Koh Phangan is famous for its nightlife, especially the Full Moon Party, which can attract tens of thousands of visitors from around the world during the high season. True to its reputation as one of the world’s top party destinations, Koh Phangan has excellent nightlife.
Koh Phangan, Haad Rin © travelourplanet
The vast majority of Koh Phangan’s nightlife is concentrated around Haad Rin — a popular set of two beaches in the southeast of the island. Haad Rin Nok, the more popular of the two beaches, is where you’ll find almost all of Koh Phangan’s major bars and beach parties.
Step onto some of the island’s other beaches, however, and you’ll find little more than a bar or two serving cold beers beside the sea. Koh Phangan’s nightlife is all about contrasts: you can participate in legendary parties in Haad Rin, or enjoy a chilled out experience elsewhere.
Below, we’ve listed Koh Phangan’s top bars and nightspots and its best parties. Whether you’re visiting specifically for the famous Full Moon Party or staying for a long holiday and want to have a night out while you’re on the island, read on to find your way around Koh Phangan after dark.
Koh Phangan Full Moon Party
- The Full Moon Party is a massive monthly beach party held on Haad Rin Nok. The party is the world’s biggest beach party, attracting as many as 30,000 people to Haad Rin Nok at the peak of the high season in December and January.
- It’s truly impossible to describe the Full Moon Party in text. Haad Rin Nok, which is about 800 metres in length, transforms itself from a chilled out beach into a giant party zone, with 12 huge PA systems playing everything from reggae and house to psytrance and drum and bass.
- The party begins early in the evening, with a mix of tourists and locals setting up in local bars and on the beach. By 11pm, the entire beach is converted into a massive party zone housing thousands of people with beachside bars and vendors fiercely competing for customers.
- By the early morning, most of the beach is heavily intoxicated. Fire shows and jump ropes — a long rope that’s literally doused in gasoline, set on fire and swung like a giant jump rope– offer entertainment for the drunk, brave and crazy. The whole event is wild, dangerous and very fun.
- Drinks at the Full Moon Party consist of local beers like Singha and Chang, as well as the usual assortment of cocktails. The signature drink of the party is the bucket — a plastic bucket (think of the kind of toy bucket you’d play with as a child) filled with a blend of rum, whisky, Red Bull and a variety of mixers.
- Drugs are common at the Full Moon Party but penalties are extremely severe and undercover police are often present. Our Guide to Drugs on Koh Phangan explains what you can expect if you’re caught with drugs at the party. It’s much better to avoid the drug scene than risk a prison sentence in Thailand or face paying a massive bribe to the local authorities.
- The Full Moon Party is a massive event that transforms the entire southern coast of the island for several days. If you plan on attending the Full Moon Party, read our Guide to Full Moon Party Accommodation to ensure you don’t miss out booking a hotel room.
2016 Full Moon Party Dates:
- The Full Moon Party is held once every month on the night of the full moon. Below, we’ve listed the dates of the party for 2016:
- There’s also a New Year’s Eve Party held on Haad Rin Nok every year that’s much the same as the Full Moon Party. Lots of other local parties are held by local beach bars on Haad Rin almost every week — check the schedules posted in local bars during your stay for more information.
Koh Phangan Half Moon Festival
- Are you not on Koh Phangan for the Full Moon Party? Fear not, as there are several other huge parties thrown every month on the island’s other beaches. The Half Moon Festival is a bi-weekly party held in the jungle near Baan Tai that’s famous for its lineup of trance and house DJs.
- While the Full Moon Party is all about huge crowds, the Half Moon Festival tends to attract a more dedicated raver crowd. The music is intense, the drinks are the usual mix of beers and buckets and the crowd ready to party until 5am the next morning.
- Dates for the Half Moon Festival are posted in bars around Koh Phangan in the days leading up to each event. The festival is held a short distance into the jungle from Baan Tai, meaning you’ll need to take a taxi from Haad Rin and arrange transport back to your hotel after the party.
Black Moon Culture and Other Koh Phangan Events
- Koh Phangan is by far Thailand’s biggest party destination, with new events held several times a week. Other parties include Black Moon Culture — a monthly psytrance festival — and parties like the Sramanora Waterfall Party and Jungle Experience.
- Almost all of these events are held along Koh Phangan’s southern coast, usually in and around Baan Tai and Baan Khai. Check the schedules in local bars to find out more about every event, as the dates for the smaller parties are often only set a few weeks in advance.
Koh Phangan Nightlife Outside Haad Rin
- Haad Rin and the two southern coast beaches of Baan Tai and Baan Khai are by far the largest party spots on Koh Phangan, but the rest of the island isn’t devoid of nightlife. There are bars on almost all of Koh Phangan’s beaches, from Thong Nai Pan Noi to Mae Haad.
- Some of the island’s more chilled out nightlife spots include Thong Nai Pan, which has a great selection of bars along both of its beaches, and Haad Yao, which has a several cool live music bars that attract a mix of locals, expats and tourists.
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Koh Phangan Travel Guide:
- Koh Phangan – A Very Quick Travel Guide
- Full Moon Party Koh Phangan
- Drugs on Koh Phangan
- Full Moon Party Accommodation on Koh Phangan
- Things To Do On Koh Phangan
- Places To Eat On Koh Phangan
- Koh Phangan Villas For Rent
- Where To Stay On Koh Phangan
- Koh Phangan Day Trips
- Koh Phangan Weather
- How To Get To Koh Phangan
- Koh Phangan Airport
- Koh Phangan Beaches