Top 10 Tips How to Survive the Full Moon Party in Thailand
Every month 10000-30000 travellers descend upon Thailand's island of Koh Phangan for the infamous full moon party. A night full of dancing, neon and scandal. One of the biggest backpacker musts. If you're heading to South East Asia then most likely it will be somewhere on your schedule. Done correctly, you'll be raving about it for years to come. Otherwise could all end in disaster!
Here are my essential tips how to survive the night and make it the greatest party you'll ever go to.
1. Have an afternoon nap
It's going to be a long night so you don't want to give in due to tiredness. The night before make sure you go to bed late to begin the process of becoming nocturnal. That way come afternoon, though you'll be excited, you will be tired enough to have a decent sleep and fatigue will not hit you during the night.
2. Neon up
Face paint, vest, shorts, accessories. There are plenty of ways to brighten yourself up. There is no going over the top. The markets are full of neon clothing so it's easy to do but if you want to look individual then try making up your own outfit. Get a plain tee and neon paint to create your own style. Before leaving have a paint party and find your artiest friend to to paint your face and body. Why stop there, you can get hats, flashing whistles, nail varnish, there is pretty much everything you can think of so by the time you head out you will be glowing.
3. Stay safe
Goes without saying really but know your friends and stick with them. Unfortunately there will be people who are out to ruin other's nights. Keep your belongings close to your body, whether in a bum bag or a tight pocket. If you want photos from the night, a disposable camera is a good plan or make sure your camera is somehow attached to your body or clothing. Let's not let those party poopers win.
4. Don't peak too early
The other thing that could cause you to end up in bed before the night is up would be too much alcohol too early. Pace yourselves guys, you have the whole night to party. In Thailand they serve drinks by the bucket and it can be hard to keep track of how much you're actually having. Find a friend, share the bucket and you'll be grand. Also don't forget to line your stomach with a decent meal before setting off, you certainly won't regret that.
5. Climb up high
At some point in the night make sure you get on a roof top bar and look out. As far as you'll see left and right there will be brightly coloured dancing bodies. Partly hilarious, mostly surreal, it is a chance to take a breath and witness the madness that you're a part of.
6. Go the length of the beach
Haad Rin beach is not actually that large, so not at all hard to cover. But when you're having such a good time it can be easy to stay in the same spot. The stretch is lined with bars, dance floors and DJ's. It is definitely worth taking a trip along the whole strip to see what else is going on and having a dance on each floor.
7. Play some games
As well as dancing there are a lot of different games going on. Get involved! From shooting hoops to bursting balloons, arm wrestling to dance offs. Perfect way to meet new people and you might just win yourself a prize. For the daring there is fire skipping and fire limbo. But watch out, people do get seriously burnt! And FYI if a young girl comes to you to play connect 4, you will not win.
8. Find the entertainers
Not just for your entertainment but also gives you a bit of time to relax and have a break from running around and dancing. Mostly to do with fire but you will be sure to see the most random things going on along that beach. Some things wonderful, some things just plain weird.
9. Watch the sunrise
Well we all know time flies when you're having fun so the sun will probably be up before you know it. This is a moment of success, it means you have made it to the after party. So take it in, perhaps use the time to sit down and watch the sun go up with friends. Then get yourself back up and dance some more, the party is not over.
10. Have breakfast
When you feel it is the time to finally depart make sure you find a place to eat. Whether still in Haad Rin or back at your hotel, take a seat and order the biggest breakfast that you can imagine. You deserve it! You can then begin the process of swapping tales and having laughs of the goings on of your night.
Then you've done it, you have survived the full moon party. Now go crash in bed you champion!
By Araba Adjaye