Traveling In Thailand Full/Half Moon Festival
If you have ever looked into visiting Thailand, there's a good chance you might know about the half/full moon party. If you don't, these are giant parties thrown every 2-4 weeks on a remote Island off the coast of Surat Thani, Thailand. I just left Koh Phangan this morning, (the Island where both parties are held), and wanted to give some quick advice for anyone planning a visit in the future:
I honestly wouldn't recommend the hassle unless you really want to go:
Koh Phangan is quite far from most cities frequently visited by tourists in Thailand and traveling there involves a good amount of time and money. We had planned on flying into Phuket, taking a private transfer to Surat Thani, (a 4-hour drive), and take a 2.5-hour ferry past Koh Samui to arrive in Koh Phangan. There is a closer city with an airport called Surat Thani, but it is much smaller and there are far fewer commercial flights, (I'm currently sitting in the Surat Thani International Airport and I think there are a total of 10 flights today). All in all, getting there and back is a waste of two days, (in my opinion), and very tiring.
The Party Is Cool, But...
I attended the half-moon festival which was a lot of fun! It's a cool venue with good music and vibes. However, it wasn't as cool and it was hyped up to be, (again in my opinion). There were probably no more than 1,500 people, food + drinks were expensive and it's located somewhat in a more remote area of the Island. That being said, I've never been to the full moon party and many say this is a lot more crazy.
The Island is Kind of Boring:
Don't get me wrong, Koh Phangan is a very pretty place. The beaches are nice and the hills are pretty to look at. However, I don't think I could spend more than a few days there personally without getting bored. The main attractions on the Island are the beaches, waterfalls and the half/full moon party. The island is rather small and didn't seem to have that much to do outside of those few things.
The Bottom Line:
If going to one of these two parties is something you really want to do, go for it. I'm sure you'll have a fun time! But if it's something you're mildly interested in, I'd say skip it and go somewhere else. Thailand has a lot to offer and if you want to party you can always hit up Bangkok or many of the other cities within the country. It takes a long time to reach the Island and you'll likely spend a good amount of money getting there.
I had a fun time, but if I did it again I'd go somewhere else! I hope this advice helped for anyone planning a visit to Thailand in the future.
Bonus Tip: If you do visit Koh Phangan or Koh Samui, take Lomprayah, (a ferry service provider). I took them coming back and it was far superior than the other companies offering the same service.