Koh Phangan is an island in southeastern Thailand. It was once a sleepy little island and it continues to be for the most part. The exception is during the full moon when the aptly named, ‘Full Moon Party’ gets underway. The party takes place on Hat Rin Beach on the southern tip of Koh Phangan. Resorts and boutiques catering to the discerning traveller are located on the more tranquil western and northern shores. Wild party aside, the island has much to offer in the form of natural beauty. The surrounding forests and pristine bays give it the feeling of a private island. It is also home to the luxurious Anantara Rasananda Koh Phangan Villa Resort and Spa. Koh Phangan will soon be only an hour’s flight from Bangkok, with the opening of an airport, which is in the pipeline.
The Full Moon Party at Hat Rin started out with small groups of guitar playing, pot smokers gathering together in the moonlight. Today, it has become an alcohol soaked, rite of passage for backpackers around the world. The mile long party venue sees thirty thousand people crowded on one beach with makeshift stalls put up by vendors selling cheap alcohol. Enormous speakers blare loud music till the sun comes up. Drugs, violent crime and sexual assault are common and increasing as this party grows more popular. Drownings and emergency trips to mainland hospitals have also become annual occurrences.
The party goers drift away by morning and the island returns to its calm and quiet way of being until the next full moon. However, the Full Moon Party’s days maybe numbered because the Tourism Authority of Thailand is working to clean up the image of Koh Phangan and market it as an upscale holiday destination.
Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+