon Party and its hedonistic offspring guarantee fun throughout the month. An decent amount of stamina is required whether you boat over or have a room near the party.


The party has been so successful that it’s not just the full moon itself that’s celebrated, but every single lunar phase. That means that even if you’re unwilling to go to the Full Moon itself, you have tempting alternatives. The best place to look for moon parties is on social media, and take notice of large billboards that advertise them in Chaweng. But whether you’re on Samui or Phangan, it makes no difference – the party scene never grinds to a halt.


The Half Moon party on Koh Phangan – you’ll also hear it called the Half Moon Festival – is a relatively small affair compared to the Full Moon Party, but it’s still highly popular. It’s usually held a couple of kilometres inland from Ban Thai. And precisely because it’s smaller, it’s a more secure environment and therefore more relaxing – you won’t be with thousands of other revellers. With two stages and plenty of food and drink, it’s great fun and a very sociable situation.


Samui meanwhile holds black moon parties, which are highly recommended, and these are usually accompanied by local DJs, some of whom have gone international. The venue is now to be found in the south of Chaweng at The Beach Bar Samui, starting at 9:00 pm on the night in question. It’s a great night out and one that won’t leave you exhausted after having to boat over to another island. Its real popularity is all down to the savvy DJs who know just what to play and when.


When it’s time to get wild and crazy, Samui is famed for its clubbing and nightlife. But if you’re one for lunar events, then even if you’re not present for the massive Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan, you still have options to dance and frolic the night away during the other phases of the moon.



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