Every year, thousands of tourists flock to Thailand to experience the culture, food, and nightlife. Known for their kindness and welcoming nature, the majority of the Thai population practice Theravada Buddhism. Buddhists hope to find spiritual enlightenment during their journey with self-discipline and meditation to reach nirvana. Tourists can find their own personal heaven as they cross the Full Moon Party off their bucket lists. 

In Thailand, on the island of Koh Phangan, people from around the world congregate to share their love of music and dancing under this celestial rock. Held once a month since the mid-1980s, this party lasts all night and into the sunrise, bringing strangers together from all over the world. 

Everything You Need to Know About the Full Moon Party 

Thailand’s Moon Festival has activities leading up to the big night so you may want to fly there a few days in advance. This gives you time to map out where you wish to explore during the day. You can plan out where to venture to find the coolest places to dance, eat, and mingle with other adventure seekers. Stock up on delicious goodies at the Thong Sala Night Market. Open every Saturday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., this hot spot for locals and tourists has tons of options for veg-heads and meat-eaters alike, such as deep-fried sandwiches and donuts. You can also head out for some snorkeling or splash around in one of the many beautiful waterfalls before the sun goes down. 

Missing out on some of the world’s best and coolest festivals can be a huge disappointment when traveling. However, in Koh Phangan, the Thailand Full Moon party happens every month, allowing you to plan a trip without missing out. The festivities take place on the beach of Haad Rin and though popular with backpackers and tourists, anyone can come to dance the night away under the moon and stars. 

What do you wear to a full moon party?

Be sure to pack some travel-sized items such as sunscreen, a small first aid kit, and plenty of water and remember to stay hydrated when drinking to prevent dehydration. You’ll find many buckets stands around the area, selling plastic buckets filled with mixes of booze, ice, and fruit to share. Aloe vera and burn cream can also come in handy. Burns from hot sand or embers from the fire limbo can put a damper on your evening. (Don’t forget to dust off those ‘80s-inspired neon-colored clothing and body paint and glitter.) If you’re backpacking there, wear sensible walking shoes and bring a pair of flip flops for the beach. You can wear your bathing suit under your clothes or tie up a long sarong that can double as a towel and a cute outfit. To ensure you capture every thrilling moment, you can record video or take still pictures of your full moon escapade with a few mobile apps for video and photography. A waterproof pouch for your smartphone may also be a good idea to protect it from the elements (or falling into your rum bucket!)

Where to Stay During the Full Moon Party 

You don’t have to spend tons of money to have a unique and perfect experience in Thailand. Finding the right hostel or AirBnB can offer you a wallet-friendly place to rest in between day and evening events. You can find accommodations on the quieter side of the island, or Sunset Beach, at various resorts. If you don’t mind hailing a cab, there are hotels close by to Haad Rin so you’re not too far away from the fun. Staying for days leading up to or after the official Full Moon party allows you to enjoy all the moon- inspired celebrations. The budget-loving traveler can look forward to a one of a kind time shared with a few thousand of their closest friends.